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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum Mania. Paul Rudd’s Comic Adventures in the Quantum Realm

Ant-Man Scott Lang ( Paul Rudd ) signs autographs, female wasp Hope van Dyne ( Evangeline Lilly ) runs a corporation for the good of mankind, her parents, Hank ( Michael Douglas ) and Janet ( Michelle Pfeiffer ), catch up on 30 years of separation. Meanwhile, Scott’s grown daughter, Cassie ( Kathryn Newton ), is building a device in the basement that can send signals into quantum space. Something goes wrong, and all the heroes are sucked into the place where Janet has been trying to get out for so long. As it turns out, an entire civilization is hiding in the Quantum Realm, and the free peoples are currently groaning under the yoke of a tyrant named Kang the Conqueror ( Jonathan Majors ).

The heavy aftertaste left from the fourth phase of the MCU, at the beginning of the fifth, is designed to disperse the most frivolous and cheerful of the former Avengers (the Guardians of the Galaxy will follow). Both Ant-Man films teetered on the brink of comedy, especially the second series, often more like something with a young Eddie Murphy than a typical Marvel product. The trailer for “Quantomania” set it in a more serious, even pathetic mood, but it turned out, fortunately, that this is slyness, and permanent director Peyton Reed and new screenwriter Jeff Loveness (who came from the world of television humor and Rick and Morty ) generally stick to the same moods.

There are, however, significant differences: almost all the action takes place in the notorious Quantum World, and the film, accordingly, repels not so much from old crime comedies, but from anti-science fiction. On the surface, there is a comparison with Star Wars: there is an empire with anonymous stormtroopers, brave rebels, exotic-looking creatures sitting in space taverns. But the authors were clearly inspired by a much more diverse and hilarious film canon – from the modern-day ridiculous but revolutionary science fiction of the 1950s with its forbidden planets and giant insects to kitsch space operas like “Barb Arella” or ” Flash Gordon” , from miniature fantasies like ” Inner space” to “Zardoza (flying head!) and Monty Python . From Kir Bulychev , I want to say, to Karik and Vali .

It’s more old-fashioned than James Gunn ‘s every-minute musical and film homage to idols, and more innocent than Taika Waititi ‘s swashbuckling New Zealand humour. Even the fact that “Quantomania” periodically blurs into purple pixels somehow adds to its charm (although some scribble complaints to the Marvel quality department). Aboriginals are modestly represented by a talking pink jelly, a muscular woman, a telepath (it’s always good to see William Jackson Harper ), and a broccoli man. Plus a traditionally self-satisfied but sweet cameo by a popular artist and a very successful resurrection of a character we thought was dead. Plus a bit of Cronenberg for the little ones: living houses, biomechanically controlled aircraft.

How much Kang, the supervillain of the next couple of phases, is drawn to the new Thanos is an open question. Jonathan Majors (who will be on the widest screens in the foreseeable future) is an extremely charismatic artist, but the character still lacks certainty, or something. The villain needs unique characteristics and a clear agenda, and Kang, with his meaningful mumbling about time and the multiverse, turned out to be a somewhat cloudy man and not that very sinister.

And if you really find fault, it’s hard not to mention Evangeline Lilly , who is trying in vain for the third film in a row to find a place for herself. The actress does not have a comedic gift, and her character does boring things all the time. And now, when the grown-up Cassie (Newton is excellent – both fighting and funny) has taken the role of a strong young woman, it has become quite obvious that Hope is here only for show, and remove her from the film, nothing will change at all. Their so-called romance with Scott, even in the platonic world of the MCU, looks like some kind of misunderstanding: the only rational explanation for the demonstrative indifference of the characters to each other may be that in the next series it turns out that they are brother and sister, and the authors do not want to injure us.

But individual flaws almost do not spoil the overall impression: this is exactly the fascinating, stupid, self-ironic and, if not funny to tears, then invariably funny spectacle, which we have the right to expect from a film with the word “Ant-Man” in the title. Paul Rudd, as usual, looks 25, jokes, changes in size, and more is not required of him. Not much to say about Douglas and Pfeiffer: in the 1980s they would have been perhaps a more murderous duet, but even now they are a pleasure to watch, and few expected to ever see them in action scenes again. Quantum Mania doesn’t break new ground, but if all Marvel movies were doing their job so honestly, Kevin Feige might not have to look to parallel universes for inspiration.

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