To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Ticket
Ant science... in 3D!
Whether it’s shrinking, enlarging or any other sort of sci-fi/action weirdness, you can count on current and upcoming Marvel movies to pull some pretty neat visual stunts. Director Peyton Reed’s threequel Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the latest adventure to trade in comic book excitement, complete with all the bells and whistles. Which means we’re yet again ringing that familiar bell that signals the time to ask the question, To 3D or Not To 3D?
If you’re wondering how the debut of the MCU's Phase 5 plays as a movie, you’re in the wrong dimension. Eric Eisenberg wrote CinemaBlend’s Ant-Man 3 review, so that’s the place you want to be if you’re interested in weighing Scott Lang’s latest exploits as a plot-driven experience.
However, if we’re talking about the 3D spectacle side of things, that’s just what the Avengers ordered. Please put on your 3D glasses, as we’re about to look at the big picture of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s Quantum Realm adventure.
FIT SCORE - 5/5
Just like most Marvel Studios films since Thor first cast his hammer into the third dimension, Ant-Man is a legacy 3D franchise. Building a solid case for its fit in the premium format familiar to MCU fans, to have Paul Rudd’s mug winking at us in potentially eye-popping in detail is something we’ve come to expect at this point.
The fact that the Marvel movies have pretty much run a non-stop line of 3D releases since 2011 is to be commended, especially when competitors like the DC Comics movies seem to have abandoned the format. You can count on Marvel Studios to have premium packages such as these on display, whether they’re good or bad. Which is a judgement that is, as always, determined by the planning and effort put into the finished product.
PLANNING & EFFORT - 3/5
The 3D world of the world’s smallest Avenger has been a rather mixed bag, with the best results coming from the conversion of Ant-Man and the Wasp back in 2018. As has been the tradition for some time, SDFX Studios (formerly branded as Studio-D) is on hand yet again with Ant-Man 3.
To a certain extent, I should have expected some bugs that have been present since director Peyton Reed’s franchise starter to recur, which is exactly what happens with Quantumania’s trip to the Quantum Realm. At this point, I honestly don’t know how much one can really blame that studio for the faults this conversion possesses.
Keep in mind, this is also the same studio behind the awe-inspiring 3D of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a project that even Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige admitted had a special focus on its 3D presentation. Alas, some major flaws cause this turn at bat to lose some vital points, with one particular field causing even more frustration.
BEFORE THE WINDOW - 3/5
Historically, the Ant-Man movies have had problems with the handling of thrills that pop out “Before the Window.” That doesn’t change with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, despite the movie having a lot of elements it could potentially throw out into the audience, as only some select elements actually make the jump.
Right from the start, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfieffer) and her fight with some rather nasty looking creatures had all of the hallmarks of in your face thrills. Just as quickly, those hopes are dashed, as the camera doesn’t linger long enough on these beasts to really convey that they’re heading straight for you.
What does work are some quick shots of guns, weapons and hands aiming out at the audience. Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror gets a taste of the fun as well thanks to his enraged attacks involving energy beams adding some visual color. If only the image on screen allowed Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s kinetic action to actually come out and play on a more consistent level.
BEYOND THE WINDOW - 5/5
There’s no question that this MCU chapter takes full advantage of its depth of picture, and considering the recent movies in the saga, that’s a 3D blessing. The world of the Quantum Realm is a lush and deep canvas to allow Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania to play out on, especially when traveling through realms is involved.
I won’t go on too much about this specific effect, but moments of discovery and peril are heightened with the distance between characters and the chasm they’re staring into is properly shown. Plus, the spatial reasoning of characters and their environments is another top notch effort, as conversations and combat both show off the characters involved with just the right amount of separation.
BRIGHTNESS SCORE - 2/5
Folks, it’s time to take the glasses off, both metaphorically and literally. 3D movies, and in particular the last couple of entries in the MCU, have had a massive problem with Brightness. Perhaps the most pronounced during Thor: Love and Thunder, it hasn’t gotten that much better with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. In a movie where the color palette could be named “Forever Dusk, with a hint of Kool Aid,” your 3D glasses are going to put you into an unfortunate situation where darkness isn’t your ally.
Typically, this is where I warn you that your mileage may vary due to how well your local theater of choice maintains its projectors. It should also be noted that this screening was observed at the same location I’ve had issues with showings of Titanic 25th Anniversary and Spider-Man: No Way Home. But considering that chatter from press screenings had pegged Ant-Man’s latest as something that looked murky in 2D screenings, this is something I’d definitely lay on the fault of the conversion effort.
GLASSES OFF SCORE - 5/5
While you have your glasses off, let’s talk about how Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania looks when you take a look at its naked, blurry image. Meant to indicate how much the movie you’re watching has been manipulated, there’s a wide array of blur on display when you slip that facial furniture off of your eyes.
Clearly the depths of this movie’s picture is the beneficiary of the blurred lines that unite under the lenses handed to you at the door. At any given moment, you can see subtle to major blurring, with the standard 2D elements intended to anchor those frames of fancy in reality. Ant-Man 3 doesn’t have a problem with its blur, so much as how it chooses to use it.
AUDIENCE HEALTH - 3/5
The good news is that you will not throw up during Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania if you decide to see it in 3D. The days of people complaining about nausea seem to have left this premium format of exhibition, and it’s a good thing, as there’s lots of gorgeous action to be seen in Marvel’s latest. Some shots might be a bit quicker than I’d like, which again doesn’t allow the 3D to fully register, but it doesn’t feel like your eyes are going to wonk out.
You could practically read the next sentence out loud from memory, as the Brightness truly is the problem here. Low lighting for a consistent amount of time can lead to eye strain, and that leaves the audience tired after seeing Jonathan Majors stomping on Paul Rudd’s helmet like a madman. Keep that in mind when booking your tickets, as you may want to take a beat after your viewing to readjust to a world where proper lighting may or may not actually exist.
FINAL VERDICT: 26/35
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania feels like it’s taken the standalone series almost right back where it started when it comes to its 3D presentation. While Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ perfect score is hard to compete with, the MCU’s recent trend of middling to sub-par conversions seem to make that particular effort look like an outlier rather than a game plan.
If you have a theater that’s particularly mindful of its brightness, or if you can make it to one of those IMAX 3D showings that are increasingly difficult to seek out, you might get a little more punch in your particles. Otherwise, catching this one in standard 2D could be the more beneficial option.
Ready for a plot twist? Our next expected venture into the 3D realm isn’t a superhero movie. While it doesn’t look like Shazam! Fury of the Gods will be showing with any third-dimensional enhancements, there’s a surprising stop that’s been added on our tour of 2023’s new movie releases.
Join us in a couple weeks when Scream VI takes Ghostface to the unfamiliar territories of New York City and 3D! Until then, stay away from those supposed spoilers, and be sure to recycle your glasses in the bin outside of the theater.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.