“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is the newest addition to the long-running Marvel Cinematic Universe film franchise. This film was released on Feb. 17, and although it was highly anticipated, the final product is quite a mixed bag, with some elements that make it enjoyable, but others that leave much to be desired. If you are looking for a fun time where you don’t need to think too much about the quality of the film, you will love this new “Ant Man” movie. However, if you are hyper-critical and like to deep-dive into the nuances of filmmaking and storytelling, then this movie might leave you underwhelmed.
This latest installment in the “Ant-Man” film series follows Scott Lang (Ant Man), Hope Van Dyne (The Wasp),and the rest of the ant gang as they journey into the quantum realm. There, they encounter some strange and bizarre alien-like creatures with silly cartoon voices and oddly-shaped bodies. From there, they encounter one of the biggest threats to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kang the Conqueror. For the sake of avoiding spoilers, that’s all that will be revealed about the plot of the film.
On paper, this film had the recipe for being the next smash-hit after “Avengers: Endgame,” but many aspects of the film fell just short of delivering the excitement and intrigue that truly made the most epic MCU films as popular and successful as they now are. From inconsistent pacing to dull and uninspired lines of dialogue, which are not even saved by the action sequences in the film, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” leaves viewers wishing they had gotten more out of the experience than they were given.
Ant-Man is arguably one of the funniest and most likable MCU heroes, but even Paul Rudd couldn’t elevate this lifeless and unfunny script to something even remotely interesting. Also, the character development lacked severely, which made the film feel like a major part of it was missing.
Most disappointing, though, is the fact that this movie does not stand on its own outside of the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are many details and plot points that are mentioned that relate to other films and projects from Marvel and would leave a passive viewer in the dark. Overall, the film serves as a connecting piece in the bigger interconnecting puzzle that is the MCU.
One element, however, that was quite intriguing and entertaining in this film was the performance by Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror. This film would have fallen completely flat if it had not been for the incredible acting and technique put on display by Majors as he introduced us to the most menacing and evil villain in the MCU since Thanos. It is unfortunate that such a dynamic and powerful character was introduced in such a mediocre film. Thankfully, Marvel fans will be seeing much more of Majors as Kang the Conqueror throughout several future announced and rumored MCU films and projects.
Another well-executed aspect of this film was its visual effects. Marvel always serves high quality CGI visuals in its films, and this film did not disappoint. This film was the first true view into the Quantum Realm, which had been talked about but very rarely shown throughout the previous “Ant-Man” films. This world felt similar to the deserts and other space-like locations present in the recent Disney-produced “Star Wars” films and helped drive home the science fiction aesthetic of the film.
Overall, “Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania” was an overhyped, albeit visually appealing, disappointment from the MCU that will make any diehard fan wary about the quality of future Marvel projects. Here is to hoping things will only get better from here.