Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a mixed bag of emotions and quality, which is why it was important for the next phase of the MCU to get started on the right foot. Anyone hoping that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania would be a nice change of pace may find themselves disappointed, but not for the reasons you might think. While there are connections to the larger threat looming over the MCU, this third Ant-Man film does little to get everyone hyped up for what is happening now, let alone what comes later in the Multiverse saga. We might enjoy seeing Scott Lang and some of his supporting cast, but his movies still haven’t reached the higher peak of Marvel movie quality.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania takes place after Avengers: End Game, with Scott Lang enjoying the fruits of his adventures. His relationship with Hope Van Dyne (The Wasp) has progressed, along with his relationship with his daughter Cassie Lang after the infamous Snap from Thanos. But while his ego has gotten the better of him, Cassie has nurtured her skills as a young scientist with the help of her grandfather Hank Pym. She experiments with mapping out the quantum realm and sends out a signal into the subatomic world, causing everyone to get sucked into it. While the group tries to figure out a way back home, Janet Van Dyne dreads returning to the quantum realm because of a previous encounter with a being known as Kang the Conquer. What unfolds is a comedic adventure with weird creatures and cities, along with a ton of quantum madness that looks trippy and out of this world.
The humor of the previous Ant-Man movies is present in this third outing, with a lot of inside jokes that fans of the MCU will catch onto quickly. The big issue however is that both the first and second halves of the movie feel unbalanced. The beginning is full of jokes and setup with a lot of fan service but ends up never truly paying off by the ending. The second half is much more action-packed and heavy on the Phase 5 connections, with references to the multiverse that almost feels out of place in some instances. It almost comes off as making up for the lack of connections from Phase 4 to the multiverse threat of Kang that fans know is looming over the MCU. When Scott and the crew first enter the quantum realm, many characters they meet don’t even refer to Kang by name, which seems rather unnecessary.
The other unfortunate part of the movie is that many of the jokes just don’t land well. They don’t feel as funny as they probably should, especially for a character whose previous films have solid humor in them. You might get a laugh here and there, but you won’t find yourself laughing as often as you may have hoped. Some jokes or gags feel awkward or just not that good and end up taking away from the gravity of everything going on.
Scott Lang is cheery and goofy, while his daughter Cassie feels like she’s already a genius at a young age. Unfortunately, Hope seems to take more of a backseat in this film compared to everyone else, despite the film being called Ant-Man and the Wasp. She definitely has an impact on some of the bigger moments of the movie, but it does feel like Cassie and her grandparents have a greater presence here than she does. It might not be the case when you look at the number of minutes everyone has on screen, but it sure does feel like that when watching.
But what about Kang, is he at least menacing as the new MCU threat? Jonathan Majors does a good job with the limited material he has here, but his character is going to be better served in other MCU projects. This variant of Kang isn’t at full strength or as powerful as he will be, despite being hyped up to be incredibly strong. When on-screen, Kang sucks up the attention in the room but feels underserviced by everyone around him. It almost seems like the villain should’ve been someone else for Ant-Man to battle and save Kang for an Avengers film instead.
Speaking of other villains, MODOK is where the movie falls flat. In the comics, MODOK is a super-genius level enemy with a crazy design, while also being a major threat to various heroes. However, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania reduces MODOK to a lackluster joke, both in his design and his relevance to the plot. The special effects on MODOK don’t look that good, nor does it even feel like it meshes well with the rest of the movie, let alone the MCU itself. He’s not funny, not menacing, and not very interesting. He just looks weird and out of place. The sad truth is that if this is the only time we get to see MODOK appear in any other project, then it’s for the better. There are little to no redeeming factors for this version of the character.
If you follow all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and want to be in the know of where the franchise is going, then you’ll get a tiny bit from Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The final post-credits stingers at the end of the film have the biggest connections to Phase 5 and afterward, but everything else is shallow at best. Although the movie is not terrible, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is definitely not on the higher end of Marvel films you’ll see.
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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
The movie is average at best, with a lot of issues both in the plot and visuals. While there are some connections to the larger MCU to pick up on, the rest of the film isn’t as interesting as one would hope. Some characters are underserviced, while others are better off forgotten. The action scenes are neat to look at, but the story behind everything could have been better overall.
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