Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the newest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is the introduction to Phase Five. Phase Four was the very definition of a mixed bag leading towards the bad side (Wakanda Forever, Loki and a few others are exceptions.) so this was definitely the chance to start the new phase off strong…that did not happen unfortunately.
To be absolutely fair I do think Quantumania is a bit better than some of what phase four had to offer and it is definitely better than the last Ant-Man movie (Ant-Man and The Wasp), but that honestly does not mean much when it suffers a very common problem that a lot of the MCU has been facing lately. Before we get into that there are the positives.
Like everyone has said and will continue to say Jonathan Majors easily steals the show as Kang, he plays such a strong villain and puts his powerhouse acting ability into the role which leads to some quite fantastic moments, similarly Michelle Pfeiffer does a fantastic job here as well, she plays Janet Van Dyne who is actually decently written here, granted there are some scenes where had the writing been so much stronger the character could have improved. But from what was shown it wasn’t too bad, Pfeiffer and Majors are truly at their best when they share the screen together and are able to combine their talent.
Lastly there’s the father and daughter relationship that Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) that while does come off a bit basic at times, it’s mainly due to Paul Rudd and Kathryn Newton being so likable as performers that really makes it work, because Cassie Lang as a character was just not exactly well written at all here. But as I said Newton takes what she’s given and makes the most of it.
Unfortunately everything else is a complete and total mess that just about sums up the main issues currently going on with the MCU, first off the movie is just the usual MCU formula again. Rather than tell a story the movie focuses on introducing the main villain of the new phase Kang, which while is nice it sacrifices writing, storytelling, character development and much more. Most of the other characters are given almost nothing to do especially Hope and Hank who are largely given a backseat this time around.
MODOK is unfortunately not used well at all, he only really serves as a sort of example I’ve used in the past with a lot of MCU films and that’s “the Dragon Ball Z movie henchmen effect) which basically means he’s given a few scenes and then gets written out of the movie. Darren Cross (played by Corey Stoll) makes a return from the first Ant-Man, what’s shocking is somehow this movie manages to make Cross even less interesting to the point where him as Yellowjacket was more investing than him as MODOK. But what really hurts MODOK is the stuff the movie decides to do with him towards the end, it’s the usual MCU humor that flat out makes very little sense given Darren Cross’s personality and the story.
Lastly Quantumania just doesn’t risk any stakes, which I imagine is going to be a huge problem with this phase given that it’s about the Multiverse. Which if you aren’t going to risk any stakes or do something out of the ordinary at least try and build interesting characters and story elements, which is what this movie really lacked. The Star Wars similarities are painfully obvious and really don’t serve any point other than for someone to point and say “hey isn’t this like Star Wars?”
Overall Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is basically an extended TV episode, it’s main purpose is to introduce the main villain which as I said Majors is one of the best parts. But doing just that sacrifices just about everything else.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is available in theaters.