Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania Review
I love superheroes, and I really enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). As much as I bemoan Hollywood’s lack of curiosity and creativity nowadays, the MCU is a shining beacon of hope in an era of creative drought in the Hollywood scene. It’s the rare blockbuster franchise that has soul and is made by people who clearly love the source material of the original Marvel comics and want to do the characters in the original comics justice. After watching Spider-Man: No Way Home, I decided to take a break from the MCU for a while. I didn’t want to get burned out and to be fair, I was wanting to take a break from the MCU since everything wrapped up so well in Avengers: Endgame.
Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of Ant-Man, both the comics and the movies. The first film was a solid heist comedy film with a lot of heart to spare, though I find myself wishing that Edgar Wright had made it as was originally planned. Ant-Man and The Wasp was a pile of meh after the incredible experience of watching Avengers: Infinity War, yet then again, I’m not sure how you could follow that up without being Avengers: Endgame.
What made me intrigued by this film? For starters, I was interested in the direction that they were going with the strange world of the quantum realm, and the fact that they would introduce the new big villain of the MCU: Kang The Conquerer (played by Jonathan Majors.) I had enjoyed Majors’ performance as one of Kang’s alternate selves He Who Remains in the first season of Loki and I was hoping he’d bring that same energy to Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.
Overall, I thought the movie was fine. I thought that it was a solid, middle of the road MCU film, which has been a trend with the Ant-Man movies. I enjoy Paul Rudd, who is in the camp of people like Chris Pratt who are talented but have a niche on the type of characters that they play. I enjoyed the relationship that he had with his daughter Cassie (played by Kathryn Newton) and the struggles of their relationship, as well as the chemistry between the cast that includes Hope (played by Evangeline Lilly), Hank (played by Michael Douglas), and Janet (played by Michelle Pfeiffer).
My favorite aspects of this film are the villain and the world of the quantum realm. Jonathan Majors is magnetic and menacing as Kang, an intergalactic, time traveling dictator who wants to dominate everyone and everything that is in his path. He is more menacing and sinister than his more manic previous appearance in Loki, but he is no less dangerous. I was also in love with the world design of this film. It might be some of the best CGI that I’ve seen in terms of creating a world. It almost seemed like it was a live action episode of Rick & Morty, which is funny considering the writer of this movie Jeff Loveness was a writer on Rick & Morty.
There were certainly issues such as the inconsistent tone and corny humor that sometimes-undercut moments that could have been heartfelt. There was also the character of MODOK (meaning Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing) played by Corey Stoll, who was a mixed bag for me. They did nail his persona from the comics where he’s this goober supervillain who desperately wants to be cool and respected. But the movie gave him this redemption arc which felt half-baked and unconvincing.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is showcasing the MCU’s middling quality as of late, becoming more of the CGI action fests that they have been good at averting. I do hope that the MCU’s best days are ahead of them and not behind.