Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a VERY weird movie. Going into it, I expected it to be outlandish, but they really put their foot on the gas and ran with this one. Honestly, I have very mixed feelings about it. Most of the time, the movie works, and it even has a few flashes of greatness where we see its full MCU potential. However, some pacing issues, along with some risks that didn’t pay off, hold this film back from being one of the all-time great superhero films. Thankfully, there’s enough fun to be had that it might be worth a rewatch sometime soon.
Let’s start off with the elephant in the room; Kang is here, and he isn’t messing around. In his first TRUE outing as the legendary Kang the Conquerer, Jonathan Majors, arguably one of the best working actors out there, shines in the limited screentime he is given. His chemistry with Paul Rudd is great but his dynamic with Michelle Pfeiffer is even better. Kang is already one of the MCU’s finest villains and I’m extremely excited to see when and how we see him next. Shoutout to the rest of the cast, especially Kathryn Newton (who was an MVP in this movie alongside Majors), for once again taking on their respective roles like they never left.
After watching Quantumania, it’s easy to see why Jeff Loveness is writing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. The script for Quantumania is one of the best Marvel Studios has ever produced. It’s sharp, funny, and emotional. Something I especially appreciated was the fact that Loveness was able to balance the humor and emotion very well, something recent MCU films struggled to do. I’m very excited about his collaboration with Marvel Studios as he’s laid down the groundwork for a very exciting future.
The influence of Star Wars on this film is very evident and as a lifelong Star Wars mega fan, I appreciated this. I saw so many parallel scenes including one that almost felt like a shot-for-shot remake of one of the best scenes in Revenge of the Sith. I also noticed that lots of the character archetypes present in the Skywalker Saga found their way into this film. For me, the film managed to stay individual and not become Marvel’s Star Wars, although many people will see it that way. In other words, it didn’t feel too derivative.
A big concern I had was that the film struggles to balance too many ideas as it attempts to lay the groundwork for the rest of Phase 5 and the Multiverse Saga. When it works, it works but when it doesn’t, it really falls flat. I think fans will be the most split when it comes to Corey Stoll’s M.O.D.O.K. I personally enjoyed the character’s portrayal, but I have a feeling some fans are going to be very vocal about this.
The are some strong themes in this movie even if they feel underdeveloped at times. The family theme has always been important to the Ant-Man films and this is no exception. However, the emotional beats from that theme are often overshadowed by the dark and grim themes of impending doom that Kang brings to the table. While that’s ok, I wish they were more evenly balanced in the film and were each given more time to shine.
The visual effects in the film are stunning for the most part. For a movie that’s probably about 97% green and blue screen, they pulled it off. There are moments when the movie definitely looks fake and sometimes director Peyton Reed’s use of the Volume technology isn’t needed as it only adds to the poor quality of some scenes. The blend of practical sets and green screens is used smartly and creatively, even if it doesn’t work out all the time.
Overall, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has a lot to like, and the movie does work for the most part. However, some pacing issues and risks that fall VERY flat hold this one back from greatness. Having said that, you should go watch the movie just for Jonathan Majors. He’s worth the admission price alone.