REVIEW: ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania’ Is A Mind-Numbing Introduction To Phase 5


WARNING – Major Spoilers Ahead!

When Loki showed up in the post credit scene, the entire theater cheered and applauded. Now let me rephrase that – Loki appearing on the big screen was the ONLY moment the entire theater cheered and applauded.

Not long after the post credit scene ended, Employee A walked into the theater to clean and said, “You’re already here?”

I turned around and found Employee B in the very back row who responded, “Yeah, I got here early and got my nap in.”

These two scenarios speak for themselves. The fact that a general conversation that I overheard, between two employees/strangers, is more entertaining than a Marvel movie is clearly a serious problem!

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is utterly atrocious. It should have never been made. There was no reason for it to be made…or at least that is what the story convinces its audience. Its sole purpose is to merely exist while introducing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thanos 2.0 – Kang the Conqueror (This literally could have been done any other way…no one asked for a 2 hour movie trailer!).

So we have the classic teenage daughter gets her family and herself into trouble trope because she just HAS to do what she wants. At least she has an ambition of some sort as the teen protagonists always do, right? Well, not Cassie Lang – she just wants to map out the quantum realm for fun!

What is really bizarre, however, is the fact that Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp and Hank Pym 100% support and even help Cassie despite losing their mother/wife, Janet Van Dyne, to the quantum realm for 30 years and then Scott Lang/Ant-Man for five years.

Common sense tells you they would all stay as far away from there as possible, especially given that there is absolutely no reason at all to be in contact with that subatomic dimension. Then again, what do I know? Who needs believable characters anyway!

Speaking of plot holes, if Janet is really so worried about Kang, why didn’t she have a problem with sending Scott to the quantum realm in the mid-credit scene from the previous movie? We love when Marvel sacrifices continuity for money!

I am not normally one to comment on visuals for films (I focus more on narrative), but man is this movie so ugly to look at (and I don’t love it – if you know, you know)!

I cannot believe Troublemaker Studios did not produce this – the quality of the CGI literally has The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl written all over it. M.O.D.O.K and Mr. Electric are literally the same, except Mr. Electric does it better.

The quantum realm itself is basically a parody of the Star Wars universe. It’s got a knockoff Lieutenant Bek from Rise of the Resistance at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, knockoff Jawas, knockoff cantina, knockoff stormtroopers, and even Kang is like a flat version of Darth Vader.

Always count on Hollywood to remind you that they ran out of ideas a long time ago!

While it is totally evident that Jonathan Majors did his best with what he was given to portray the role of Kang, I was personally barely intimidated by him, and I currently don’t see how he is supposed to live up to Thanos.

The reason Thanos works really well as the “big bad” for The Infinity Saga is because he is completely convinced he is doing what is best for the universe. Kang, on the other hand, is just obsessed with power and control. If it wasn’t for the whole multiversal war going for him, he would be an average villain.

Funny how this is titled Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, yet there is not much to The Wasp this time around besides tagging along with the fam and giving support when needed. The writers really said let’s make her a businesswoman again like the first movie and call it a day. However, even in the first one, despite just being called Ant-Man, she is still a well rounded character that plays a significant part to the story.

Here, we only know at a one-dimensional level that Hope is trying to reconnect with her mother and is in love with Scott. It is that bad to the point where the film would barely change if she was not in it (and this is the trilogy’s lead female protagonist we’re talking about).

While I wouldn’t quite say that I am a die-hard fan of the romance between Scott and Hope, I am definitely a fan. Their relationship is underrated and certainly one of the best out of the canon couples in the MCU.

Considering this, I am disappointed with how their arc is handled in Quantumania. Although their chemistry and the fact that they are in love is palpable (unlike with Thor and Jane in Thor: Love and Thunder), it is still a letdown that they hardly have any screen time together now that they are in an established relationship. Their dynamic is why I like the second film, Ant-Man and the Wasp, a little bit more than the first, so it is pretty upsetting to see the two being apart from each other for almost the entire third movie.

Unfortunately, because of their absence from each other, Hope coming back through the portal to the quantum realm to help Scott fight Kang as well as the pair exchanging their “I love you’s” shortly after fail to make an emotional impact on viewers. Given that Scott shares most of his beats with Cassie in this film, it would have made a lot more sense for her to be the one to come back to his aid instead of Hope.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally on board with further developing the relationships between Scott and Cassie, Hope and Janet, and even Hank and Janet. I just wish the writers could have found a way to balance all that with the growing romance between Scott and Hope…especially since practically nothing happened at all in this movie.

I am not sure whether this is an unpopular opinion or not, but I am not really keen on teenage Cassie. She comes across as your typical, annoying main character in a Disney Channel Original Movie, which makes Avengers: Endgame fast forwarding us five years later into her life all the more frustrating. I want adorable, 10-year-old Cassie back please and thank you!

Before watching Quantumania opening night, I read a verified plot leak on Reddit due to Marvel giving me trust issues (I was not going to see this if I knew for sure it was going to be bad). What I was not aware of, however, was that the spoilers I read were actually from the original version of the film. Only one month prior to release, the ending was reshot and changed.

Initially, Kang was going to escape and trap Scott and Hope in the quantum realm instead of the two defeating him before getting rescued by Cassie. It totally makes sense why they would have gone this route considering that it would help to expand on Cassie’s hero arc in the future, especially if they plan on going through with a Young Avengers movie somewhere down the road.

I, for one, prefer the idea of the ending that we actually got rather than the original one. My only problem with the new ending is how it is executed.

I am always a fan of happy endings, and it is really nice for Marvel to go back to that after a long season of depression. The happy ending is also practical due to the Ant-Man movies consistently being lighthearted.

The issue here, however, is how unnatural it feels. It makes perfect sense, although, now knowing that it was rewritten last minute!

Having read the spoilers beforehand or not, it is clear to anyone watching the scene that Scott and Hope are coming to terms with the consequences of the sacrifice that they made to protect each other and their family. They hold each other as they look out to the quantum city, suggesting that it is, for now, them against the microscopic world…only until Cassie manages to open the portal back up from behind them seconds later.

Then we are supposed to believe that Scott and Hope just simply knew she was going to immediately bring them back home without even turning around to see the portal for themselves…huh?

This scene easily could have gone two other ways. You could make it dramatic and actually have Cassie shout from behind them that they can come home. Scott and Hope would then actually turn around and be surprised yet relieved and grateful. After stepping through the portal back home, Scott would tell his daughter that he is proud of the heroine that she is becoming.

You could also make it comedic (given that this is supposed to be somewhat of a comedy) and not even show Cassie desperately trying to bring them back. The audience would instead just watch Scott and Hope be all emotional, and then all of a sudden, they would hear Cassie’s voice nonchalantly say, “You know this portal has been opened back up for a minute now, right?”

Either of these scenarios would have worked so much better than the one we got – a conclusion that is very unsure of itself!

Before going into Quantumania, after having read the spoilers, I actually had hope that it would at the very least be decent if not good. I knew it wouldn’t be anything incredible and that it wouldn’t be superior to the first two Ant-Man movies, however, I figured that it would certainly be better than most of Phase 4.

While I still think that it is better than some Phase 4 projects, it is just not good at all. What seemed potentially exciting on Reddit did not translate well onscreen.

I will say though that I do appreciate the film’s attempt at primarily focusing on developing the main characters and their relationships with each other. Honestly, I do not even care that much if an action movie does not have enough action going on. As long as there are genuine characters that sincerely love and support one another in their growth, I’m sold.

That being said, this film fails to deliver the same dynamics that these characters have in the previous movies. It also did not succeed in making me feel anything. The story is so dull that I literally did not care about anything that was happening.

The movie is also not funny. None of the humor lands except for when Scott discusses his thoughts that occurred when Bruce Banner/the Hulk turned him into a baby along with him sharing how he “was just happy to meet a raccoon [Rocket] who could talk” in the audiobook of his memoir, Look Out for the Little Guy! (which is a real book that MCU fans can now pre-order).

I think everyone can agree that the true reason this film is ultimately a disaster is because of the absence of Luis – what were they thinking? That man CARRIED the first two movies with his impeccable storytelling! Although I like the idea of Scott writing a book and will probably even buy it myself, I would much rather prefer Luis narrate Scott’s life since he is the KING of narration.

Overall, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a mind-numbing introduction to Phase 5, and I doubt I will be sticking with the MCU for much longer. The Golden Age of Marvel movies will always have a special place in my heart, but this new era is just not it.

Rating: 1.5/5 stars

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