Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Review: A Grim Start to Phase Five.

Being the first film in Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it felt like there was a lot riding on Ant-Man: Quantumania going in. 
While there were some jems in Phase Four, Spider-Man: Far From Home in particular, the majority of that phase felt aimless and misguided, with way too much of a focus on humor.
Quantumania could have served as a new beginning for the MCU but, unfortunately, it is just more of the same, sometimes in the worst of ways.
Directed by Peyton Reed, the film follows Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) who, after playing a key role in reversing the snap in Endgame, is living a happy and successful life with his girlfriend Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton). 
However, after Cassie somehow creates a portal to the Quantum Realm, the three of them, along with Hope’s parents Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pteiffer), are sucked inside.
Now in the Quantum Realm, the five have to find a way to escape, while being pursued by the MCU’s next big bad Kang the Conqueror, who Janet has a history with, which she constantly refuses to explain, creating a large amount of frustration for the audience.

Ant-Man must escape the Quantum Realm in this latest film.

Although Quantumania is one of the worst reviewed MCU movies, one thing it has been constantly praised for is Jonathan Majors’ performance as Kang and for good reason.
Majors is excellent as the Conqueror and the film does a fantastic job of building him up to be a threat… which is admittedly diluted by the end, due to the fact that he struggles to defeat Ant-Man.
It’s like if Thanos was defeated by Spider-Man in his first movie appearance.
He would just not be as threatening. 
Despite this, I am still interested in the character and what he will bring to the MCU going forward. 

Jonathan Majors is amazing as Kang.

Along with Kang, one thing that I heard a lot about before watching Quantumania was the humor, although for the opposite reason.
So many people were saying that the jokes were terrible and robbed many scenes of all tension.
Honestly though, for the first half hour to forty-five minutes, I was not having this issue.
Sure, there were a lot of jokes and not all of them were funny but I never found the humor to be insufferable. 
Then MODOK (Corey Stoll) showed up and I understood what everyone was talking about.
I do not say this lightly but MODOK is straight up one of the worst characters in all of the MCU.
Not only does the CGI for him look atrocious but he is also the subject of some of the most unfunny “jokes” I have seen in a long time.
I was literally face palming when awful MODOK “humor” kept interrupting the third act battle. 

MODOK should have been removed from the movie. Not only does he look terrible but the writing and attempts and comedy surrounding him all fail spectacularly.

Speaking of that third act battle, there are so many dumb tropes, like characters constantly removing their helmets, villains not killing the heroes when they have them dead to rights, and the ending seemingly concluding on an impactful note only to retcon it at the last moment.
The editing is also so poor by the end that it makes a lot of the action hard to follow.
As well as this, the final battle sees no resolution to any of the characters’ arcs for the simple reason that no character has an arc in this movie.
Well, except for MODOK but his is so abrupt and terrible that I once again had to facepalm in the theater.
As for Scott Lang, the film ends with him being exactly the same person he was in the beginning.
Also, despite the movie being named Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, it felt like Hope was barely in this. 
Hank Pym is just there as well and, while I did find Janet’s backstory with Kang to be interesting, it does not go anywhere by the end.
Cassie also represents a problem with the MCU lately and that is just how easy it is to invent futuristic tech.
I mean, in the first Iron Man, Tony Stark had to build his suit under intense pressure while being held captive by terrorists.
Now in Quantumania, we have a teenager just building a portal to the Quantum Realm in a basement, with their skills to do so not being established beforehand.

Cassie is suddenly a genius inventor in this film when I don’t recall her being established as one in the previous Ant-Man movies.

So, as you can see by my descriptions, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a mess overall and a rather grim start to Phase Five.
While it does have some good qualities, most notably Jonathan Majors as Kang, the rest of the characters have no arcs, there is a lot of bad humor, and MODOK is the most insufferable comic relief character I have seen in a while.
I do have hope for Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume Three but, beyond that, I would say that the MCU is in trouble if it does not get its act together soon.

Ant-Man and the Wasp stings with its humor (in a good way).

3 and a half stars.png
Another day, another Marvel movie.
In all seriousness I am curious about how long Marvel can keep their cinematic universe going but based off Ant-Man and the Wasp it will probably be a while because this is another good addition to the MCU.
Directed by Peyton Reed, the film picks up sometime after Captain America where Scott Lang’s Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest for his actions at the airport in Germany.
This is until he gets drawn back into the chaos by Hope van Dyne’s the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) and her father Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) on their mission to save Hope’s mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the quantum realm.
By far Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s biggest strengths are its comedy and action.
This movie can be incredibly funny at times with one scene where Janet communicates through Scott making me have to hold my sides with laughter.
A lot of the humor also comes from Michael Pena’s character, Luis, who is one of the highlights of the film.

Michael Pena
Michael Pena’s Luis is one of the best characters in the film with his great comedic timing. 

As for the action it is very inventive with how Scott and Hope utilize their suits’ powers, which adds to the comedy as well.
I also liked a lot of these characters and even some of the new ones they introduced like FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park).
Along with the comedy the movie can also be impactful at times especially with the mid-credits scene, which I advise you stay and watch because I have not doubt it will be incredibly important for future MCU films.
However, while this film is funny and impactful it is far from perfect.
The film’s villain Ghost (Hannah John-Carmen) and the character of Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) both felt very weak and I found it difficult to like them.
I get what the film was going for with these two but it was just not set up or explained very well.

The film tries to make Ghost and Foster sympathetic to the audience but there is very little setup and not a big payoff to who they are so it feels slightly contrived. 

Then there is the new character Sonny Birch (Walton Goggins) who was more a nuisance than an actual threat and had no reason to be in the story.
The way these three characters were used and portrayed really brought down the story for me because of how prominent they are in it.
Thankfully, the humor, action and likeable characters do bring the film up from these problems.
Overall Ant-Man and the Wasp is a good film with its likeable characters and great humor and action, even if it does falter majorly with a few of its characters.