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.
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.
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.
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.
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.