I hate to admit it, but for the first time ever, I sat in a Marvel movie and thought, “This is really stupid.”
It pains me to say that, especially in regards to an Ant-Man movie featuring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Michael Douglas–all of whom are very good actors.
Ant-Man began as an action comedy heist movie. He and his ants were absolutely the weirdest thing in an otherwise fairly grounded reality. When he appeared in other Marvel films, he was the fish out of water, the comedic relief, the guy who should never quite fit in with the other Avengers.
Quantumania changed all that. If you’ve seen the trailers, you know that Scott, Hope, Janet, Hank, and Cassie travel to the Quantum Realm, a subatomic universe free of the space-time continuum. Here everything is bonkers, nothing is explained, and CGI reigns supreme. I could never get a foot hold with Quantumania–it all looked so fake. None of the lifeforms made a lick of sense. There’s people. There’s “aliens.” There’s bugs. There’s living buildings. There are robots. How? How? How? Are we supposed to simply say “okay” to all of it? Even everyman Paul Rudd couldn’t make it work. His “weird” Ant-Man powers were tame compared to the rest of what occurred in the film.
The fact is they tried to usher in their new all encompassing “bad guy” in the wrong movie. Ant-Man is not the film for Kang the Conqueror to formally arrive. While Jonathan Majors crushed it (as he always does), his Kang is an extremely serious character who in no way, shape, or form worked on screen with Ant-Man. Kang said as much at one point in the film. And when they tried old-school Ant-Man humor, it fell totally flat. The tone of the film was all over the place.
Honestly, judging from the post-credits (both of them), you could skip Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and be just fine. It struck me as though it is not considered required viewing by Marvel itself.
Again, this was the first MCU film that really made me say, “Should I be spending so much on these tickets? Are these movies really worth it? Could I wait the 30 or 90 days for it to arrive at DisneyPlus?”
Though I believe Jonathan Majors to be an incredible actor, and though I believe Michelle Pfeiffer to be one of the best ever, the film’s bad writing, uneven story, disconnected setting, erratic tone, and overbearing CGI made Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania a disappointment. Especially because they clearly shoehorned a promising villain into the wrong film.