Quantumania Underwhelms

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” marks the 31st movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and it certainly feels like it. The film, which debuted on Feb. 17, is the third in the “Antman” trilogy and has received mediocre scores from critics. 

The main flaws of this movie stem from Marvel’s constant desire to build up elements that will affect the rest of the MCU rather than focusing on quality projects. Marvel has become so concerned with setting up and adding to their cinematic universe that they no longer create stand alone films, simply transitions to a subsequent movie crossover.

“Quantumania” is a movie that sacrifices pacing, theme, and all around quality in order to world-build for the MCU. It is a two hours and five minutes long advertisement for Marvel’s next villain and inevitable multi-property crossover with the new wacky setting of the Quantum Realm. Over a half an hour of the movie is characters wandering from irrelevant locations and having interactions with Quantum Realm residents that do nothing for the plot. 

It’s clear Marvel is more interested in getting the audience invested in the Quantum Realm than creating an actual movie.

The movie subtly introduces its theme by having the main character read it from his autobiography in the opening narration. The narration ends with our hero saying, “Look out for the little guy,” a sentiment that is quoted repeatedly in the film. 

The issue with this theme is that the movie rarely explores it.

The film’s villain is a multiverse genocide-committing terrorist named Kang the Conqueror who destroys entire timelines. He is set up to be the biggest “bad” of them all, who has destroyed countless people by eliminating their entire universes. Marvel is trying to have their cake and eat it too by showing off the biggest villain they’ve ever had while introducing this “stand alone” movie as one focused on sticking up for those who can’t stick up for themselves.

It’s clear Marvel is more interested in getting the audience invested in the Quantum Realm than creating an actual movie.

— Alec Reath

With all that being said, the best part of the film was Jonathan Majors’s performance as Kang. Majors’s talent can be felt through the screen as if he stepped out of a much better project and tragically landed in this overblown ordeal. 

The movie’s visuals echo the awfulness of the plot. The Quantum Realm looks like someone put James Cameron’s “Avatar” and George Lucas’s “Star Wars into an AI generator and picked the first option that came up. There is no excuse with all the money Disney has at its disposal for the Quantum Realm to look as fake and soulless as it does. 

The pitfall of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is that it comes down to greed. Marvel is desperate to set up the next “Infinity Wars”, and the company is turning out subpar products to get there. Shoving as much clunky dialog, confusing editing, mischaracterization, ugly special effects, and slow pacing into a film can only get you so far. Marvel is focusing on quantity and not quality in order to increase profit, and it is painfully felt in this film.