- Run Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
- Studio: Marvel Studios
- Director: Peyton Reed
- Where to Watch: In Theaters
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is taking a break from being an Avenger. He did help save the world, after all, so he deserves his book tours and struts around town. His daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) fears that he has become disconnected from the reason why he became a hero. After being arrested and scolded, Cassie reveals that she has been experimenting with researching the Quantum Realm. She broadcasts a signal into the molecular universe but quickly shuts it off at the behest of Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfieffer) but it is too late. Someone down there has heard them and wants to speak with them and he will not take no for an answer.
Disney and Marvel recently announced that they will be slowing down the content released on Disney+ as they move into Phase 5. Phase 4 was largely considered a dud, with only a few bright spots when compared to previous arcs. Audiences (myself included) felt that the only way to keep up was to watch EVERYTHING that hit Disney+ because that’s what we had been conditioned to do. But with mixed reactions to most of the Disney+ shows and tie-ins not paying off as the studios had probably hoped, it makes sense to hear these reports. Quantity over quality is not what the MCU needs at this point. Slow it down, and really take your time because the fan base has been around for this long. It’s a one-way street for most fans and if they get driven out because of poorly made and executed movies, they might not come back. Quantumania is a nice start but suffers just a little bit from the Phase 4 woes.
Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfieffer, and Michael Douglas all return to their previous roles in the third Ant-Man adventure. Paul Rudd is amazing as usual, just having a blast and making everybody else better just because he’s around. His Ant-Man is now part of a short list of characters with their own trilogies. He’s able to dial up the heroics in just the right way without getting too cheesy with it, which is exactly what this movie needs. Evangeline Lilly has made the Hope van Dyne character her own, making a nice complimentary performance to Rudd’s Scott Lang. Pfieffer and Douglas are definitely background characters at this point and I wish they would just retire from the MCU. Putting them in action scenes looks weird but writing MacGuffins so they don’t have to physically fight is a cheap way out. Just let ’em go already. The performances were fine enough, but it’s clear from the cheesy “interviews” that play before the movie that they’re just chasing a paycheck.
Newcomer Kathryn Newton plays the aged-up version of Cassie Lang. While her character is not new, she’s new to the MCU and has a few decent credits on her resume. Lady Bird, 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Detective Pikachu. She was very enjoyable as Cassie Lang and would make a great replacement for when Rudd’s run as Ant-Man is over. She’s got the skills to lead a movie, instead of just being a side character. But the real star of the show is Johnathon Majors. He has been taking over Hollywood for the past few years and deserves it. He’s got the “it” factor and will be a big name for years to come. His portrayal as Kang was pretty good, with no real gripes. It is clear that he’s the big bad moving forward (or rather, one variant of him will be) so he’s going to be seen a lot. Inevitably, the character will be compared to Thanos, as portrayed by Josh Brolin, and I think that he’s going to make a real run at the #1 villain spot. The performance in Quantumania is a great starting point and makes a great foundation for his character’s evolution.
Now, this is the part where I say that the VFX-assisted action sucked, the music was uninspiring, and the editing was choppy as hell. There were points where I could see the layering of the characters on top of the CGI-rendered creatures like it was blown up on my Procreate drawing app. There, I said it. Moving on, the actual story of this MCU entry was pleasant enough. I saw a discord message saying that it felt a lot like a Rick and Morty episode and sure enough, Jeff Loveness has written and produced a handful of Rick and Morty episodes. It’s got that type of humor and a few wild characters that are funny to look at. I think that helps improve the “quantity over quality” thing I mentioned earlier, but only core fans will appreciate it. It’s going to be too weird for mainstream fans and the ratings are showing that. But there are also a few characters that I couldn’t even describe. I was literally forgetting them as I was watching them. Absolute nobodies that were completely left in the dust of this already minuscule realm. Get rid of them or make them worth a damn, please. Peyton Reed has been at the helm of all three Ant-Man movies and has done some pretty creative things with his side characters. I expected more.
That essentially sums up Quantumania – I expected more and I think most audiences would agree. It’s been a long stumbling road since the conclusion of the Infinity Saga. I’m ready for them to slow back down and get it sorted out. It’s been a long time since I’ve looked forward to an MCU thing and I think that it’ll be a while until we get back to that. The third mainline Ant-Man movie is a middle-of-the-road movie with some fun moments and a promising villain origin story. While not the blockbuster Marvel and Disney might have been hoping for, it is a wobbly first step on the road to recovery for the MCU. Quality over quantity always.