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Quantumania Doesn’t Deserve the Hate
March 2, 2023
If you listen to the buzz and negative reviews about Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the lowest-rated Marvel movie in recent history, you might conclude it isn’t worth your time or money.
Released on Feb. 17, the movie earned a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes (almost as bad as the “Eternals” record-low score of 47%), and dropped nearly 70% at the box office in its second weekend. Still, I’m hear to tell you that it’s not as bad as the haters say it is, despite its many flaws.
Paul Rudd reprises his role as former-inmate-turned-hero Scott Lang in the third film of the Ant-Man trilogy. The movie opens with Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfiffer) living in the Quantum Realm, essentially a miniature universe inside of the regular universe. A strange pod crashes revealing a young man, who Janet decides to help.
Cutting to the present day, we see a recap of everything Scott has been doing since the events of Avengers: Endgame, such as becoming employee of the month and writing his own book. While at a family dinner, genius Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Scott’s love interest, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) reveal they have been answering the questions of Cassie (Kathryn Newton), Scott’s daughter, about the Quantum Realm. Cassie tells Scott she has been building a communication device for the Quantum Realm, which immediately gets a concerned reaction from Janet, who better than anyone, knows the dangers of that shadowy place.
Not a surprise considering the title of the movie, after a malfunction with the device, Scott, Cassie, Hank, Janet, and Hope all get transported into the Quatum Realm. The group gets separated and a very urgent Janet demands they find the others immediately because there is a serious threat lurking there.
So what is this major threat? What will become of Scott and the others?
One of the biggest things I enjoyed about this film is the cinematography. The Quantum Realm is very different from the regular world with strange plants, animals, and beings which make this realm extremely unique. The visuals are very ethereal in the sense that it feels like you are actually seeing footage of another place. Everything is stunning to look at from the sky, to the buildings, to the mesmerizing creatures.
Another aspect of the movie I loved is Johnathan Major’s portrayal of Kang the Conqueror, who will be familiar to lovers of Marvel comics or Disney’s Loki series in which he makes an appearance. Kang is very intimidating and powerful which makes for a rather complex character to try to bring to life. Majors does this beautifully, nailing the comic character’s mannerisms and behaviors, and adding on to the fearful aspect that an audience should feel when seeing Kang on screen. The film only shows a glimpse of Kang’s true powers and the confirmation of seeing him in future MCU projects has me thirsting for more already.
Something I was not a fan of was the performance of Newton as Cassie, who comes across as bland and emotionless throughout the entire movie. I’m convinced that the script for Cassie was 90% composed of the word “Dad” and that was it. There are several scenes in the movie where Scott’s life is put on the line, only for Cassie to yell a very exasperated “Dad!” as if her father were not on the literal brink of no return. It’s a half and half mix of bad writing and bad acting, but either way, disappoints.
All things considered, this is a solid movie which does not nearly deserve all of the hate its receiving from both critics and audiences. People expect too much of the MCU since the release of Avengers: Endgame, which is unfair since not every Marvel movie can live up to this unrealistic standard. As a trilogy movie, it works well with the other two Ant-Man films, but as a stand-alone film it suffers greatsly since some prior Marvel knowledge is essential to understand it.
While I give this film a 7 /10, mostly for the sometimes lacking acting and writing, it is still something I would watch again if I’m looking for some fun without having to think too hard or expect too much.