The Big Picture – ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’

Bad writing can completely dismantle a movie


Graphic created in Canva by Dominique Williams and Gavin S. Hudson. Movie posters courtesy of Disney.

Gavin Hudson

I’m not mad, I’m disappointed. 

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the 31st Marvel movie in the MCU and features the next Avengers adversary: Kang, the Conqueror. Scott Lang (Ant-Man) and Hope van Dyne (The Wasp) accidentally travel to the Quantum Realm and face the time-traveling terror.  

That’s the entire plot.

Video Credit: Disney

The best way to make audiences fear a villain is to establish consequences for the main characters. The bad guy is always supposed to lose – something Avengers: Infinity War subverted to its advantage. But if Marvel is going to build up a villain for future appearances, they have to begin by making the audience respect the character. 

The first time we saw Thanos fight in “Infinity War,” he beats the Hulk and Thor and kills Loki, immediately setting the tone for the character going forward. The end of Kang’s arc in this movie left me with very little interest in seeing his development going forward.

With the expectation of the MCU’s next Thanos-esque character placed entirely on Quantumania, this movie was doomed as soon as the script was finished. Bad writing can completely derail any film. Here, it destroys any hope I had for Kang in the future.

Kang (Johnathan Majors) sits in the vessel that allows him to travel through the multiverse. When his ship was damaged, he was trapped in the Quantum Realm. (Photo Credit: Disney via IMDB)

I’ll give the flowers where they are due. M.O.D.O.K. and Kang, two iconic Marvel villains, were given true-to-comic designs and actors who were obviously invested in the characters.

Jonathan Majors is not only intimidating, but plays Kang with great conviction. Despite Majors’ best efforts, the writing holds the character back. M.O.D.O.K. (Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing) is given an incredibly accurate-to-the-source design that captures the complete goofiness of the character. Corey Stoll wouldn’t have been my first choice for M.O.D.O.K. — an annoying, cold-blooded killing machine — but he does fine regardless.. 

There are a few jokes that worked pretty well, but it feels few and far between. Most of the humor came in the form of pointless one-liners that felt stupid and built up to nothing. Also, way too many Baskin-Robbins product placements.

Scott Lang showing up in a Baskin-Robbins outfit was admittedly funny, but I’m sure many would agree that Marvel films shouldn’t be the premier location for ice cream advertising.

Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and his daughter Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) first arrive in the Quantum Realm and encounter its inhabitants. Separated from the Wasp and her parents, Scott and Cassie face these unknowns alone. (Photo Credit: Disney via IMDB)

The soundtrack was extremely bland; the cinematography was uninspired and the CGI left more to be desired. Quantumania feels like it’s another Marvel movie that holds little weight in the grand story in the current phase of the MCU — the exact opposite of what it should have been. 

Bill Murray’s cameo was so predictable that I was able to tell my friend his arc to a tee before he even showed up. Visually, that scene offers more than the rest of the film with interesting character design littered throughout the bar, yet it did absolutely nothing with it. 

I greatly look forward to the third Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool films, but until their releases, Marvel isn’t offering anything that interests me. “The Marvels” looks to be more of the same, “Thunderbolts” feels like a disjointed mess and the next Captain America movie is overly ambitious.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania gets a very mid 5/10.