Is Ant Man 3 Triple the Disappointment?


Leo Field, Staff Writer

Earlier this month, Marvel Studios’ new superhero flick, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, was released in theaters across the United States.

This movie is the third installment in the Ant-Man trilogy and the 31st installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It centers around Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man (played by Paul Rudd), as he goes on a press tour for a memoir he wrote about his experiences as an Avenger. After inventions made by Cassie (Kathryn Newton), his daughter, start malfunctioning, Scott, Cassie, Scott’s girlfriend (Evangeline Lily), and her parents (played by Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer) get sucked into an alternate dimension called the Quantum Realm. There, they encounter all sorts of weird, alien-like creatures and are forced to confront a great evil that has taken over the realm: Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).

To put it bluntly, this movie is not very good. I think that this movie had the potential to be so much better than it was, but there were a few major mistakes that doomed Quantumania before it was ever released. First off, if Marvel wanted to tell a story about the Quantum Realm, then Ant-Man was simply not the right character through which to tell that story. The whole charm of the first two Ant-Man movies comes from their small-scale, heist-style format. Bringing these characters into a larger-than-life CGI landscape filled with countless CGI aliens in drab clothing ruins this. There is nothing about Quantumania that makes it an Ant-Man movie. You could place any Marvel superhero and his family in the position that Scott and his family are in in this movie and not much would change.

I’d also say almost 90% of this movie takes place in an entirely CGI setting, which I think was not the best choice. The fact that Marvel has been pumping out new project after new project, releasing eight movies and shows just last year, means that the visual effects are not going to be top-notch in every single one of those projects. In Quantumania, the toll that the use of extensive CGI has had on the final product is increasingly clear, as this movie looks poorly made and contains laughably bad visual effects. On top of this, VFX artists at Marvel are already overworked, and the making of more movies like Quantumania is doing nothing to help.

The plot of this movie was painstakingly redundant, reflecting every single MCU movie that came before it. The group of friends/family are split up, must reunite, and defeat the villain in a final battle that formulaically brings the movie full circle. The story particularly underutilized the villain, Kang, whose screen time could’ve been valuable to the movie. Also, having a movie take place in the Quantum realm opens up so many possibilities for creative world-building but instead, Quantumania opts for a dimly-lit field of rocky ground domed by a dull yellow-orange sky. Potentially interesting alien bars are instead boring cheap replicas of the cantinas in Star Wars. Any ounce of creativity or interesting filmmaking is lost in a sea of CGI and bad storytelling.

When it comes to the acting, the only real highlight is Jonathan Majors as Kang. Majors easily steals the show and gives a performance that is menacing, captivating, and overall makes me really excited for the future of his character. As for everyone else, it just seems like they’re phoning it in. Paul Rudd is charming, as per usual, but the otherworldly setting of the film takes away a lot of his usual, simplistic appeal. Kathryn Newton does well with what she is given but nothing too special or memorable. And finally, Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer make it all too clear that they could care less about this franchise and that they are only here for the paycheck. I mean, Douglas even admitted in an interview that he would only come back for a fourth Ant-Man movie “as long as I can die.” Bill Murray has a small cameo in Quantumania where he, too, gives an uninteresting performance that shows he’s only there for the money.

At the end of the day, I feel like I’m being too hard on this movie. Quantumania, while it doesn’t add anything new or exciting to the superhero genre, still does the bare minimum that any movie should: entertain. And if that’s all you’re looking for, then Quantumania is for you. So, can you still enjoy yourself while watching this movie? Absolutely. Did I? I guess. But is Quantumania a well-made movie and an indicator that the future of Marvel is in good hands? Absolutely not.