***Spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Below***
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has been out for over a week, and by now, you’ve probably seen that it’s got a score of 48% on Rotten Tomatoes from the critical stance of more than 360 reviews. This would make it the second-worst movie in the MCU, just ahead of Eternals, with a downward trend that could drop it even lower. Is the movie that bad, though? Or is it getting an unfair shake?
Well, clearly the fans do not agree with the critics. As the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is 83% from over 5000 verified ratings. “A colorful, creative thrill ride that will leave you begging for more footage of Kang,” is just one comment from a viewer of the movie.
This just goes to show that you should not focus solely on the view of the critics as you can approach the movie with a pre-determined outcome. If you go in there with an open mind you’ll be able to make your own judgment on the movie, but I have a few reasons of my own that should help guide you.
Since the announcement of Quantumania, Kang was revealed to be joining the cast, and there was a lot of hype around him hitting the big screen. Having first made his MCU debut as a variant named He Who Remains in the Disney Plus series Loki, Marvel fans have been salivating at the idea of Kang officially joining the cinematic universe in his true form.
During scenes in Loki, He Who Remains declared that killing him would release an infinite amount of Kang variants — which they did — opening up the multiverse to this new, darker variant in Kang the Conqueror.
The marketing in general for Kang was intended to show that he was cerebral and methodical, as well as a much more sinister and world-conquering variant than we had already seen in Loki, making him much more comic book accurate.
Throughout the comic books, Kang became obsessed with wanting to travel through time after picking up futuristic tech from Doctor Doom and using his newfound hobby to conquer Earth and destroy planets and universes.
Even though he was a villain, Jonathan Majors was able to play the cool, calm, and collected role effectively throughout the movie, especially with scenes that included Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, and Michelle Pfeiffer. For example, his scene with Ant-Man when he asks whether he had killed him before was incredibly chilling and gave the movie a somewhat unnerving feel.
I believe that Quantumania was needed in the grand scheme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and not just a filler movie, as it develops important relationships while also serving to establish the coming threat to the entire MCU.
Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily are a fantastic hero duo as Ant-Man and the Wasp, so to allow them to progress their story even more in a third movie was very much deserved. One standout scene within the movie that shows them as a fantastic duo was when Lily rescued Rudd from the abyss, allowing him to save his daughter and then go on to defeat Kang.
This film was needed so that people were able to get an understanding of who Kang the Conqueror is, because if you are not a fan of comic books and only watch movies and TV shows you may have never heard of him. Kang — originally known as Nathaniel Richards — is up there with Thanos as one of the biggest threats to the existence of humankind and the Avengers.
A being who has many alternate versions of himself such as Pharoah Rama-Tut, Victor Timely, Immortus, and Iron Lad, he has fought the Avengers and Fantastic Four on many an occasion. Due to his multiple variants and the ability to travel through time to different universes, the Avengers have fallen at the hands of Kang in the past, present, and future.
Furthermore, for anyone who does not have access to Disney Plus, specifically the Loki series, and has only ever watched the movies, Kang is an all-new character to them. This links directly into one of the post-credit scenes, where the visual cuts to Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Owen Wilson’s Mobius watching another variant of Kang,
A notable variant from the comic books was Victor Timely, leading a presentation in the old west to a crowd of people including Loki whose face lights up with fear when setting eyes on Timely. This a reminder that the second series of Loki is on its way, and that other matters are ongoing alongside the Ant-Man crew’s journey into the Quantum Realm.
With Marvel, you always know that something tantalizing is waiting for you at the end of each movie, and with this movie being the start of phase 5, both post-credit scenes link to future movies and TV shows. The other post-credit scene shows another three characters played by Majors, known as the Council of Kangs.
Throughout the movie, the group of variants were teased repeatedly, with Kang himself stating that the council banished him due to his attempt to stop their multiversal plans.
After being mentioned earlier in the film, the post-credit scene centers around Immortus Kang, Pharaoh Rama-Tut, and an unspecified Kang variant. This introduction is a dire foreshadowing of what is to come in the future of the MCU.
Not only did we get to see the arrival of Kang on the big screen, but this movie also allowed for the introduction of another famous supervillain from the comics, M.O.D.O.K.
M.OD.O.K, otherwise known as Mental Organism Designed Only For Killing, was a gruesome and grotesque lab-made experiment gone wrong. With his one aim, as one might anticipate; killing. To the surprise of our hero group, M.O.D.O.K ended up being Darren Cross, aka Yellowjacket — the villain from the original Ant-Man movie.
As a joke character on the whole for comic book fans, M.O.D.O.K was the perfect character to appear in what is regarded as the MCU’s ‘funny’ franchise. A freaky, robotic, humanoid head floating around with tiny legs and arms shooting rockets and lasers, what’s not to love? Mixing in the aesthetic of M.O.D.O.K and his comedic lines while in scenes with Ant-Man is definitely a reason to watch
One character in this movie who was able to shine more than any other was Janet Van Dyne, portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer. Having spent a long part of her life stuck in the Quantum Realm, Janet had not revealed everything about the other world below. So, when she found out that Cassie and Hank had been messing about sending a signal down to the Quantum Realm, she was horrified as she knew of the terrors already there.
Her links to the Quantum Realm allowed her to take center stage throughout Quantumania, and she was able to show she was a force to be reckoned with, especially when she ripped the limb off another being. However, it was her history with Kang and knowing what he had done in his past which gave Janet the edge over everyone else.
Having been clowned on by critics and reviewers and described as disappointing, unsatisfying, unnecessary, and formulaic, you would think that going into the cinema you would be on track to see a poorly made flop. But quite the opposite; in my opinion, this movie was indeed a fantastic movie.
Following on from phase four films such as Spiderman: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is no easy feat, but it held its own. With an infinite number of characters to now choose from due to the Multiverse and Quantum Realm, there are mouthwatering opportunities for Marvel to explore.
The completion to the Ant-Man trilogy could very easily have been overcrowded and introduced too many new characters or divulged into too many storylines, but it didn’t do so. With a fight scene only rivaled by Avengers: Endgame, Quantumania shone as a standalone movie; bolstered by a compelling cast, thrilling fight scenes and comedic aspects. It serves as a terrific introduction to Marvel’s Phase Five.
Like every movie made, there are always questions that people want answered and this film is no different, but considering the minds behind the MCU, those questions will ultimately get answered. Whether that will be in the next movie or in five movies time, the universe is always expanding and pleasing the masses.
All in all, I believe that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a fantastic watch and is not deserving of the many negative reviews. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is mine.