Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumaina is a mediocre disappointment


Bryan Zuniga

Poster for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania at AMC

Bryan Zuniga, Writer

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was released on February 17 and is the third movie in the Ant-Man series of films. It is directed by Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Jonathan Majors, and more. It was highly anticipated due to it introducing a new villain, Kang the Conqueror, into the Marvel Universe that seems to play a big role in their following films. While the film has a few great performances and moments, it suffers from poor writing, inconsistent visual effects, confusing editing, and unimpressive pacing. 


Before I get into the negative aspects of the film, let me talk about the parts I liked. Having the Quantum Realm, an entire universe that is hidden due to being incredibly small, as the setting is interesting. The acting was fairly well done. The actor who stood out to me the most was Johnathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror. He did a great job of being a menacing villain who was desperate to achieve his goals. Paul Rudd does a great job as Ant-Man. Michelle Pfeiffer also does well as Janet Van Dyne, a character who knows about Kang and fears him greatly. Other than those three, the others are acceptable. There is no horrible acting in the film. I like the back story they gave to the secondary antagonist MODOK. Those are the few parts I felt really stood out in the film. The rest is adequate or just not well done.


The writing is not great. The main plot of the story is that Ant-Man and his family get stuck in the Quantum Realm and they must get out while avoiding capture by Kang the Conqueror and preventing him from escaping the Quantum Realm. The Quantum Realm setting is very interesting and could be used in very creative ways. Unfortunately, it isn’t used for much. The film has the classic, quippy Marvel humor, but it doesn’t fit with the presentation of the movie. It tries to make the main villain Kang as threatening as possible, but the jokes sometimes ruin that feeling of menace that Johnathan Majors brings to the character. Some plot points also don’t make much sense and the entire side storyline surrounding MODOK is very unsatisfactory and downright bad with him feeling more like a joke rather than an actual threatening villain. The ending of the film was also not well done. The film resolves in a way that makes it seem as if this film was for nothing. Nothing advanced and nothing changed since the beginning of the film. The ending is also invalidated by the two post credits scenes. The entire movie felt as if it had no stakes. It felt as if the movie was meaningless and if it wasn’t made, nothing would change in the overall Marvel storyline. 


The visual effects were also very inconsistent. At times, the backgrounds can be beautiful and very well done while at other times it can lack detail. During some scenes, Ant-Man shrinks or grows in size. Some of these scenes look great; however, others are less visually stunning. The worst visual effect in the film is MODOK. MODOK was always going to be a bit difficult to do right visually but he looks awful in the film. The way they accomplished MODOK’s signature large head was by taking the face of actor Corey Stoll and widening it to match the size of MODOK’s head in his armor. This does not look good. With no editing, added visual effects, or even makeup of some sort being added, it just looks like a large and goofy-looking head. It makes it extremely difficult to take him seriously as a villain in any way shape or form. 


The film also has bad and confusing pacing and editing. The pacing can go from being painfully slow to rocketing past multiple plot points. At times, nothing worth noting happens for 10 minutes, but the next 10 minutes will fly past with multiple plot developments happening at once. The ending also has this odd pacing with it at times feeling as if nothing is happening in the final fight to it all of a sudden ending before it can really feel like it’s starting. The editing is also weird and off-putting at times. One scene that stood out to me is when an area of the Quantum Realm was shown off for the first time. It shows a beautiful and well done landscape that shows off how different the Quantum Realm is from Earth. However, this scene is cut short by the film cutting to the faces of some of the actors just squinting and looking into the distance for no reason. They are not reacting to anything in the distance and add nothing to the scene. This ruins the feeling of mystery that was being set up. This type of questionable editing is found throughout the film, especially in fight scenes which sometimes makes it difficult to understand what is happening.


Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a disappointing film that only seems to show off how good the following films in the Marvel story will be. It isn’t a horrible movie but I found it to be boring, mediocre, and disappointing. The only thing I found much worth in this movie is the introduction of Johnathan Majors as Kang. I hope the following Marvel movies are not as mediocre as this one.