For thirteen years and a whopping 31 installments, Marvel Studios had avoided having a single rotten movie on Rotten Tomatoes, even with the mediocre storylines of Thor: The Dark World, The Incredible Hulk, and Captain Marvel. But then Eternals became the first MCU film to garner a rotten score (47%), a score that I still disagree with to this day. Sure, Eternals wasn’t the best superhero movie ever made but it sought to tell a story that felt different and unique, and ultimately, Chloe Zhao did just that.
Now, over a year later, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the second film in this ever-growing franchise to garner a rotten score, (also 47%), a sign that must be worrying for Kevin Feige and the rest of the producers of the franchise. What is most jarring is the ultimate response from the audience who have given the film a pleasing 84% score instead. So why is there such a disconnect between casual moviegoers and critics? And is this score warranted? Well, let’s look at the film’s flaws.
Well, I’ve just come back from seeing Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and I have thoughts…oh, so many thoughts. First off, it’s almost necessary to see this movie on IMAX. Its visually stimulating CGI-fest of world-building is utterly transcendent in that format, allowing you to become immersed in every minute, incredibly fascinating detail. Plus, the sound design is incredible.
Secondly, it took Thanos ten years to become a character I was excited about. This is only Majors’ second appearance as Kang but he’s constantly stealing the show. His performance in this movie is top-tier, delivering a powerful, thoughtful, almost Vader-like presence that makes you pay attention when he’s onscreen. Unfortunately, the story ultimately nerfs him because he’s so incredibly powerful that if he was really at his top game Ant-Man and co. would be toast in minutes. I found that somewhat disappointing.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the beginning of Phase 5, is just a week away. The thought is honestly mindboggling. As someone who has still not quite moved on from the greatness of Wakanda Forever, it feels almost startling that we’re on the verge of seeing yet another chapter in this growing franchise.
What makes this film so exciting is its major implications for the franchise moving forward.
In a couple of weeks, the final movie of the MCU’s Phase 4 will be here: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. And that means it’s time to look ahead to the following slate of Marvel films coming our way.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the first film of Phase 5 and it undoubtedly looks like it will be the best Ant-Man movie of the trilogy with a thrilling and awe-inspiring first trailer. Here it is.