REVIEW: While an entertaining watch, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” doesn’t satisfy an average viewer for very long

I remember years ago when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a new and unique concept. Every movie felt like the next step in a larger story that I simply couldn’t get enough of. In recent years, though, many of the stories and characters that I once loved have turned stale at best and awful at worst — so much so that I decided to take a break from the MCU entirely. 

But I eventually came back to the MCU to see the highly anticipated “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” What did I think? I thought it was the very essence of a mixed bag. On one hand, there were many different aspects of the movie that were rather good. Jonathan Majors absolutely kills it as Kang the Conqueror. You can feel the quiet fury in his voice and behind his eyes whenever he’s on screen. He is so calm that it makes the few times he does lose his cool actually scary to watch. 

Many of the other actors also do a good job: Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man is as funny as ever. It’s also interesting to see how the character has changed since the events of “Endgame.” A big standout has to be Kathryn Newton, the new actress for Ant-Man’s daughter. She plays the role well, but for every well-written and well-acted character, there was always a performance that made me roll my eyes. 

Bill Murray gives an absolutely pointless performance as Lord Krylar. The character exists in the story simply to add mystery to one of our main characters, Janet Van Dyne. The truth is, Lord Krylar could have been played by any decent actor. I feel like Murray added nothing to the role and his inclusion was more distracting than anything else. 

Something similar can be said for Gregg Turkington, who plays the side villain known as MODOK, which stands Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing. Turkington tries his best to come across as intimidating, but the effect they use to bring the character to life is so bad that it’s hard for even the characters in the movie to take him seriously. The character essentially turns into a distracting joke that becomes harder and harder to laugh at. The problem is the effect they use is jarring and really hard to look at, and that can be said for much of the CGI in this film.

There are many points where the CGI is very good and the film uses it to great effect. One impressive CGI scene has hundreds of ant men on screen at the same time, and the effect works remarkably well. There are also many shots of massive science fiction cityscapes that work well and really help show how big the story really is. The CGI used on Kang the Conqueror is also used to great effect, and allowsMajors to do his thing while also giving a comic accurate portrayal of the villian. However, there are equal amounts of time where the CGI looks really fake and it distracts from the story. One of those times is the aforementioned MODOK character. MODOK is literally a giant face on a CGI body reminiscent of Mr. Electric from “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl,” and the entire theater burst out laughing the moment he appeared on screen. 

There are many more moments like this — when CGI alien characters look too silly to be in a major motion picture. It quickly becomes confusing on why some citizens of the Quantum Realm look like normal humans and some are CGI monsters. But that is never explained, as the film mainly focuses on its paper-thin plot. The plot itself serves this story fine, but it often makes the movie feel very one note. Almost like this film is more focused on being a prelude to a much bigger story instead of creating a compelling narrative of its own. Sure, it kept me entertained for the two-hour run time, and maybe that’s all a movie needs to do. But will I remember it for as long as other Marvel movies? No. I can’t say that I will.

In conclusion, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is a lot like a fireworks show. It’s flashy and it keeps you entertained for its duration, but it’s over just as fast as it starts and doesn’t leave you feeling much afterwards. If you are still hooked on the Marvel bandwagon, then I would definitely recommend it. And if you like high-concept science fiction films, you should give it a go. But I don’t think there is enough here to satisfy the average movie goer for very long. I am giving “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”, three out of five goats.