Sunday, April 21, 2024
FIlm

Jonathan Majors: The Undoubted Star of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

Where to find: In Theaters 

Rating: PG-13

Time: 124 minutes

Release: February 17th

Synopsis: Scott Lang and his family find themselves in the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought was possible. Jonathan Majors joins the franchise as the powerful and new baddie, Kang the Conqueror.

Starring: Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Hope Van Dyne/the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton).

What is the Film About? 

There has been much anticipation for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, especially with the announcement from Marvel that Jonathan Majors would play Kang the Conqueror, the newest threat to the Avengers. This 3rd installment of the Ant-Man series presents an interesting storyline while setting up a great introduction to the film’s protagonist (whether this is evident to the viewers or not is another question…keep reading for my full opinion of the flick). This film goes into great detail about Scott Lang and his family’s life after saving the world from Thanos and reversing the blip felt around the world. It does make sense where Lang’s head would be, which is borderline basking in the celebrity of being an Avenger. This hightened level of confidence does set him up to emerge anew once the final battle takes place. This “epic” battle with Kang the Conqueror is the height of the film and is honestly what we all came to see. Will Ant-Man emerge victorious or will we see the end of this [mini] hero? Given Marvel’s recent propensity to send fans on an emotional rollercoaster by taking out our beloved heroes, it could truly go either way! I’ll let you see for yourself.

Now, as promised, my opinion of this most recent Marvel release…it’s a miss! There are so many moments of potential for this to be a great film, but it just…well…missed! The storyline, outside of the much-anticipated battle, hurts the film. Also, instead of the hilarious voice-over storytelling of Luis, played by Micheal Pena (which we so loved), the film has voiceovers by Lang which are merely serviceable and nowhere near as funny as Luis’. And finally, I didn’t appreciate the twist at the end when…you thought I was going to ruin it for you, huh? NOPE.

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

The Characters

Many wondered why the film does not announce Michael Pena and the rest of the crew. This particular storyline would not have been a good fit for Scott Lang’s previous crew. With the introduction of multiple new characters this time around, it just would’ve been too much; especially on top of the already awkward moments of random pointless commentary.

Although this project has some great actors portraying these characters, the talented cast is only as good as the script would allow. For example, William Jackson Harper’s character (Quaz) has the potential to be important to the storyline, instead he is used as comic relief. M.O.D.O.K’s (Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing) potential suffers the worst out of all the characters as its origin is quite creatively plausible, but unfortunately also ends up just being comic relief.

Paul Rudd provides some laughs throughout the movie…then again he’s Paul Rudd. Did we expect anything else? The relationship with his daughter feels genuine, and the current state of Rudd’s Scott Lang is fitting. These circumstances allow the character some room for growth, but, Marvel unfortuntely fumbles the oportunity. Even with his performance, Ant-Man 3s tone is so off that it’s hard to overlook.

Kathryn Newton as Cassie has a lot of screen time which is good since her character is likeable. It’ll be interesting to see what role her character will play in the rumored Young Avengers.

Michelle Pfeiffer, as Janet Van Dyne, had me pondering many questions. The most pressing to me is why she hadn’t spoken of her time in the Quantum Realm. In the trailer, she clearly knows the dangers, but fails to discuss them with her family. An explanation of this does not seem convincing, especially once the viewer finds out what happened during her time in the realm. 

The obvious standout of the movie was Majors as Kang. He put on a phenomenal performance per usual, making Kang a character that fans will love to hate. Major’s tone, expressions, and body language serves to create a worthy adversary. Kang is cerebral, scholarly, poetic, manipulative, and offers something anybody would find hard to refuse…time. He will undoubtedly pose a significant threat to the Avengers with his technology and his ability to manipulate multiple time lines.

Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

The Visual Effects

Visually, the Quantum Realm does have some intriguing environments, but what wears on the novelty of the effects is that it’s been done before! At times, the scenes resemble those of Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness or previous transitions into microworlds that have occurred in prior Ant-Man films. But I guess it’s hard to continuously evolve and create unique worlds after having done it so many times. A few creatures look unique, like giant fluorescent amoebas and living buildings. It is noticeable, as expected, that Marvel did not go the cheap route on the effects. A detail even more noticable while watching the film in IMAX.

(L-R): Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Kathryn Newton as Cassandra “Cassie” Lang, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/Wasp in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

Worth Noting

Be on the lookout for plenty of easter eggs that tie into films for the upcoming Phase Four of the MCU. I won’t give any spoilers, but you’ll really have to look (or maybe even give the movie a second watch) in order to catch these. And YES, there are some post-credit scenes.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania serves less as a sequel in the Ant-Man franchise and more of an origin story for Kang the Conqueror. One must wonder if Marvel can use the talent of Majors and the many exciting stories of Kang (from the comics) to create a Phase 5. Ideally, this would propel the MCU into a stratosphere in which viewers aren’t developing comic book movie fatigue. Marvel has been known to surprise its fans…let’s see where they go with this! 

Dapper Dr Feel

Felipe Patterson aka Dapper Dr. Feel, #BlackLoveConvo & Entertainment | @fdapperdr Dapper Dr. Feel is a Entertainment journalist and member of the Critics Choice Association and African American Film Association.

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