Marvel’s rapid success over the past decade now looks to be the cause of its burn-out as Ant-Man 3 fails to awe and surprise after the release of the film’s first official trailer. Despite having all the markers of a blockbuster superhero movie, in the end, it resorts to sticking to a generic streamlined plot that has proved to be successful for Marvel and all its major projects in the past.
Quantumania is now pulling an extremely ambivalent response from audiences and early critics who had desperately hoped that the Phase 5 kickoff film would redeem Marvel’s begrudgingly slow and drawn-out Phase 4 era.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Releases First Trailer
With Kevin Feige beginning his next saga of Marvel’s Machiavellian villain and his assured path of ravages and destruction across the multiverse, the MCU planning committee would have to top the mass hysteria caused in the build-up to the Infinity Saga. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania steps up to be the ice-breaker with its star-studded cast, experienced in-universe players navigating a new realm, encountering heroic battles along the way, and finally setting up the entry of the next big bad posing an endgame-level threat to the Avengers.
Ant-Man 3 heavily dwells on the tried-and-tested theme of a reunited family and reconciliation in the face of a new threat. However, the MCU movie stands out because of its adventure into the quantum realm and the introduction of a parallel universe existing right below Marvel’s own. Trapped amid alien creatures and having to fight their way out of the ominous realm, Ant-Man & Co. quickly realize the only way out is through. And who better than an all-mysterious Kang stepping in to offer his help, with terms and conditions applied?
With Kang’s antagonist self about to be introduced into the universe, Ant-Man 3 launches Phase 5 which then consequently kicks off the Multiverse Saga. But given the early peek into what the film promises to offer, the critics are not too happy, and seemingly for good reason.
Ant-Man 3 Causes Early Disappointment For Marvel Fans
Since its 2008 origin, the MCU has been a source of constant entertainment with its larger-than-life concepts and incredible comic book-to-movie adaptations. However, over the years, the studio managed to raise audience expectations to an unrealistic threshold that barred the franchise from delivering below-the-par performances. Phase 1-3 was the golden era in that account with its peak filmography, singularly driven plots, and rewatchable narratives.
But the Phase 5 kickstarter disappoints because of its lack of originality. Despite the grandeur of multiversal travel painted in all shades of a comic book superhero action movie, Ant-Man 3 bites the hand that feeds it by going overboard with borrowed elements — the typically masked aliens, a dusty and ominous universe, heroes facing a crisis of morality, a frightening look-alike of Stan Lee delivering a one-liner, and lots of action thrown in the midst. In the words of Jeff Sneider:
“The problem with this movie, as far as I can tell from the trailer, is that it has forsaken the modest charms of Ant-Man and embraced its role as another generic Marvel movie… Fans used to wait months between Marvel offerings, and the anticipation was through the roof. But now, the company just churns these projects out like fast food made on an assembly line.”
The third act does introduce the feared variant the audience has been waiting for ever since his soft launch in the season finale of Loki, i.e. Kang the Conqueror, played by Jonathan Majors. Perhaps Kang is the only substantial aspect around which the film’s narrative has been built and around whom it tries to revolve.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania premieres on 17 February 2023.
Source: Above the Line