Critics say Jonathan Majors is great in Ant-Man 3; too bad the movie sucks

The next big Marvel movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, comes out this weekend! Is this one worth your time and money?

If you listen to critics, probably not. Reviews are split at best, with the lot of critics dinging the movie for a host of issues. “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a chaotic, woefully unfunny mess that has forgotten why its hero was such fun,” writes Mashable. “The thrill isn’t just gone, it’s been buried beneath a swarm of plot contrivances and truly hideous CGI.”

The note about bad CGI comes up several times in the reviews, which is surprising; whatever you think of Marvel movies, you can usually depend on them to look good. “Visually, the film is messy and flat; the CGI is shockingly poor and the action looks muddled,” writes WhyNow.

Ant-Man 3 is too big, too lumbering, too serious

But of course, looks aren’t everything. What matters is whether the movie is entertaining, but a lot of critics felt that Ant-Man 3 is too busy setting up the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to bother being fun to watch. And many didn’t like the somber tone, which is at odds with the first two Ant-Man films, which were breezier affairs. “The story is in service of the larger Marvel engine, an increasingly creaky machine that nevertheless keeps grinding away, dropping superstar performers into CGI glop because the show simply must go on,” writes The Atlantic.

The Globe and Mail put it like this: “[Ant-Man 3 is both] a dispiriting reminder that the MCU has abandoned wit and that even the most clever and idiosyncratic of filmmakers can be steamrolled by the unstoppable obligations of corporate storytelling.”

Bring us home, Indiewire: “Maybe the pictures should get small again; it might be the only way to save an MCU that seems dangerously close to getting too big to do anything but fail.”

Jonathan Majors is a highlight in Ant-Man 3

That’s not to say there weren’t some critics who enjoyed the movie! And everyone seemed to agree that Jonathan Majors does a good job as Kang the Conqueror, who’s being set up as the new Thanos-level threat to the MCU. “Majors thankfully rights the ship every time he pops up with his deliciously disconcerting presence,” writes USA Today.

The Hollywood Reporter was especially impressed:

While it’s not surprising that [Majors’] imposing physicality perfectly suits his iconic villainous character, he also invests his performance with such an arrestingly quiet stillness and ambivalence that you’re on edge every moment he’s onscreen.

And I had to include this interesting turn of phrase from The Guardian: “Does Kang bang? Why yes, he does. Majors brings the same emotionally intense it-boy energy of Adam Driver in The Force Awakens.” It’s cool, everyone, Kang bangs.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is good (if you can get past the bad stuff)

There are some positive reviews of Ant-Man 3, although there’s usually still a “but” in there somewhere. A smattering:

  • Moviebob: “Delivers (however disjointedly) on ‘B-lister in over his head’ cosmic adventure romp despite obvious post-Pandemic schedule-retooling into a big franchise place-setter; buoyed by a scene-stealing heavy turn from Johnathan Majors”
  • Consequence Film: “Quantumania might be key to kicking off the big arcs to come in the MCU Phase 5, but it doesn’t forget to have a good time.”
  • Empire: “Marvel, with all their resources, have made a film set in a universe where time and space are not as we know them, yet have ended up with something that looks surreal, but feels shackled. Mind-bending it is not. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun.”
  • The A.V. Club: “Quantumania’s tone is sure to be polarizing, but if you can surrender yourself to its bonkers A Bug’s Life-meets-Return of the Jedi antics, the two hours (already short for a Marvel film) will fly by.”
  • Evening Standard: “If you can ignore the convoluted plot – not, sadly, a rarity in the increasingly complex Marvel Cinematic Universe – you’ll have a blast with these characters.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania opens in theaters this Friday, February 17.

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