While Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania looks to make a splash as the MCU's first Phase 5 movie, its Rotten Tomatoes score has caused some initial concern.
Ant-Man 3 is set to become the MCU’s 31st movie and the next step forward in the Multiverse Saga, pitting Team Ant-Man against the MCU’s latest big bad, Kang the Conqueror.
Even though this is an Ant-Man movie first and foremost, expectations are through the Multiversal roof, particularly with it being an important stepping stone toward 2025’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.
Early reviews for Ant-Man 3 brought a wide range of reactions from critics, with some praising it as the best Ant-Man film yet while others thought it was too jam-packed and didn't serve as much more than a filler movie.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Gets Mixed Reviews
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is currently listed on Rotten Tomatoes with a 63% Tomatometer score from 70 critics' reviews, one of the lowest ratings in MCU history
Phase 4's Eternals from November 2021 opened up with a 59% rating before becoming one of the lowest-grossing films Marvel Studios has ever made.
Reviews have been less than positive for Quantumania overall with many feeling as though the movie was held back by its MCU ties and hollow emotional story.
Inverse noted in its review that Quantumania feels more like "a building block" than an actual movie, describing it as "three movies jostling for screentime" while being completely overshadowed by the overarching MCU narrative:
"The problem with 'Quantumania' is that it’s not a movie, it’s a building block. There are three movies jostling for screentime within 'Quantumania' — Scott and Cassie’s father-daughter story, Janet van Dyne’s repressed guilt over Kang’s origins, the Quantum Realm’s long fight to overthrow the tyrannical Kang — but they’re all overshadowed by the MCU of it all… The result is an undercooked, overstuffed action movie that feels like a shadow of better pulpy adventure sendups before it."
The Playlist made it clear that Ant-Man 3 "is not a dud," but used terms like "sub-par" and "unremarkable" when reviewing the movie as a whole:
"‘Quantumania’ is not all dud, per se. Even if it’s not as comical or entertaining as usual, there is a good cast involved here, Kathryn Newton is a welcome edition, and Paul Rudd can’t help but elevate sub-par material. But otherwise, ‘Quantumania’ is shockingly unremarkable."
Rolling Stone saw this movie as one that is "merely killing time," noting that fans might have to "simply keep enduring overly familiar, frustrating placeholders" like this one unless something changes creatively:
"The powers that be have several years worth of narrative mapped out, and given the last few entries in their superhero soap opera, even they seem a little tired by all of it. Until some sort of creative second wind blows in, casual moviegoers and deeply invested fanatics may have to simply keep enduring overly familiar, frustrating placeholders like this. 'Quantumania' revolves around a powerful villain who wants to control time. The movie itself is merely killing time."
How Will Fans React to Ant-Man 3?
Even though not all of the reviews for Ant-Man 3 were on the negative end of the spectrum, seeing reception like this is certainly cause for concern as the MCU continues to evolve.
These reviews mostly paint Ant-Man 3 as something of a filler movie that was only in place to introduce Kang, who is confirmed to play a huge role in later Multiverse Saga movies.
Many have also lambasted this threequel's heavy use of CGI for the Quantum Realm material, even though this is something that was partially unavoidable according to the movie's VFX team.
But even with that disappointment, the reportedly excellent performances by Paul Rudd and Jonathan Majors are what make the movie worth seeing, continuing the MCU's trend of excellent character portrayals.
Marvel is known for putting its best efforts into casting for each new outing, and it appears that this has paid off once again for Ant-Man 3 as critics praise the efforts on that front.
Even though these reviews bring up some worry for the MCU as it currently stands, Ant-Man 3 could still be a movie that lands better with the general public than it did with critics.
There are also the film's two post-credits scenes which have already been described as game-changing moments for the MCU.
Comparing this movie to Eternals, it could go the same route as its Multiverse Saga companion where fans gravitate toward what Marvel brings in the story even if critics were disappointed. Only time will tell what happens though with the MCU's next major addition to the story.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania debuts in theaters on Friday, February 17.