Angus McGregor reveals why he thinks the first film of Phase 5 in the MCU is not worth the hype…
Marvel’s Phase 4, following the culmination of Endgame, didn’t go down as well as they probably had hoped. Despite some highlights, the phase had nowhere near the same impact as earlier ones, with The Eternals and Thor: Love and Thunder notable disappointments in a misfiring stage for Marvel. With Phase 5 beginning, Quantumania hoped to get things back on track, especially with the big plans that this film was set to kick off. Disappointingly, though, this is one of the series’ poorest features, messing up the kick-off at a very important stage.
The Marvel Formula certainly isn’t new and may have grown long and tired to many. But there should be great fears as to how the studio is operating, especially with Quantumania arguably being the worst offender of one of the Marvel staples; humour. What has worked so well for the likes of Iron Man, Guardians and even Ant Man in earlier instalments, bears its worst side here. There is not a moment within this film that is allowed to naturally flow or play out, having to have a remark or joke to accompany it. From moments looking to evoke sadness, to heroic triumphs, there is a silly joke that ruins the moment. The writing of this film is horrendous at times, butchering so many decent moments and turning them into scenes where you roll your eyes. The use of the character Modok is a great example of this, with the attempts of comedy falling painfully short whilst creating some bewildering moments. Humour can always go one or two ways, but the timing and execution throughout this movie is simply baffling, creating a very mismanaged tone.
The worst aspect of this is how it affects the plans that Marvel has with Johnathan Majors’ character Kang. Kang will be the focus of the next Avengers film, with Quantumania essentially being his audition for the next big villain in the universe. But with writing as bad as this, where any sort of attempt to make Kang seem like a universal threat is met with something whimsical, you create a terrible tone that takes away from the threat. The decisions made in the script are so damaging, and it is hard to see what they want the next MCU villain to look like. Majors is good in the role which does provide hope that with the right script, this character can reach the intended heights, but it is way off it in ‘Quantumania’. The film sacrifices further development with any existing characters in order to serve Kang, but with this being fumbled, it leaves very little else in the film to satisfy.
The Quantum Realm is unspectacular as well, a poor CGI mess with no great set pieces or characters of note being set up. And this is to no shock as a film that is about setting up the future more so than anything else. Marvel and Disney know that the audiences will flock regardless, meaning they can take movies to just move characters into a certain place. But this doesn’t mean it can’t be done in an interesting or fun way as this seems entirely soulless.
A committed cast can only do so much with what they are given, with the characters having enough charm throughout. If this is how Phase 5 is going to be, audiences may be in for a rough ride, with the highs from the ‘Infinity Saga’ seeming long ago.