Jonathan Majors' Kang Performance Is The Best Part Of Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania

This post contains spoilers for "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania."

You can certainly call "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania" a movie. It has a plot, characters, and a lot of oversized special effects. Unfortunately, it's not a very good "Ant-Man" movie, since it really feels as if its leading stars either weren't entirely there during filming or just didn't want to be there. The enjoyable Paul Rudd was lacking in his usual charisma, Evangeline Lilly was barely there despite her character having top billing, and Bill Murray seemed to be in an entirely different movie than everyone else.

However, if there is one performance in "Quantumania" that is absolutely worth watching, it's Jonathan Majors' as Kang the Conqueror. Built up as a threat somehow more dangerous than Thanos (Josh Brolin), we only get a glimpse of his capabilities in this film, so don't expect to see him wiping out billions of people. He initially doesn't feel like a genuine threat, having a similarly basic arc to some of the franchise's lower-tier villains. That being said, this lack of any true development is balanced out by a nuanced and complex portrayal of a megalomaniacal ruler by Majors.

Seeing what I see

Kang's powers of disintegration and bodily control aren't exactly new threats to the MCU. However, the appeal of Kang as an on-screen character doesn't have to do with the powers he wields — instead, it's about how he handles the burdens they provide him. See, in addition to his standard abilities, he can also see every timeline across the multiverse, and the constant disappointment he sees across them has seemingly forced him to fix it. This involves wiping entire civilizations and universes off the map, but to him, it's a small price to pay for salvation.

There is a part of Majors' performance that makes viewers wonder if he is actually sorrowful for the mass murders he's committed. Despite the truly horrific things he has done, Majors carries a sadness in his demeanor and delivery that will make you second-guess your perception of him. Kang's dialogue doesn't do that on its own — it is almost entirely how Majors presents it that makes the character so interesting and compelling to watch. Through subtle touches and inflections, he makes Kang his own in a way that would not have been possible with an actor that just stuck to the script. Without him, "Quantumania" falls apart at the seams. 

Thankfully, if those post-credit scenes are anything to go by, Majors' Kang isn't going anywhere. And thank goodness for that.

"Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania" is now playing in theaters.