Marvel Studios’ latest release, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” is bad; there is simply no other way to describe it. It is poorly written, with hamfisted exposition, and relies more on dreary but elaborate computer-generated imagery than storytelling to keep the audience engaged.
In line with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) current ideological trajectory, the film reduces father figures to the status of court jesters and cuckolds while emphasizing the virtues of adultery and the political radicalization of children. Further establishing the franchise’s commitment to emasculation — hence the critical moniker “M-She-U” — Paul Rudd’s role as a father is to be the “yes man” for his teenage daughter’s Jacobin whims. Michael Douglas’ character, despite being a super genius, is depicted as a forlorn curmudgeon who accepts his wife’s adultery as merely a minor inconvenience.
But this really ought to be expected, as it has become the norm for Marvel’s parent company — Disney — to shoehorn leftist ideology into everything they produce. Disney’s obsession with inculcating its audience — which is effectively the world — with leftist ideology is why the studio’s storylines constantly revolve around political revolutions and cultural rebellions. It reinforces the priorities of the leftist managerial class that rules over us.
Corporate studios use pop culture productions to launder leftist beliefs into the mainstream. It’s part of the reason there is an insistence on building cinematic universes and churning out sequels. These stories are tools that aid in forming the widely accepted narratives that direct society. So, naturally, they will be used by the leftists who make them to disseminate leftism.
That is why the ethnically and sexually diverse group of rag-tag scrappy startup engineers, refugees, intellectuals, and ideologues has become an ever-present trope in the media we consume. Intersectional paramilitaries are the new “multiracial TV gang” that prime audiences for perpetual cultural revolution in real life.
How many beloved stories valorize rebellious coalitions that rise up to put curmudgeonly governing institutions in their place? Many.
In the “Star Wars” franchise, the diverse Rebellion and the Resistance seek to undermine the oppressive Empire and First Order, both of which prominently feature middle-aged to old white men. Cinematic adaptations of popular young adult fiction like “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” franchises place political rebellion and resisting oppressive forces at the forefront of their narratives.
Even without “Quantumania,” the MCU’s catalog has become filled with “burn it down” leftist apologetics. The most prominent example of this is the Disney Plus series “The Falcon and the Winter Solider,” featuring a group of anti-establishment, transnational terrorists who murder people in order to achieve social equity and free medicine. “Wandavision,” a series about an emotionally unstable witch, justifies the main character waging war against the U.S. government and holding an entire city hostage because her emotions got the best of her.
To be sure, themes of rebellion aren’t always nefarious. Comedies like “Superbad” rely on sentiments of youthful rebellion to give the story direction, and no serious person would earnestly object to faithful retellings of the American revolution or Allied Forces resisting the Nazis.
The issue is with thematic and semantic overload. Cynical studio executives employ ideologically motivated creative teams who oversaturate entertainment with themes of resistance while ensuring rebels are explicitly protagonistic forces or, if they are depicted as antagonistic, they’re justified through an elaborate and convoluted deus ex machina.
If revolutionary forces are the good guys in every mainstream story, impressionable demographics (notably younger people) are going to be primed to think that any faction invoking a similar aesthetic or adjacent terminology will be on the morally correct side of any given conflict. With the rise of Antifa and militant leftism, this is painfully clear. After all, “Antifa” stands for “anti-fascist,” so anything they oppose is fascism, and their egregious tactics are in the pursuit of removing fascism from society.
After all, bad guys don’t resist; bad guys oppress.