I certainly understand the concept of casting big-name and popular actors in cameos. There are entire books written about how roles with only a line or two can change a film or win an Academy Award. The thing is, even if a performer is brilliant, they still have to have lines and a story that lives up to their skills.
The most glaring of the issues here was with William Jackson Harper’s Quaz. If you’ve watched “The Good Place,” you know how good he is. He took the role of philosophy professor Chidi Anagonye, which could have been a boring, flat character, and made him sing. This guy can give more emotion with a single lift of his eyebrow (or, in Chidi’s case, gripping his stomach) than most actors do in an entire episode.
Harper plays Quaz, a telepath working with the freedom fighters of the Quantum Realm (who oppose Kang’s tyranny). Someone who can read thoughts could have been put to a lot better use, perhaps accompanying Scott (Paul Rudd) and Cassie (Kathryn Newton) through the Quantum Realm, helping them to adjust, or giving a better introduction to the multiple fascinating creatures and people we’re only briefly introduced to.
This man talked about putting Peeps and M&Ms into chili and wanting to eat words, and he had me in stitches. In “Ant-Man,” his entire purpose seems to be to count the number of holes a human has and set up a punchline. That’s it. It was like singing the beginning of “Shave and a Haircut” and not adding the “two bits.”