By Jack Deegan
The Ant-Man franchise has always been a very divisive one. Everyone has a different opinion on the smaller scale Marvel Studios films, all the way from hating them to forming a cult following online. Looking to up the ante with the final film of this trilogy, Marvel made the stakes larger than ever by making the characters smaller than ever to kick off Phase 5 of their cinematic universe.
After accidentally getting sucked into the micro-universe beneath our own known as the Quantum Realm, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) and their entire family are forced to explore uncharted territories to find their way back home. Unbeknownst to them, the villainous time traveler Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) has been trapped there for years and is hunting them down to obtain his freedom.
I am a huge Marvel fan, especially when it comes to their cinematic universe. I was really looking forward to this movie since it was kicking off Phase 5 and introducing Kang who will go on to become the big villain of the MCU’s next two phases. I was a little disappointed by it in some ways, but I still had a fun time with the movie and enjoyed it.
Quantumania is a different movie than most in Marvel’s catalog. While it still follows that same formula to an extent, there’s an increased focus on exploration and adventure. It’s more so Marvel’s attempt at a movie akin to “Star Wars” as they thrust these characters into a new world with weird and wacky creatures fighting against Kang’s oppressive empire. I really like the premise for the story because it gives us something new in this ever expanding cinematic universe. You never truly know what to expect which can make things very exciting.
Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conquerer is by far the best part of this movie. He gives an electrifying performance and steals every scene he’s a part of. He portrays a vengeful and angry man so well. Majors is so intimidating without having to lift a muscle using only his words. He’s able to let his vengeful rage simmer and grow over the course of the movie until it all explodes outward. With Kang and his multiversal variants set to play a huge role in the MCU leading up to “Avengers: Kang Dynasty,” it's safe to say that the universe is in good hands with an actor as talented as Majors.
A surprise standout in the movie for me was Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet Van Dyne. Her character was previously trapped in the Quantum Realm in 2018’s “Ant-Man and The Wasp” and is the only one familiar with it. She has an incredibly important role to play in the story as her character has a mysterious past linked with Kang. It’s nice to see Pfeiffer get the spotlight here, and I found myself really into everything that she was a part of.
Without spoiling things, the story is a bit half-baked at times. At the core of the movie is the relationship between Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang and his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton). He doesn’t want her to follow in his footsteps, but she’s eager to help people like him. It mostly works, but I would have liked some more focus on that dynamic. It starts out strong, but by the end of the movie it feels a little undeveloped. I think a lot of that has to do with being part of a cinematic universe, and they plan on continuing that down the line. And for a movie called “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania,” there’s a big lack of The Wasp in it. She’s mostly tagging along with her mother Janet and doesn’t have much of a character arc of her own.
On a technical level, Quantumania is really solid. Christophe Beck returns to score the film and evolves his soundtrack to fit the sci-fi aesthetic in a cool and exciting way, which enhances every scene. The visuals are truly out of this world, and while the CGI in some spots may be a bit iffy, it didn’t take me out of the movie at all. Everyone is giving a good performance too and helps sell the absurdity of the movie.
Regardless of its flaws, it’s still a fun and entertaining experience. There weren’t any moments that I found myself bored with what was going on. The comedy is a huge selling point and trademark for every Marvel movie, and I think this is one of the funnier ones. Paul Rudd is as charming as ever and Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym is at his best here with some very funny bits regarding ants. M.O.D.O.K. (Corey Stoll) works really well as a menacing threat while also being the butt of some great jokes. It may not be perfect, but I had fun and enjoyed watching it.
“Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” is an entertaining movie despite its flaws. It works really well as a sci-fi adventure movie that lays the groundwork for the next few years of Marvel storytelling. The story wasn’t as strong as it could have been and not every character got enough time in the spotlight, but I still had a pleasant time with the film.
“Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” is now in theaters everywhere.