There are limitations to how good an Ant-Man and the Wasp movie can be, and Quantumania is probably the peak of their solo outings.
Another year is here and that means it’ll be jam-packed with plenty of new movies and TV shows from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Kicking off Phase 5 is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the third installment of the Ant-Man/Ant-Man and the Wasp solo movies. Up to this point, most would say that they have been simply fine flicks. There is only so much that can be done with a solo movie involving these second-tier Marvel superheroes, and typically the stakes can only be so high. Honestly, they really only exist to give introduce the quantum realm, since it is such a big part of what has already happened and what is coming down the line in this ever-growing cinematic universe.
Quantumania picks up some time after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is enjoying his life as a superhero and has even written a book about what happened. To no one’s surprise, he deals with his rebellious teenage daughter, Cassie (Kathryn Newton), as she tries to navigate her own ways to have an effect on the world. He missed five years of her life during the “Blip” from Avengers: Infinity War, so there are times where she has the upper hand in an argument with him. Either way, it’s cool seeing Cassie slowly become a part of the MCU.
Thankfully, the movie doesn’t take long to get going. Within 15 minutes of the start of the movie, Scott, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), Cassie, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Hank (Michael Douglas) all get sucked into the Quantum Realm after a device that Cassie designed to send a signal into the Realm malfunctions. We spend the rest of the movie learning more about what is actually down there and why Janet has been very quiet when it comes to talking about her 30-year experience there. There are some cool visuals throughout this largely unknow part of the universe, as our heroes fall through what can only be described as outer space on acid.
Quantumania is a pretty simple, straightforward movie filled with generic dialogue and a pretty predictable story at times. On top of those things, there are more than a few times where this feels like a Star Wars movie with scenes that straight up feel like a Jedi is in a bar getting served a super weird beverage with insane looking creatures all around them. There are also these blue-faced bad guys that are exactly like stormtroopers where they are dumb and can’t aim worth a damn. But despite that, some awesome new characters are introduced and there are some really cool scenes towards the end of the movie. One of those awesome new characters, and probably the main reason people want to see Quantumania, is the introduction of Kang the Conqueror. And oh boy, he did not disappoint.
Kang is played by Jonathan Majors, and his story of how he got into the Quantum Realm ties him and Janet together. He seems nice at first, but Janet quickly learned how dangerous he can actually be. Overall, Majors knocks it out of the park with his portrayal of Kang. He does a nice job of being calm yet ruthless when he has to be. Ant-Man and the Wasp are definitely out of their depth to take him down together and he makes them realize that quickly. Kang isn’t the best villain we’ve seen in the MCU, but he’s extremely far from the worst and a big upgrade over previous Ant-Man villains.
In its entirety, Quantumania is a fun launch into Phase 5 of the MCU. It isn’t going to blow your mind or make it into a top 5 of an MCU ranking list, but it’s worth seeing in theaters. The direction they’re heading with this universe seems good so far and this introduction to Kang makes up for the movie’s genericness at time. This one is a step up from Ant-Man and the Wasp, but it’s probably the best an Ant-Man movie can be and that’s OK. They can’t all be Captain America or Iron Man.
(out of five stars)