“Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” is a sci-fi adventure that manages to feel both big and small at times, but mostly, comes across as back-to-basics approach for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) - with some ludicrous but fun added in too.
In the film, Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and The Wasp/Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) — together with Hope’s parents Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) — embark on an adventure in the Quantum Realm that push them beyond the limits of what they thought possible.
Directed by Peyton Reed, “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” also stars Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror, David Dastmalchian as Veb, Katy O’Brian as Jentorra, William Jackson Harper as Quaz and Bill Murray as Lord Krylar.
The MCU previously opened the door to go beyond the atypical movie trilogy, especially now with the most recent “Thor: Love and Thunder” film being the 4th in that saga, and “Quantumania” doesn’t come off as the concluding film in its story.
Instead, the sci-fi adventure introduces us to Kang - who will be the next villain in Phase 5 of the MCU - while also deepening the layers of Scott Lang and his loved ones.
The movie itself may not work for some people for this very reason. The scope jumps from being a small family tale to a large action epic focused on overthrowing a conqueror.
“Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” is not perfect but it is definitely the best Ant-Man film in the saga, and it also has all the classic Phase 1 MCU texture that many film-goers have recently complained about was missing.
It has the perfect balance of MCU humour but also has some heart and weighty stakes. It’s not as dour as the recent “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” or as silly as “Thor: Love and Thunder”.
While some bits are ludicrous, it’s certainly good fun with some moments feeling like a “Guardians of the Galaxy“ film mixed with “Iron Man 3”.
The cast delivers really great performances, especially Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror.
We’ve met an iteration of his character before but in this movie he really completely flips his portrayal of the character and is a formidable and dangerous character.
At some moments, his portrayal does come off as Shakespearean, and that is not a bad thing as it gives some weight to his character that could easily come off as one-note.
His character’s motivation will predominantly be the same, but his execution will always be what sets the various iterations of his character apart.
The film also peels back the layers to Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) as we get a much better understanding of her character here than in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” - which is where her character was introduced.
We understand her motivations and the challenges she faced.
In actuality, it’s Evangeline Lilly’s character The Wasp/Hope Van Dyne who doesn’t really get much to do emotionally, but the film makes up for this by upping her character’s physical presence, making her a more formidable heroine.
The film does attempt to contrast her relationship with her mother, to the relationship Scott and Cassie has, but it is very subtle about its approach.
“Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” does miss out on playing up Cassie and Hope’s relationship but this is fertile ground that they probably left unexplored so that it could be delved into in future movies.
For those expecting a grandiose story with large stakes, this movie will deliver. Marvel has ultimately delivered a film that harkens back to the MCU of old but it also leaves us with questions wondering where to next and just how dangerous things will get in the future.
It drives home the perils our heroes will face in the future, while not missing out on giving us the laughs and fun that makes going to the cinemas enjoyable.
Go in just expecting an enjoyable film that the family can laugh along with and you’re sure to leave fulfilled.
“Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” is currently showing at cinemas nationwide.