This review contains spoilers for Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and should only be read by those who have either seen the movie or are conscious of the fact that spoilers will be detailed throughout the article, that being said, enjoy our review!
The movie started off by giving us all the information we needed on Scott’s life after the blip, introducing us to a grown-up Cassie Lang, and letting us know what the Pym family is up to after the events of Avengers: Endgame. All of that went over in hardly 10 minutes, and that’s where the drag begins to be noticeable. The family gets transported into the Quantum Realm, and we spend the next hour looking at the visuals of the Quantum Realm, before actually seeing Kang as he is in the movie. The movie would probably feel pretty random and directionless to the general audience before Kang’s entry.
Jokes: Like every other MCU movie, this installment also has some pretty good jokes (and some awful ones). But the scale ultimately tilts towards the ‘good’ side, undeniably one of the funnier MCU movies.
The movie didn’t seem to allow characters to have arcs, with very less space to breathe. The freedom fighters were a great addition, but perhaps they were given too much critical time – teasing Kang all the while – which could’ve very well been used differently.
Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror (more like Kang the Saviour) is undoubtedly the MVP of the movie. Picking up on the role of a Kang variant after the first season of Loki, he portrays the conquering maniac in a terrifying and menacing way. The mannerism of the conqueror, as well as his motives, are perfectly set in place as soon as he enters the movie. The character has a clear contrast with the isolated He Who Remains and brings countless other Kang variants into the picture, setting up The Kang Dynasty. The film would’ve been much easier to digest if Kang hadn’t been introduced nearly halfway through.
Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet Van Dyne stood out from the rest of the movie’s cast. She finally gets time to shine after just appearing in the third act of Ant-Man And The Wasp, and making a brief cameo in Avengers: Endgame. She is much more vibrant and dazzling in this movie. Her backstory in the Quantum Realm was well-explored and easily one of the best moments.
Paul Rudd gives a humorous and emotional performance as Scott Lang, and Kathryn Newton shines as Cassie, radiating the youthful energy of a Young Avenger. Scott and Cassie are one of the greatest MCU duos since the first Ant-Man, and this script does them justice.
Evangeline Lily’s Hope Van Dyne, Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym, and Bill Murray’s Krylar were just…there. They had nothing helpful to contribute to the movie, and might as well have been left out. Even getting Michael Peña’s Luis in for a minute would’ve been better than the precious minute wasted on hinting at a relationship between Janet and Krylar. Underutilization at its best.
MODOK in Quantumania was surprisingly underwhelming. The introduction of the character was awesome, but as the movie continued to make MODOK feel more and more powerless, compared to the likes of the Ant-Fam, it really made the experience insufferable. His character arc was… nonexistent; and his death was definitely one of the weaker parts of the movie. However, he made for a great comic relief character (not sure if he intended to…) His redesigned look didn’t really ruin the experience of the movie all that much like people initially thought but could’ve been better.
As Peyton Reed earlier said, MODOK seems completely inspired by Frank Grimes from The Simpsons, a man desperate for revenge after another relatively simple guy ruins his life.
Although this is the 2nd MCU movie (after Thor: Love And Thunder) to utilize StageCraft technology, Visual Effects were yet another part of the movie which was inconsistent. The CGI in action and in still shots worked great, but combining that with StageCraft (The Volume) didn’t end up being visually immersive when compared to its use in The Mandalorian. The movie looked like the actors were filmed in front of a flat display, rather than something that completely surrounds them. The rotoscoping on the characters also looked like overkill, so we can only hope for the best for StageCraft and Marvel in the future.
Christophe Beck shines yet again in the third Ant-Man movie he’s scored so far. The soundtrack was certainly one of my favourite aspects of the movie, and managed to be one of the saving graces. Beck utilising Natalie Holt’s “He Who Remains” theme from Loki in “The Conqueror” track was one of my favourite details in the track. However, if I had to nitpick, I didn’t like how David Dastmalchian’s “Holes” wasn’t featured in the movie!
The action between Lang and Kang in the third act was one of the best in the Multiverse Saga, well choreographed and framed. You may want to look out for the blood on Scott’s face! (not much but still a lot for MCU standards) Most would agree that the nanotech-esque Ant-Man helmet, which unfortunately enabled the characters to talk (a lot) between battles, is a huge downgrade over the traditional traditional suit, which allowed for more action – and less unfunny puns.
Adding it up altogether, Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania is a thrilling, exciting, and fun ride, which completely changes its momentum once Kang enters the picture. Being a movie that is more of a setup to Avengers: The Kang Dynasty rather than a standalone, it does manage to introduce Kang – and it does the job pretty well. It features a talented cast and manages to entertain us with the Quantum Realm for two hours straight.
However, it lacks the spirit of the previous movies – the spirit which people loved a lot. Being a palate cleanser might not be so bad after all.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theatres worldwide.