Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Director: Peyton Reed
Writer: Jeff Loveness
Based on: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby‘s Ant-Man comics, and Stan Lee, Ernie Hart and Jack Kirby’s Wasp comics
Sequel to: Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Jonathan Majors, Kathryn Newton, Bill Murray, Katy M. O’Brian, William Jackson Harper, Jamie Andrew Cutler, David Dastmalchian, Randall Park, Corey Stoll
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 1.3.2023
After everything that happened, Scott (Paul Rudd) is enjoying a rather Ant-Man-free existence. But his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) isn’t ready to be this complacent. With the help of Hank (Michael Douglas), she has been experimenting, and she is ready to show Scott, Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) what they made. Only their machine made for exploring the Quantum Realm sucks all of them into it instead. Once there, they realize that Janet has been keeping many secrets from them. Not only is the realm filled with sentient creatures, it is also facing a great threat – one that seems to be Janet’s fault somehow.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is in a bit of a difficult position, narratively, with regards to the MCU where it’s something of a gap-filler and setter-upper. Even aside from that, the movie is mostly just fine, not more.
The Ant-Man movies, together with the Spider-Man movies, have consistently been the funniest of the Marvel films (that is, apart from the Waititi-helmed Thor movies) and it’s certainly nice to get the more light-hearted stuff in the MCU as well. But it’s also a bit ironic that one of the running gags is that Scott gets confused with Spider-Man/Peter Parker a lot – because in all fairness, the characters have started to blend together in the writer’s room just as much as the sense of humor has become similar more and more. (Could this be, gasp, a sign that I grow tired of the MCU???)
There’s a lack of diversity in the MCU films that shows not only in similar characters and senses of humor (remember the Edgar Wright touches that still remained in the first film? Those were special), but also in similar visuals. We are entering an entirely new world here with the Quantum Realm, but it might as well be another planet that Thor or the Guardians visit. It doesn’t really look much different. It’s not uncreative, but it’s been streamlined too much.
The film is still entertaining enough, although it could have done with a trimming here and there. Rudd, Lilly and Newton are a wonderful team, as are their characters and I liked how they related to each other. Pfeiffer and Douglas seem to be having fun as well, and that’s always appreciated. Back when I saw the film, I was also rather taken with Majors as Kang, but now that we have learned that he strangles women, I am hoping that they can still recast him. In any case, the biggest revelation was Katy M. O’Brian: her Jentorra steals every scene she’s in (and Cassie’s crushing on her was supersweet and extremely understandable).
Sometimes the films get a little too silly – things with M.O.D.O.K. (Corey Stoll) were a bit much (though I did like the “it’s never too late to not be a dick”-conclusion) – and Kang probably only works if you’ve got an inkling more about him than the film provides. But overall, it’s still a fun film and it delivers what we’ve all come to expect from the MCU.