Review by Camden Ferrell
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is kicking off its Phase Five with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, its 31st movie overall. There have been universe-altering events since the last Ant-Man movie, and it’s time to finally give him another solo outing, and he is now exploring the Quantum Realm, something that has been teased for years now. Featuring an absolutely astounding turn from Jonathan Majors as Kang, this movie is playful and riveting even if it can be a little messy and unbalanced with its tone at times.
Scott Lang is now a household name thanks to his heroic actions in the last Avengers movie, but he still is dealing with the loss of five years of his life. His daughter, Cassie, is now an impassioned and intelligent teenager and also dealing with this loss of time. This movie sees Scott, Cassie, Hope, Hank, and Janet sucked into the dangerous and mysterious Quantum Realm where they must survive while also being pitted against the menacing and powerful Kang the Conqueror. This is an exciting premise since we know so little about the Quantum Realm and because Kang is such an iconic character that people have been dying to see adapted to the big screen.
From the start, the writing definitely embodies the same lighthearted tone from previous Ant-Man movies. However, one distinct difference is how fast paced it is from the start. It also doesn’t feel totally intentional. It almost seems like they’re rushing certain elements of the story to fit a certain time constraint which is strange considering the credits roll before the 2 hour mark. Regardless, fans of previous films will also enjoy the writing and jokes of this new entry.
The MVP by a mile is Jonathan Majors who plays Kang the Conqueror. When his casting was announced, nobody doubted for a second that he was the perfect choice, and Majors further confirms that with his performance. He’s daunting and takes command of every scene he’s in effortlessly. He has such subdued power but isn’t afraid to lash out in anger and show his range. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly return to their titular roles with the same quality as they always have, but it would have been nice to have more screen time between the two of them. Kathryn Newton is a newcomer as Cassie, and she’s a nice addition to the cast that we should be seeing more from in the future.
The biggest problem with the movie is how it tries so hard to juggle its comical nature with the more serious aspects of the Quantum Realm. More times than not, this consists of comedic scenes that can somewhat undermine serious moments especially in scenes with Scott and Kang. However, the movie is extremely playful with this new world and creating unique and sometimes hilarious new characters that could only exist in this realm. Some of the effects early on are pretty bad, but for the most part, the VFX work for the Quantum Realm is quite good.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is going to please fans of the character’s previous films and might win over some new converts with the inclusion of Kang. The credits scenes are great and have me excited for the future, and there’s plenty to enjoy for comic book fans and general audiences as well. It might very well be the best Ant-Man movie and Jonathan Majors has already gone down as one of the best MCU antagonists of all time.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is in theaters February 17.