Max at the Movies: Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania


Massimo Virgilio

Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania¨ is playing only in theaters starting on February 17th.

Max Spiegel, Staff Writer

After the conclusion of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with ¨Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,¨ Phase 5 is officially kicking off with ¨Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.¨ Does this third installment in the Ant Man franchise provide a pleasant experience, or does it end up being anticlimactic?

The film is once again directed by Peyton Reed and sees the return of Paul Rudd as Ant Man, Evangeline Lily as Wasp, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym and Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne, while also adding in Johnathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang and Bill Murray as Lord Krylar. The film tells the story of Ant Man and the Wasp finding themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with new creatures and embarking on an adventure that pushes them beyond their limits on what they thought was possible.

The big takeaway that everyone is going to be talking about with this film is Johnathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, who is basically going to be MCU´s next big bad after Thanos. He commanded the screen from beginning to end as a villain who is here to stay for the future of Marvel. When the movie was all about setting up Kang and leading into this new phase of the MCU, I think that was where the movie succeeded the most. When it came to the world building of the Quantum Realm itself, the film did a pretty good job expanding the world of Marvel in a way that hasn’t been done before. With some of the VFX that was used and along with the design of the many creatures in this film, it reminded me a lot of the Star Wars movies, except that it was set in the MCU.  

Shifting into the negatives, one of the major flaws I noticed while watching this film is that the tone is all over the place. Marvel has had a problem the last few years of undercutting dramatic or tense scenes with forced comedy and this film is no exception to that. There are so many scenes in this film that do that, as well as jumping from a scene with Kang the Conqueror massacring a bunch of people to a corny joke with M.O.D.O.K. and his giant head in the very next scene. Speaking of M.O.D.O.K, just looking at his design from the comics, he’s a character that probably won’t translate well to live action. The CGI for him was really distracting, and having his goofy design next to characters such as Kang the Conqueror in particular felt like the two didn’t belong in the same scenes together at all. Also, as an Ant Man movie, it felt really odd compared to the previous two Ant Man movies. Both ¨Ant Man¨ as well as ¨Ant Man and the Wasp” were intentionally small scale Marvel films, and this third film feels a lot more epic in trying to set up Phase 5. For those who aren’t huge fans of the first two Ant Man movies, they will probably like this movie more, but for those who are fans, they may view this movie as a step down or an odd follow up to those movies. 

To sum up my thoughts on ¨Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” I thought this movie worked better as an MCU movie setting up Phase 5 than as it does as an Ant Man movie. When the film was about introducing Kang to the MCU as the next big bad, I thought the movie really succeeded, but when it tried to combine that with the corny Ant Man humor and the character of M.O.D.O.K, the movie never fully balanced its tone. While I still enjoyed a lot of what the movie had to offer, this film wasn’t as good as I was hoping it would be. It was still a decent kickoff to Phase 5, but this film for me falls in the bottom tier of the MCU movies and shows. I would recommend this film to fans of the MCU and comic book movie fans in general, since they are more the target audience for movies like this. For average moviegoers, they can probably skip this one.