Courtesy of Marvel Studios
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the first film of Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, directed by Peyton Reed, and once again stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, also known as Ant-Man. Also returning from the previous films are Evangeline Lily, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer. In this film, Scott Lang is now popular after the events of Avengers: Endgame, and things have gotten better for him, but he gets into a new adventure along with Hope, Hank, Janet, and his daughter Cassie, played by Kathryn Newton, in the Quantum Realm, where he faces Kang, played by Jonathon Majors.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is different from the first two Ant-Man films, despite having the same director. The stakes in this film are a lot higher. While the film has humor, it’s more serious. Certain characters from the previous two films are either not in this film or have reduced roles. The villain of the film, Kang, is bigger and more powerful than the previous villains in Ant-Man films. Peyton Reed wanted to make a big event film instead of going for a smaller scale MCU film that comes out after the big event Avengers film like the previous two films were. This film has received a mixed reception from critics and even some Marvel fans.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is not a bad film or even a bottom-five MCU film. It’s an okay, entertaining film that could have been way better than it turned out, though. The best part about this film was Kang. Jonathon Majors nailed this role. One of the things this film needed to do was establish Kang, and it did that correctly. Paul Rudd was great as always playing Scott Lang. The other performance that stood out was Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet. Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas were fine as Hope and Hank, but compared to the previous Ant-Man films, they didn’t stand out. Corey Stoll returns as Darren Cross from the 2015 Ant-Man, but this time, he’s MODOK. MODOK was cringe, at first funny, but later became an annoying running gag throughout the film. Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang was the weakest performance of the film’s protagonists. Bill Murray is also in the film, but it felt like his talent was wasted. His character comes across as a poor man’s Grandmaster from Thor: Ragnarok.
The special effects for the most part were better than some of the recent MCU films, with the only exception being the effects for MODOK. The film will be compared to Star Wars when it comes to how the Quantum Realm looks and the beings in it. The action was good and entertaining. The big stakes of this film will divide fans, particularly fans who prefer Ant-Man films to be smaller-scale MCU films.
The biggest issue Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is it feels like another MCU film that sacrifices a good portion of the film to set up the future of the MCU. In this case, it’s setting up Avengers: Kang Dynasty and other projects that could have Kang. This was a mistake previous MCU films made, like Iron Man 2 and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Instead of making a great MCU film right now, Marvel seems to hope this film builds up hype for the future of the MCU and that those future films will make this film better in the future. It’s becoming a frustrating trend in the MCU.
Overall, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was not the worst MCU film despite the Rotten Tomatoes score being the lowest for an MCU film. It could have also been way better than it turned out. The best performances came from Paul Rudd, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Jonathon Majors. Some of the special effects look great. MODOK was cringe and not necessary for this film. I enjoyed it more than Ant-Man and the Wasp. The first Ant-Man film is still the best. If you are an MCU fan, I recommend you check it out. Don’t expect it to be the next Captain America: Civil War or Thor: Ragnarok. Some fans will love it. Some fans will feel torn.
Final Grade: B-
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