Keeping up to date with super-hero films and timelines has become rather exhausting over the years, especially within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The interlinking storylines between films and television can be hard to keep up with. Many would be forgiven for not being excited about the instalment in the ever-expanding Marvel Universe. Admittedly, I was not keen on seeing Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and it felt like a chore. Thankfully, it surprised me, and I enjoyed it.
Following on from the events of Avengers: End Game and the demise of Thanos, Scott Lang is living his best life taking full advantage of his world-saving Avenger status. However, it is when he discovers that his daughter Cassie has been experimenting with the Quantum Realm that things take a turn for the worse. After exhibiting her findings to Scott, Hope van Dyne, Hank Pym, and Janet van Dyne, the device seemingly malfunctions and sucks all of them into the Quantum Realm. Lost in the strange world, they find themselves at the mercy of a new villain, Kang the Conqueror.
Directed by Peyton Reed, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the 31st film in the Marvel Universe and is also the first film of Phase 5 in the Multiverse Saga. Do you see what I mean about it being exhausting to keep up? After mixed feelings of the previous phase of films, Quantumania feels like a fresh start to lead us into some incredible films to come in the future.
The Quantum Realm is unlike anything we have seen before, and due to the unique environment, the creators of the film have the freedom to create all kinds of strange and wonderful things. The visuals are incredible from the baron technicolour wastelands to the large technically advanced cities. I was completely blown away by how stunning everything looked. Even the creatures, predators and intelligent lifeforms of the Quantum Realm were just as stunning. Even better, the personalities and humour of some of the lifeforms had me beaming with joy and cackling. All visual artist and costume designers really out did themselves.
Performance wise, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man/Scott Lang, was his classic, funny, easy-going self, but he really stepped it up a notch with his portrayal of a father and partner that was willing to risk it all to save his family. I felt his angst, heartbreak, and even his bravery throughout the entire film. Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp was just a good, but I felt that she could have had more screen time. Considering the title of the film, I don’t remember much about her impact and that is a fault of the writers.
Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne had me so frustrated with her character, but in a good way. I was able to experience the angst that the rest of the family must have been feeling, and her ability to portray that through her performance needs to be commended. I felt her anxiety and fear when trying to warn them about the Quantum Realm but hated her for not telling them everything. Notable mention to Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, the cheeky old smart arse that added just enough humour when needed.
Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang is fantastic. It was great to finally get some bonding time between Cassie and Scott, and to see their relationship grow. Newton and Rudd’s chemistry on-screen is believable as father and daughter. I hope to see her in future films as part of the Ant-Man hero team.
The clear standout of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the introduction of the new villain, Kang the Conqueror. Portrayed by Johnathan Majors, Kang is a threat unlike anything we have seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before. What is scariest about him is how super chill and calm Majors makes Kang out to be, and then he just snaps and becomes this tyrannical monster that makes Thanos look like a house fly. Kang’s introduction has me so excited for the upcoming releases within both film and television of the MCU.
Whilst the performances were all brilliant, the plot and writing did feel a little weak at times. The general premise felt a lot like Tron: Legacy with the heroes trying to escape a realm only to be fought off by an evil entity. Even the big fight scene at the end had me referencing Godzilla, King Kong, and even Captain America. You will know what I mean when you see it.
Overall, there was enough good to outweigh the bad to provide an entertaining theatrical experience. Will I be rushing out to see it again the same way I watched Spider-Man: No Way Home? No.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has achieved exactly what it set out to do. Setup and launch the next villain arc within the MCU. I enjoyed what I saw, and I am excited for what comes next.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania opens Australia wide on Thursday the 16th of February 2023.