Marvel Enters The Sci-Fi Phase With Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania!

Check out our thoughts on Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania!


Hey All!

Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, which I prefer to just call Quantumania, is the thirty-first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and the third film in the Ant-Man film franchise. Quantumania is also the start of the fifth phase of the MCU productions and has been claimed to be the beginning of starting to show its audience the current direction of the MCU, and the direction appears to be pushing the boundaries of a more far out aesthetic and leaning more into the science fiction aspect from the Marvel Comics world.

Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror

Because this is the third film, everyone involved is primarily returning cast and crew. Peyton Reed returns as the director for the third time. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer return as their respective characters Scott Lang, Hope Van Dyne, Hank Pym, and Janet Van Dyne. Kathryn Newton (Pokemon Detective Pikachu) is the third and newest actress to play Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang. New cast and characters include Katy O’Brian as revolution leader Jentorra and William Jackson Harper (The Good Place) as Quaz.

David Dastmalchian previously was part of Scott’s ex-con gang as the character Kurt, but in this film he voices the ooze CG character Veb. And I do not believe it is a spoiler to say that Corey Stoll, previously Darren Cross in the first Ant-Man, is returning as both his old character but also has a new name: M.O.D.O.K. And the real star of this film is Jonathan Majors (Loki, Lovecraft Country, The Last Black Man in San Francisco) as Kang The Conqueror.

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Marvel Studios' ANT-MAN

While Quantumania is very much an Ant-Man film due to its primary cast, its inclusion of Kang as the main villain shifts the scope to something more. In the prior two Ant-Man films, the adventures of Scott and his ensemble were pretty self-contained and didn’t have much spillover into the rest of the MCU. Quantumania follows in the steps of Captain America: Civil War in that the events of the film will have repercussions in future MCU projects. As such, the tone has shifted as well. The humor and family dynamic established in the first two films is still prevalent, in fact I would argue that the family bonds have only strengthened in this film; Cassie actually refers to Hank Pym as Grandpa Hank.

The tone change is more aesthetic in that our heroes have fallen into the Quantum Realm within the first 20 minutes and the majority of the film’s settings and characters (like 85%) are computer generated. This and the tone of time travel and other dimensions has created a very classic science fiction vibe, a tone that despite being about particles that can shrink and grow human beings has been lacking from the Ant-Man films. I actually REALLY enjoyed this exploration into a more strange and far out side of the MCU which was previously reserved for space adventures.

Kathryn Newton as Cassandra "Cassie" Lang and Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man

With the plot, Quantumania deviates from the heist trope from its preceding films and comes off as more of a survival film. As aforementioned our heroes are sucked into the Quantum Real via a device that Cassie created. While in the Quantum Realm we see a whole civilization which is a mix of humanoid (they clearly state they are NOT humans) and more abstract life forms who have been conquered and oppressed by Kang. It is revealed that Janet met Kang while she was trapped in the Quantum realm and was part of the resistance against him. Having returned to the Quantum Realm, our heroes must choose to give Kang what he wants so they can go back home, or rejoin the resistance and fight Kang and risk being stuck in the Quantum Realm forever.

MIchelle Pfieffer as Janet van Dyne

The veteran cast of Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd, and Evangeline Lilly are on point as always, but the film is stolen from them by Johnathan Majors, Corey Stoll, and the bonkers aesthetic of the Quantum Realm. Johnathan Majors as Kang brings the kind of villainous performance that is full of range from subtle and menacing to exclamatory and frightening. It is said that an actor’s greatest tool is their eyes, but Johnathan Majors doesn’t just give us his eyes; he uses every muscle in his face to convey what he is feeling. Though he is a conqueror and has only malicious intent, he also manages to be seemingly manipulative in the most believable of ways.

Yes he tortures people, but when he makes deals, you believe that he will honor them. Is that true or just a ruse to get what he wants? I have no clue, but that’s what makes Major’s performance so compelling. Then there is the return of Corey Stoll who is legit just a warped floating CG head in his new persona: M.O.D.O.K. The description and appearance of the character is very weird, but it is supposed to be weird. This is a character in the comics who is a floating giant head with tiny arms and legs. They nailed the look. It may be jarring for some people to see, but it is supposed to be weird and jarring. Characters in the film even look at him and scream, “what happened to you?!” And Stoll leans into that with a performance that ranges from violently deranged to sympathetically pathetic.

If Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is an indication of where the MCU productions are going, then this might just be the beginning of weird and wild things like we haven’t seen before and I am here for it. I am also here for Johnathan Major’s Kang and whichever new iteration will take on the next Avenger who encounters him. There is a mid-credit scene which teases more Kang to come which ends on a shot that is ripped from the comic pages and then there is a post credit scene which shows us what is likely the next MCU production where Kang will appear. The only thing I would say to anyone on the fence seeing this, is go in with an open mind for a weird ride. This film is rated PG-13 for mild language and violence.

Check out Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania in theaters now! You don’t want to miss it!

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