Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Review (No Spoilers)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

It feels like it’s been a while since we’ve had anything Marvel and yet the last thing in the MCU was at the end of November with the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Werewolf by Night all coming out within a matter of weeks of eachother. 2022 certainly had a lot of MCU content, with 2023 seemingly going to slow down production with 3 films and just 2 series. A sign of slowing down production to focus on quality and getting back to what made Marvel great and so successful with their first 3 phases.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the first film in Phase 5. We pick up with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) who is enjoying life after having played a crucial role in helping save the universe from Thanos. His daughter, Cassie reveals that she had been building a device that acts as a beacon to the Quantum Realm when it suddenly awakens and pulls everyone in. Scott, Cassie, Hope, Hank and Janet are all trapped in the Quantum Realm, as they look to find eachother, as well as avoiding The Conqueror of the realm, who has built his own army and looks to get out.

There were representatives from Marvel asking the audience to fill out a questionnaire about the film at the screening I attended, with one of the main questions being what did I enjoy most about the film, the answer being Kang. We first met the character of Kang in the final episode of Loki, and since that moment fans have been eagerly awaiting the next time we would see Jonathon Majors in the role. We already know that he is the next big Avengers villain when the Avengers will have to team up in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. Jonathon Majors is one of my favourite working actors, he has delivered a standout performance in everything I’ve seen him in, I think he’s perfect casting and this film despite being called Ant-Man and the Wasp is very much a Kang origin story, that being where the film is at it’s strongest. Majors performance is on another level to everyone else, you can tell he understands the gravity of the role and is having a good time doing it. I can’t wait to see him next later this year in Loki being the likely place he will pop up next.

As for the rest of the cast they all do an okay job. It’s always hard not to love Paul Rudd and I do think he genuinely enjoys playing this role, the same can’t be said for some of his costars. Michael Douglas might be one of the most iconic actors of his era but he felt so out of place in this film most of the time, perhaps it was the struggle of working in a more green screeny environment or the volume, although I did feel he got better as the film went on as his character gets a good moment towards the end but feels relatively pointless for the rest of the film. Michelle Pfeiffer has much more of a role after her character knows the most about the Quantum Realm, and only features towards the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp. This unfortunately means Evangiline Lily’s Wasp takes a much smaller role (pun unintended) and the film probably could’ve survived without her and Douglas showing up or featuring in more of a cameo role. The film reintroduces us to older Cassie, this time recast to Kathryn Newton, who does an okay job and fits the universe. Newton is a young actress and certainly has potential and decent chemistry with Rudd. Still confusing why she was recast in the first place however.

The story aspect of the films in Phase 4 was the biggest weakness and problem. The MCU has felt rushed and like they’re just trying to get as much out as possible as quick as possible, and that’s never going to get results. As much as I didn’t mind and enjoyed aspects of this film, I still don’t think this film feels unique enough. I was going into the film wanting an almost Empire Strikes Back darker, more serious, intense film. Have I fallen victim to my own expectations and hype? Maybe, a little bit. The film does however work best when it is more intense, when the humour that Ant-Man brings is sucked out and the threat of Kang feels very looming.

The visual effects have been a big talking point of Marvel films since Thor: Love and Thunder. This one does continue to suffer from a similar thing where you can tell that portions were filmed in The Volume. I don’t like this reliance on The Volume, it works more on TV but really takes away from the epicness and large scale that films should have. As for the rest of the film, there’s one big talking point, a certain character who I won’t spoil but I don’t hate it and think it’s probably just about as good as it could ever look.

Overall, if you like the last Ant-Man films you probably will enjoy this. It has enough moments for fans to enjoy but is ultimately at it’s best whenever Jonathon Majors is on screen and the threat that he brings. Perhaps too early to see what big changes Marvel are working on to sort out their universe.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What did you think of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania?

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