“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” review

Marvel’s newest three-quel breaks off from its predecessors, for better or worse, but generates excitement for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


Brendan Peters//CHIMES

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is the newest movie in Marvel’s Phase 5.

Brendan Peters, Staff Writer

Following the cultural and box-office successes of both “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame,” along with over ten years of interconnected filmmaking, many wondered how Marvel Studios would move forward into a new era of the MCU.

Marvel’s Phase 4 was a period of growth, adversity and undoubtedly several missteps, including the challenges of COVID-19, turnover in Disney leadership and a lack of a cohesive story post-Endgame. This has resulted in a potent distrust of Marvel and a dwindling interest in superhero stories, all of which has been brought to an inflection point: the beginning of Marvel’s Phase 5. The movie that begins this new phase is now in theaters: “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”.

Like most new Marvel films, this third installment of the Ant-Man franchise is messy and seems to carry with it a lot of the challenges Marvel continues to face with its Cinematic Universe. For all of its limitations and petty flaws, however, it fixes a major issue with this new era of the MCU: viewers finally know where the larger story is going to take them.


One of the main elements of the third Ant-Man film that viewers will immediately observe is that it is wildly dissimilar to its predecessors, 2015’s “Ant-Man” and 2018’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” in that it has a much larger story in both scope and scale. The mostly humorous, heist-filled antics of previous installments have been replaced with a universe-altering conflict with implications for several future Marvel projects

The elevation of these characters is a reflection of Marvel’s past successes as well as its ability to move the story forward. Fans of the light-hearted, smaller-scale storytelling of past Ant-Man films are likely to be disappointed by “Quantumania,” which sacrifices the previous foundational elements and supporting characters at the expense of a set-up for a larger story.

Despite this departure from Ant-Man expectations, “Quantumania” certainly delivers on one of its key goals: introducing the character of Kang the Conqueror, played by Jonathan Majors. Kang is unlike any previous Ant-Man villain since he comes from the Quantum Realm, a dimension outside of time or reality. Majors is absolutely the standout of the film, delivering a subtle yet menacing performance that is sure to create excitement among MCU fans. It is unclear what Kang’s role will be in future Marvel installments, but his introduction is certainly an exciting turning point for Marvel’s “Multiverse Saga.”


Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily are back in the titular roles of Ant-Man and Wasp. While Rudd continues to show off his range and experience in the role of Scott Lang, Lily’s Hope van Dyne takes somewhat of a back seat, which might also disappoint casual fans. Other characters such as Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas, and Janet van Dyne, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, return and provide memorable moments, with Pfeiffer especially serving as a catalyst for the introduction of Majors’ Kang.

One key change in terms of character, however, is the re-introduction of Scott Lang’s young daughter Cassie, albeit much older due to the time jump of “Avengers: Endgame.”  Played by newcomer Kathryn Newton, Cassie is a chip off the old block and gets herself into trouble while finding clever ways to get herself out of it. Specifically, she and her family are transported to the Quantum Realm by one of her own experiments. She provides a youthful energy to the film which will not go unnoticed.


Unfortunately for Marvel, their newest film has grabbed headlines for receiving mostly negative reviews from critics. This has only added fuel to the fire of Marvel’s struggles since “Endgame.” While some of this is certainly warranted, it can begin to feel that  expectations for Marvel movies have reached a point of being unrealistic. While it is understandable to criticize Marvel for its repairable issues or lack of direction, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” serves as a case study in the power of realistic expectations. While the superhero genre may never be Oscar-worthy, this Marvel film answered fans’ questions and entertained the audience in memorable ways.

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