Following the defeat of Thanos (as seen in the events of Avengers: Endgame), Scott Lang aka Ant-Man has returned to every day life. However, where he was once seen as a nobody, and a two-bit criminal, now the world views Scott as a hero and one of humanity’s greatest saviours.
Everywhere Scott goes, he meets people who appreciate and adore him. Life is so much sweeter, he spends his days meeting fans and hanging out with his family, and things couldn’t be going any better.
But Scott’s happy existence quickly gets turned upside down, when his daughter Cassie accidentally causes Scott and his family to be pulled into the mind-melding, subatomic universe known as the Quantum Realm. Here they meet strange and wonderous creatures, and see incredible sights they couldn’t even imagine.
However, the Quantum Realm is not a place Scott and Co. want to remain and they are keen to return home. Unfortunately, in order to escape the Realm, they must first do battle with a new threat in the form of Kang the Conqueror – a time-bending dictator who is more than a formidable foe.
Directed by Peyton Reed, and starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Kathryn Newton, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Jonathan Majors, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the latest super hero movie from Marvel Studios. The picture is the 31st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it kick-start’s the MCU’s ‘Phase Five’, and it is new to UK and US cinemas from today.
Part Star Wars, part bubblegum card nonsense, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is big, loud, visually imaginative, and thoroughly enjoyable. Sure, there’s barely any plot, and it is a little exposition heavy in places, but boy, is it fun!
There’s plenty of action, lots spectacle, and some nicely sprinkled humour. It’s darker than the previous Ant-Man movies, and much bigger too, and for those who love cosmic sci-fi fantasy, this film is right up your street.
I mentioned Star Wars above because Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is heavily influenced by the space epic. One scene in the film feels reminiscent of the Cantina sequence from A New Hope, another scene appears to have been lifted from The Rise of Skywalker, while all the visual wizardry on display is the Star Wars prequels through and through.
And just like those films, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is filled to the brim with quirky creatures, fascinating fauna, and some of the best-looking visual effects in a Marvel movie for a while. With the exception of one ropey-looking character (you’ll know him when you see him), this entire movie is an eye-popping treat, with so many things to draw the audience’s attention.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania also makes great use of its ensemble cast. While the film is clearly titled as an Ant-Man and Wasp caper, there is plenty of room for series regulars, Cassie, Hank Pym, and Janet van Dyne to get involved too.
In fact, one of my favourite aspects of this movie (outside of the visuals) is just how well it uses its core cast. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly get lots to do as the title characters, but Michelle Pfeiffer gets some great action sequences as Janet, and the same goes for Michael Douglas as Hank.
These two might be viewed as more senior members of the cast, but they still get to do all the super heroic sequences required. And not only that, they look pretty cool doing it – especially Pfeiffer.
Working alongside them is Kathryn Newton, who takes over the role of Cassie and she is a likeable presence in the film. Newton replaces Abby Ryder Fortson and Emma Fuhrmann, who previously played Cassie in MCU films, and she slots in quite comfortably, making it appear as if she has always been part of the series.
And then, joining all of the above is Jonathan Majors, who takes on the role of the villainous Kang. This time-meddling foe is bigger, meaner, and deadlier than what we’ve seen before, and he is the movie’s top trump.
Remember how Thanos wiped out half of all life in the universe in Avengers: Infinity War? Well, Kang could bring an end to everyone and everything in the entire multiverse.
This isn’t just a throw-away bad guy, this is a villain who will become a key player moving forward. Thankfully, he is played to absolute perfection by Majors, who fills Kang with brains, brawn, and brutality.
For those who follow the MCU very closely, you’ll know this isn’t Majors’ first appearance – he previously popped up in the first season of the Loki TV series. However, this time around he gets a great deal of screen time, and much more room to expand his character, and he certainly makes the most of it.
This is a strong outing for Kang, and his involvement really adds something to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. As much as I like the fun of the previous Ant-Man movies, Kang’s inclusion gives this film a little more grit and weight, and it is good to see.
But fear not Ant-Man fans, the warmth and laughter isn’t lost along the way, and while Kang does alter the tone of this Ant-Man film, there is still lots of silliness too. Bill Murray drops by for a few laughs, there are a number of jokes at the expense of some new characters, and there’s all the usual size-changing hoopla and hullabaloo you’ve come to expect.
While this might be a different outing for the Ant-Man series, it hasn’t forgotten its roots. It maintains its playful side throughout, while still allowing director Peyton Reed to try out something new.
The end result is a pivotal piece on the chess board of the MCU. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania moves its title characters (Ant-Man in particular) away from being just the comedy relief, and into the big leagues, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Loaded with popcorn fun, but also filled with some scenes which are much more substantial, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a strong entry in the MCU. It isn’t the best written, and no one will come out of it talking about its intricate plot, but it certainly delivers where it counts.
Rudd and Lilly are top value, as are Newton, Pfeiffer, and Douglas, but Majors steals the picture. However, it is ultimately Peyton Reed who brings it all together, delivering a fantasy romp that takes the Ant-Man movies to new heights.
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