3 Stars

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quatumania (2023)

The future of the MCU has a savior, but not the one you think.

It wasn’t until after viewing Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania that I realized we are already into Phase 5 of the MCU. 

Admittedly, the films of Phase Four have not been the best of the now thirty plus film series (and multiple TV shows). While I admit to not being the biggest of fans of the first two Ant-Man films (I am up for giving the first film a retry), launching the third film as the start of the new Phase seems daring in a sense, as if to make the public know there is still more quality left to milk out (and since we still have yet to see the MCU versions of the Fantastic Four and X-Men, there is no sign of this train stopping anytime soon). 

Well, the third film does have a savior of sorts for the future of the MCU, but not the one you may think it is.

Set at some point after the blip (if you truly want specifics, there is a wonderful thing I will refer you to called Wikipedia), life has been relatively scaled back for Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd, ever the archetypal everyman). He enjoys promoting his newest book, “Look out for the Little Guy”, whenever he gets the chance, while also working at Baskin Robbins (what a plug they got here.) He is still dating Hope van Dyne/Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), yet still finds little time to spend with her parents Hank and Janet (Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer). Worse of all, he still seems to be somewhat of a deadbeat dad to his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), who has taken on a rebel persona.

Yet that has not stalled Cassie from taking on the science route in life, even managing to make a signal to travel to the quantum realm. While not intended to be a portal, Janet (who originally was trapped down there for thirty years) does try to stop it, but it is too late as she and the rest (not to mention the audience) are sucked into the Quantum Realm. 

80% is the absolute minimum amount of time the film spends in the Quantum Realm. That is not necessarily a good or a bad thing. There are some rather unique creatures living in this realm (which are understood once you drink the red ooze), ranging from a mind reader and a jello like creature to…well, Bill Murray. Unlike the first films, this one takes a much more fantastical approach (there are virtually no shrinking/growing everyday objects).

While we as audience members can eventually grow numb to CGI, it is refreshing that the characters we have been with for years now are ones we can still see growing (both figuratively and literally) before our eyes. It does not seem that long ago that Scott was a criminal and the Pym family was fractured.

 In order for our heroes to get back home, it is Janet who needs to come clean about her past, which involves the reported new baddie to watch out for in the MCU, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).

After the events of Avengers: Endgame, you may have felt that the MCU had some big shoes to fill with the demise of Thanos. Kang does not fill those shoes: He tosses them out as yesterday’s news and brings his own to the floor. As a (sometimes) subdued Shakespearean caricature of sorts, Majors is nothing short of extraordinary. The movie oozes out magnetism every time he is on screen, making him worth the price of admission alone. 

Parents, as is the case with most MCU films, if your kids have seen any previous movies in the series, there is nothing much here too different. Some swearing, action/violence, nothing sexual. Pre-teen and up will be fine.

As much of a fan as I am of (most) of the MCU library, I have not really revisited them in a few years. That is not to say that they are not memorable or even not worth rewatching: I just have other movies to see (I should have a stricter schedule of sorts, but never mind.) Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is indeed another film I probably won’t revisit anytime soon (one can only spend so long looking at a green screen).

Thankfully, the intro of Kang is more than enough excitement to show that there is, somewhat ironically, still room for the MCU to grow.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

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