Since his 2015 debut in the MCU, Ant-Man has always been a B character in the pantheon of heroes at Casa das Ideias. His first film tells a classic origin story, while the sequel brings the partner into combat, expands the possibilities and hints that something bigger will be done in the future. Well, the future has arrived with Quantumania, and while it’s fun, the movie just can’t escape that label.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania finally takes the viewer into the Quantum Realm and its gorgeous visuals, but its main achievement is to introduce the next big boss responsible for making life hell for the Avengers: Kang the Conqueror. What should be great is just cool, and once again proves that the Marvel formula needs tweaking.
- See too: Ant-Man 3: see summary of the story before Quantumania
Quantumania begins with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) reaping the rewards of a quieter life in the city. The hero even wrote a book about his journey with the Avengers, first moments with his suit, and how much time he lost without being with his daughter, Cassie Lang (Katheryn Newton), who is already an impulsive teenager.
The first few minutes of the film are very reminiscent of a family sitcom, showing the core of Scott, Cassie, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), rescued from the Quantum Realm. That laid-back tone, like a 2000s sitcom, gets Quantumania off to a great, quick start.
Even with good chemistry, Scott and Cassie can’t pass such an emotional charge to the public.Source: Marvel/Disclosure
The turning point comes when Cassie sends a signal to the Quantum Realm through a device she built, and ends up sucking the whole family into that mysterious dimension.
The Marvel formula remains tired
The feature only takes the main steps to the story when all the characters enter this Kingdom and end up falling in different places. In an attempt to find each other, the plot throws explanations about that place, the inhabitants and dangers, and reveals more about Janet’s past, while bringing the imminent threat of Kang.
The problem is that all this has been done thousands of times in countless works of science fiction. A group of strangers will stop in an environment that defies the laws of space-time. In the quest for survival, they find an initially hostile people, but who prove to be allies, and seek a revolution against a tyrant who spreads terror over those lands.
Quantumania even resembles Guardians of the Galaxy in aesthetic terms.Source: Marvel/disclosure
Quantumania follows that exact recipe as a catalyst to move the story forward, and that’s not necessarily a demerit to the film. If so many others use it, why couldn’t Ant-Man 3? After all, I myself am a big advocate of clichés when they’re done well, and the film still manages to do that well.
However, this is the third film for a character that serves only to introduce the great threat of the Marvel Cinematic Universe until 2025, with Avengers: Kang Dynasty. The villain who will face the most popular team of heroes in recent decades is in this film, so Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania should not be just another repetition of a recipe beaten and stamped by the industry for years.
- Read more: Is Kang stronger than Thanos? Meet Ant-Man 3’s villain
Fortunately, the script by Jeff Loveness (Rick and Morty) manages to be both the film’s balance point and its main problem – although Jeff seems not to be so much to blame. The text is simple, and although the film is 2 hours long, the pace is excellent, and it went by very quickly. Already at the end I felt a feeling that everything that was shown had a good screen time and was not something dull or just played.
The action is well done and achieves great moments of fighting, which, added to the good special effects, provides good quality entertainment for those who will watch it. Seeing Ant-Man, Wasp and Stature shrinking and growing in size to overcome enemies several times, and in different ways, makes the final result positive.
The story proposed by Loveness makes the film have a lot of action and does not make the audience tired quickly.Source: Marvel/disclosure
One of the lesser antagonists, MODOK first appears in this feature. The machine is pretty bizarre, and it’s the low point of CGI, after all, showing a man with a disproportionate head without looking weird is difficult. At the same time, this villain delivers hilarious scenes with Scott and Hank. It’s strange, but without a doubt it’s a funny highlight, only part of the public may not buy this idea.
The world building of the Quantum Realm is well done, and really resembles a Star Wars spin-off movie with several aliens, futuristic structures and absurd things that have to be seen to be believed. The visuals of the beings in this dimension are very interesting, giving off a similar vibe to some bizarre films made by director Robert Rodriguez from the 90s.
For more practical purposes, the Quantum Realm could easily serve as a planet in the Mandalorian series.Source: Marvel/disclosure
The CGI and special effects leave nothing to be desired, and in fact are excellent 98% of the time – the remaining 2% goes to MODOK’s weirdness. Quantumania only exists because of the green screen and the special effects, so this praise is nothing more than an obligation. Even if the scenery is beautiful, it is noticeable that the film is artificial like so many others from Marvel. Even more so in the Quantum Realm, it would be great to see practical effects used to give this journey greater weight, but not this time.
The direction of Peyton Reed, responsible for the first two films, is more mature and concise. In the few scenes in which it is noticeable that the actors are working in a real scenario, the director manages to convey the feeling of tranquility with the cast, making everyone in tune.
By the way, speaking of maturity, Quantumania hits the mood very well. The previous ones were funny, but reaching the limit of acceptable. The third film is more restrained and serious, but the jokes are fluid and better done. It’s nothing flashy like Thor: Love and Thunder and nothing sinister like Thor: The Dark World. The jokes work at the right time and are quite amusing.
Paul Rudd Is More Dramatic Thanks To Jonathan Majors’ Kang
And all of this leads us to exploration of the core characters and performances. The core family of Scott, Cassie, Janet, Hope and Pym works well, just as it did in the previous two films.
Kathryn Newton’s Cassie makes a good debut, and the script didn’t bother to give this character a whole arc of training to live the heroine Stature, or even force the dynamic of a daughter who moves away from her father. Scott and Cassie have their issues, but they are resolved quickly and intelligently.
Pfeiffer has great importance in the story, but ends up disappearing in the final moments to make way for Evangeline Lilly’s WaspSource: Marvel/disclosure
Michelle Pfeiffer acts as a good support in the Quantum Realm, and thankfully this third film gives the character some extra depth. The Wasp would seem to be sidelined from the plot, even in the publicity material, but Evangeline Lilly’s character does well in the third act, as well as Michael Douglas and his Hank Pym, grouchy as ever.
Paul Rudd gives a more dramatic tone to his performance due to the proportion of the acts, but, in general, the actor holds Scott Lang quietly, and continues to fit like a glove in the role of Ant-Man.
After appearing in the final episode of Loki’s first season as He Who Remains, Jonathan Majors returns to bring Kang to life. Majors is very good in the role of the upcoming MCU supervillain, managing to convey a sense of grandeur, respect and power to the viewer. The actor manages to convince, but the script does not help to make this character memorable.
Unlike Thanos’ charisma, Kang is more pragmatic and reserved.Source: Marvel/disclosure
Of course, this isn’t Kang in all his splendor of powers, and this ultra-powerful villain is only to be seen in 2025 against the Avengers. Even so, Kang is both important and ambiguous in Quantumania. Adapting a character that travels through time and has thousands of variants, as has already been said in Loki, puts a knot in the public’s head.
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At the end of the film, my questioning turned into a visible expression of “What now?”. Messing with multiple realities, and different versions of different characters, is starting to get extremely confusing in the MCU. As I said a few paragraphs ago, Jeff Loveness’s script is not the problem as a whole, but at this point, Marvel’s decision to cast Kang as this ultimate threat doesn’t seem like such a genius idea. In 2025 and 2026 we will know the result of this, and I hope I am completely wrong.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania entertains with its action scenes, the beauties of the Quantum Realm and well-timed jokes. Finally the franchise broke away from the urban core and moved on to something more fanciful. However, at the end of those 2 hours I just felt like it was an OK movie. A film that works, as far as possible, but is far from being an extraordinary work that will have countless scenes marked in the imagination of fans.
Once again Marvel delivers an Ant-Man who delivers his role, going from point A to point B without making any frills, and manages to introduce Kang, The Conqueror well to the big screen audience. However, the tired MCU formula is in evidence, turning what could be a great movie into something just cool.