Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania had a lot of ground to cover as the introduction to Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From continuing the expansion of what we know about the multiverse to building up Kang the Conqueror, Ant-Man 3 has a decent amount of weight on its shoulders. For the most part, the film bears that weight with action and levity. However, the sheer amount of information introduced to the viewer makes Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania feel like a homework assignment at times.
The film follows Scott Lang, Hope van Dyne, Janet van Dyne, Hank Pym, and Cassie Lang after they become trapped in the Quantum Realm. As they seek to reunite with one another, Scott and Cassie cross paths with Kang the Conqueror. His plans for the future and his past connection to Janet are the foundation for the next chapter of Marvel storytelling. Kang is such a fascinating character — especially with the fantastic Jonathan Majors in charge — that Marvel could have easily spent an entire limited series establishing this villain.
But then again, there’s still so much mystery with Kang and not knowing everything about him and his intentions is likely part of the Marvel master plan. Jonathan really sets the stage for this new phase foe and chews up every scene he’s in. His ferocious performance makes you fearful (and very excited) for what’s to come.
Kathryn Newton steps into the role of Cassie Lang, Scott’s daughter. The Society alum took over the role from Emma Fuhrmann. The core of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the love between Scott and his daughter. Paul Rudd and Kathryn have effortless chemistry as father and daughter. Scott’s guilt for missing so much of Cassie’s life during the Blip is on full display, and his struggle with seeing his daughter grow up and become her own hero is the movie at its most relatable. We already know that Kang will have a major role in the MCU’s future, and it looks like Cassie will be finding her place as well.
Director Peyton Reed returned to direct Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Peyton and the design team really flex their creative muscles with this third film. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a stunning visual spectacle. The Quantum Realm is gorgeous and filled to the brim with strange and adorable creatures, as well as imaginative landscapes. In a world that was created completely by special effects, the Quantum Realm seems so real.
Michelle Pfeiffer owns her scenes as Janet van Dyne. Going back to the Quantum Realm is a trip down memory lane for Janet and could have been a spinoff. Michael Douglas is clearly having a lot of fun as Hank, and there’s one particular scene that almost steals the whole film. Previous Ant-Man villain Corey Stoll has a blast as the one and only M.O.D.O.K. However, it’s Evangeline Lilly’s Hope that gets lost in the shuffle, though. She’s away from Scott for most of the film, and there’s no deep story arc for The Wasp at all.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the starting point for what lies ahead, but it will largely be forgotten as Phase 5 continues. However, Kang is going to make sure you don’t ignore this film completely. His ominous warnings in the film will have you poring over theories and coming back to Quantumania for clues. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be in theaters everywhere on February 17.