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Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania Review

WARNING REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

Right off the bat, I want to say that my boy Johnathan Majors as Kang are the types of performances that can turn a bad movie into decent or a good movie into great. The only problem with this version of Kang in comparison to his performance in the season finale of Loki was that we get an opposite version of He Who Remains to the Conqueror. Unless his other variants are similar as he is I think the audience will fall for the comparison game all too much. Marvel fans want a similar big bad like Thanos. Kang The Conqueror was very close and being a non-CGI character Major's facial expressions and his presence, in general, was completely disarming and simultaneously threatening with a hint of charm.

The thing I like about the Ant-man movies were that they do not have to be about "The World Is At Stake" or "The Universe Is At Stake". When the director, Payton Reed, said that this will feel like an Avengers-level film, I have to admit I was ready and expecting that. This did not feel like an Avengers-level film. It felt like the first act of one or a "Meanwhile Somewhere Else In The MCU" with that epic narrator "Hall of Justice" voiceover setting up the next thing to come.

Here is the brilliance of what was delivered. This movie is literally a pocket-sized epic. There was a threat to the universe, The Quantum Realm, but it is a place outside of time and space. A place is so small that we can not see it. To us, it would be insignificant. There was a moment where Scott's daughter Cassandra, played by Kathryn Newton, said "Just because it's not happening to us doesn't mean it isn't happening". When Scott insisted that the tiny universe and the war that was waging there was not their problem. This was a call back to the first Ant-man movie in which Scott, Paul Rudd, was himself in prison for sticking up for the little guy and fighting against tranny. This was the ultimate sticking up for the little guy movie. The twist here is that Kang plays a threat to the world, all worlds, and all universes if he were to escape. Pocket-sized Epic. The irony of the entire situation wasn't lost but it did not feel close to an Avengers-level film, just an MCU movie featuring a potential Avengers-level threat.

In comparison to the other two Ant-man films, this one is so far my second favorite, Ant-man 1 being first and Ant-man 2 being in 3rd place. I had a lot of fun with this movie and will be watching it again on the big screen. It's a departure from the spirit of the first two and one of the major problems with it is that lack of fun characters. There was only one blog creature who kept me chuckling but I really missed the voice of Michael Peña and his quick updates of the MCU. Quantumania is a fun ride but what makes Antman movies great are the characters that Paul Rudd gets to play around with. The tone was more serious than the other two and the only person that Scott really got to play off of was literally himself at one point in the film.


As an MCU film, this was by far a program mimicking a genre or a theme and delivering it to us packaged in the Marvel skin. This felt more like an old-school Star Wars movie. I wouldn't have been surprised if the guy's hassling look in the cantina in A New Hope showed up in the bar scene of this movie. This was one of the things some people will not like but for me, I loved it. It was weird that Ant-Man could mimic Star Wars better than The Guardians of The Galaxy. So if you like Syfy fantasy, Quantumaina is a great story.


Now I'm starting to understand why it was called Quantumania, like WWE Wrestlemania maybe the first three movies were like the Survivor Series and Royal Rumble leading to this moment. The fact that Ant-mans power is geared toward helping the little guy but is very significant in navigating us through major plot points like time travel and multiverse navigating feels like Ant-man is the MCU's version of The Flash another character who could be considered a few tricks pony but when they use their powers to the fullest can really be the centerpieces of the entire story.

Paul Rudd as Ant-man was great in his new semi-retired phase after the events of Endgame and his enjoyment of his new celebrity. I would not call it a midlife crisis but his character seemed to be comfortable leaving his life as an ex-con and Avenger behind and living in the fame because he feels like it's what he deserves. His being dragged into the quantum realm was a reality check that grounded him back to the Ant-man he needs to never forget he is thanks to the antics of his daughter.

Cassandra played a similar character to Ant-man from the first movie, getting into Good Trouble and fighting for those who can not stick up for themselves. This is not surprising because Cassy was always drawn towards her father and admired him. There was a moment where I felt another nod to a Young Avengers moment, thinking, "is this the movie where she becomes to new ant-man?"

Michael Douglas as Hank Pym was perfect from beginning to end, if there was anything that kept this movie grounded to the theme of the first two films it was him and his performance. Mentor, grandpa, husband, father, and cornerstone of the team.

Evangeline Lilly as Hope had me on pins and needles throughout the entire film. Going into it I was nervous she may die in this film or become lost because it's what happened to Janet's character played by Michelle Pfieffer. We didn't get much of her in the trailer and that had me nervous that she wasn't in the majority of the film called Ant-man & The Wasp. A title that is more symbolized than what is delivered. This movie was literally Antman 3: Quantumania, not an ant-man and the wasp movie like the second one was.

Janet was the one character who kept frustrating me, not because it wasn't well played by Pfieffer, but because it was. She always delivers. I just kept thinking to myself, if you knew that there was a threat and a whole other world in the Quantum Realm, not telling anybody anything about it when the ability to get stuck there is probable with her family was just a plot device that made no sense. She turned the Quantum Real into a big shiny red button with no real warning sign on it.

This film literally goes into the tiny epic vein and tries to message that lesson pretty blatantly but shows you there is definitely more to come later, we just need to get this explanation in the opening scene of phase 5 out of the way. Like I said before it felt like a "previously on" or "meanwhile" movie that was needed to explain what is going on in the other movies that were also never really explained. For example, the theory that the beacon signal coming from the rings in the Shang-Chi film could be Kang The Conqueror sending a distress beacon to be freed or it could be another variant even worse than this one. There are so many possibilities.


Make sure you've caught up with the Ant-man movies, Endgame, and Loki season one before watching. We use to not have to say that but now there are definite must-watches before going on into the MCU. Other than that. Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania ranks pretty high in the overall MCU films list for me. I don't know why it got a 53% critic score on rotten tomatoes but if i were a critic I would give it a fresh.

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