Action Adventure

Review: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ is an Ambitious Sequel that Brings the Fun Back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

February 14, 2023Ben MK

Ever since his big screen debut, Ant-Man has typically played the role of comic relief, with the character's first two standalone outings — 2015's Ant-Man and 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp — being self-contained adventures that had little impact on the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, however, director Peyton Reed is setting out to change all that, as he pits Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and his family against an enemy whose plans to conquer the multiverse threaten to destroy everything the heroes of the MCU have fought so valiantly to save.

It's been a year since the events of Avengers: Endgame, and a lot has changed for Scott in the span of the last twelve months. After all, helping the likes of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor save the universe from the Mad Titan Thanos is no small feat, and as a result, Scott has become a celebrity in his own right, and has even written a bestselling book about his experiences. For his spunky, 18-year-old daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), though, there's still a lot more good that her dad could be doing for the world, despite the fact that there are no evil supervillains to contend with at the moment. So when Cassie's social activism gets her arrested and thrown in jail yet again, it forces Scott to reflect on just how much his little girl has grown up, and to reflect on how much of her childhood he missed thanks to being trapped in the Quantum Realm for five long years.

What Scott doesn't realize is that Cassie has also become something of an inventor, a trait that she picked up from her adoptive mom Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and surrogate grandpa Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). But when Cassie's ingenious, new invention — a microscopic-sized satellite capable of transmitting and receiving signals to and from the Quantum Realm — ends up awakening a heretofore unknown threat that has been lying in wait, the four of them, along with Hank's wife Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) — who herself spent 30 years stranded in the Quantum Realm — find themselves thrust into a high-stakes war none of them are prepared to fight, as they come face to face with the power-hungry Kang (Jonathan Majors), a man who will stop at nothing until he's either destroyed or reshaped every timeline in the multiverse in his own image.

What follows will see our protagonists transported to an otherworldly dimension, where they'll explore colorful environments and encounter all manner of even more colorful characters. Eye-popping visuals aside, however, the film's real star attraction is Majors, who follows up his brief appearance in season one of Loki with a performance that teases his role as the Big Bad of Phase Five of the MCU. As Kang, Majors brings incredible range to one of Marvel Comics' longest-standing antagonists, affirming his status as one of the most versatile actors of his generation. And while only time will tell just how formidable a force Kang will be, he definitely gives Ant-Man and his allies a run for their money, easily earning Majors a spot as a new audience favorite.

Throw in the surprising return of a Phase Two villain, a cameo from Bill Murray, and battle scenes that attempt to rival the Avengers movies in scope, and the result is undoubtedly the most ambitious Ant-Man adventure ever. Make no mistake, Marvel Studios has yet to top the sheer spectacle that was Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame; but if Quantumania is any indication, Phase Five is headed in the right direction.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania releases February 17th, 2023 from Walt Disney Studios. The film has an MPAA rating of PG-13 for violence/action, and language. Its runtime is 2 hrs. 5 min.

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