It’s been a few years since Ant-Man was the catalyst to help bring everyone back in Endgame, and Quantumania begins with Scott Lang truly living his best life.
He saunters around town, meeting fans, and doing appearances. His relationship with Hope Van Dyne is going great as she is working to run her father’s foundation. He is working to rebuild his relationship with his daughter Cassie – since he missed a crucial five years and she has become a bona fide social justice warrior in the meantime (seemingly with help from Hank and Janet). All in all, things are looking up for Ant-Man.
He then learns that while Janet has been reluctant to discuss her time in the Quantum realm, Cassie (who is now a electrical engineer/quantum realm scientist?) has created a beacon of sorts that will send a signal down to the microscopic realm. Panicked, Janet asks her to stop – but they all end up sucked into the Quantum Realm.
While down there, Scott and Cassie meet a group of freedom fighters who are under attack from a cruel and conquering invader, while Hank, Janet, and Hope meet up with some old friends of Janet’s from her time down there who vary from odd to menacing. Eventually, they all get to meet Kang and learn that he was exiled to the realm by all the other Kangs (he regularly interacts with all his variants from the multi-verse). Angry at being exiled and desperate for revenge, he enlists the Ant team to help him get what he needs to get out.
Like the other two movies, this one is directed by Peyton Reed and does have a similar tone – due mostly to Paul Rudd, these movies tend to be a little more light-hearted. Rudd is still fantastic as Scott – an Avenger by association who loves the attention but is also a genuinely good person who wants to help. Rudd is so charming and fun he is wonderful to watch even when the story wanders a little.
The other Ant team folks are equally good – unfortunately there is less for Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp to do here then she has had in the past, but the central story is Scott connecting with his daughter, so I guess it makes sense? She’s so great as the Wasp that I found myself missing some great action sequences for her. Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer are fine – but there are moments when Janet is struggling with the sudden reconciliation of things she has hidden and it reminded me how good she can be as a villain and I hope we get to see her do that somewhere else soon. Katheryn Newton is good as Cassie – eager and determined with perhaps more confidence than skill at super-heroing, but she will get there.
The team of freedom fighters our heroes encounter in the quantum realm are charming with Katy O’Brian as Jentorra, William Jackson Harper as the extremely irritated mind-reader, Quaz, and David Dastmalchian stealing multiple scenes as Veb – the only bright spot in not having Scott’s Ex-Con crew in this is that Dastmalchian gets to be Veb, but I still wanted he, Michael Pena, and TI to show up at least once. Especially to have Pena summarize what happened in the previous movies.
The true star of this movie is Jonathan Majors. From the moment the menacing, charming, and engaging Kang shows up, he perfectly chews all the scenery and makes sure you know and understand he is going to be the big bad for the next phase of films. He’s gleefully determined to eliminate anyone who stands in his way, and I cannot wait to see what he does next – both post credit sequences were Kang heavy – literally.
Overall, the movie is fun and non-committal. It may not be required viewing for casual Marvel fans, but I definitely enjoyed it. Because so much of it is spent in the Quantum Realm, it was far more CGI-loaded than the other Ant-Man films, which have felt a little more street-level real-world. That is a bit of a detriment, but the quantum sequences did look great.
8 out of 10
No, I didn’t mention Modok. Did we need Modok? Not really, but honestly – I liked the way they did it!