The Ant-Man movies have never been the “serious” ones in the MCU. They mostly had that stand-alone nature and were the most laid-back entertainers in the franchise. Considering whom they have used in this movie as the antagonist, I would say Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is perhaps the most consequential film in the Ant-Man franchise. Having said that, the movie is still in that easy-breezy space which felt like a bit of a problem as it was used as a platform to introduce the mighty Kang to the audience.
Scott Lang is living that happy life in the post-blip phase. As he catches up with all those things he missed when he was in the quantum realm, he learns that Cassie has grown to be an expert in quantum realm physics. When she tries to show Lang her latest invention, things go out of control, and the whole family is sucked into the realm. The events that unfold inside the realm are what we see in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
The movie is trying to simultaneously be a typical light-tone Ant-Man film and a significant MCU event film. You are laughing at the “I have holes” line, and at the same time, the ease with which Kang is defeated reduces the movie’s grandeur. The typical humor is still there, and they have tried to include all the past characters to give the film a reunion look. And I liked the practical comedy they used, considering the story is set in the Avengers universe.
When you watch the trailer, you get a feeling that the film will put Lang in a position of moral dilemma as he wants to mess up with the timeline to make up for all the time he lost with Cassie. But when it comes to the film, there is no dilemma here; it is just a classic kidnapping strategy from Kang. It is almost like both Peyton Reed and Jeff Loveness were assigned the responsibility of creating a cornerstone project, but they just couldn’t detach themselves from the chilled-out narrative structure of the previous film. The only major relief for me was the improvement in visual effects quality, as there was an evident deterioration in the Phase 4 movies and series.
Paul Rudd, as the central character, has no challenges here. The Adam Sandler Rom-Com texture is still there in Lang’s character. Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang was okay in her role, and the father-daughter chemistry wasn’t that bad. Jonathan Majors as Kang is actually the talking point here. But his performance never felt that intimidating. Michelle Pfeiffer, as Janet, plays a very pivotal role in the film as she holds the key to a lot of mysteries.
Looking at the hit-and-miss nature of phase 4 and this not-so-great start of phase 5, I must say that Kevin Feige has a massive task in his hands to give hope to the fans about the finale of this phase. With a visible drop in interest in superhero movies, mainly due to its repetitive structure, Marvel needs some serious revamping on a conceptual level.
Considering whom they have used in this movie as the antagonist, I would say Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is perhaps the most consequential film in the Ant-Man franchise.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended