As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues in down its track, there are plateaus and valleys. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has some humor and joyful characterizations, especially with Paul Lang back as Scott Lange/Ant-Man, and it has hints of what is to come in this franchise. But this film is definitely not at the top of the Marvel heap.
In this Ant-Man, Scott Lange is back to normal, non-super hero life (temporarily). He writes a book and is taking care of his daughter Cassie (played by Kathryn Newton). We think that maybe Scott has decided to go public as Ant-Man, but that’s not the case—not until he ends up in the Quantum Realm. The other characters in the Realm with him, many of whom we know from previous films, are Dr. Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas), Janet Van Dyne/Wasp (played by Michelle Pfeiffer), and Hope Van Dyne (played by Evangeline Lilly). The Quantum Realm is a strange world with odd creatures, a lot of them being like characters from the Netflix series Squid Game. The enemy of the realm is Kang the Conqueror (played by Jonathan Majors). Because Scott is stuck in a planet outside his control, we think he’s powerless. So Scott must regain his powers to find a way to escape and battle enemies of the Realm. The future is at risk from where Scott stands. Being Ant-Man may not be enough for Scott this time.
One of the problems with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is that there aren’t very many shrinking scenes, which of course is Ant-Man’s main super power. And as I mentioned, the characters on the planet are a little too like ones from Squid Game. The universe is simply mediocre. The film seems to care more about humor than action, and the plot is just rushed. Not terrible, and it does have some good qualities, especially with its backstory. Maybe the Marvel Cinematic Universe is just getting overwhelmed. The CGI in this film is over the top, the creativity is retro in many ways, and it’s hard to follow what is important in the strange planet where much of the film takes place.
Despite the silliness of the Realm, there are new beginnings. No doubt the audience will wait through the credits to see what is new going forward in the other Marvel films. Even though the Realm in this film is corny, the performances of Rudd, Douglas, Pfeiffer, and Jordan are solid, and a cameo from Bill Murray provides some joy. Are there any new surprises? Are there any new enemies? Are there any new evolutions? The Marvel films always have a multiple new beginnings and continuations among superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Overall, this one is not totally bad, but not stellar and, again, it has a foundational setup to give its audience an idea of the new direction for Marvel superheroes and Ant-Man himself. So it has some faithfulness, but more quirkiness. And even though I was not fond of this Ant-Man film, that doesn’t mean the other films in the franchise won’t be better. Altogether, then, the film is bit of a mess, fun at times, some decent humor, and some good action moments. But just two stars for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.