Written by Nynoshka Vazquez Suazo
The highly anticipated release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania left Marvel fans anxious to see what the future holds for the MCU. As Phase 5 begins, the Multiverse Saga continues and we’re introduced to a new version one of Marvel’s of most threatening villains.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Scott Lang/Ant-man (Paul Rudd) is now “back to normal” after the reverse of The Blip. However, is that all this hero has to offer?
Hope/The Wasp (Evangeline Lily) now runs her father, Hank Pym’s (Michael Douglas) business. Scott’s daughter, Cassie (Kathryn Newton) is all grown up, and after she’s up in jail for her participation in a protest she makes it known how the years without her father affected her. Scott also learns that Cassie has been working on a secret project with Hank to create a device that can map the quantum realm. Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) realizes the device can send messages back from the quantum realm, the place she had been trapped for 30 years, she panics, unplugging the device which causes the family to be sucked into the quantum realm.
The visuals of the quantum realm will leave the viewers in awe. The detail and thought put into the world is magical. The decision to give the quantum realm’s inhabitants their own identity and their own language also enforces the separation between their world/universe with that of Earth, making the multiverse theory even greater.
It would not be a movie starring Paul Rudd if comedy wasn’t a leading thread. While the film deals with lots of serious topics and big threats, the comedy and comedic characters that lie within it are what make the Ant-Man films different than other Marvel films. Veb (David Dastmalchian) and Quaz (William Jackson Harper) are a comedic duo we never knew we needed. Specifically, Quaz’s comedic timing is perfect, seeing that he can read minds it’s left to the audience to interpret based on his reactions. If Michael Pena had returned to his role as Luis, tears of laughter would have most definitely been shed.
The film’s cast is filled with some great names and some surprise appearances. Michelle Pfeiffer, an icon, leads the cast and takes part in most of the film’s fight sequences. A surprising addition to the cast was Bill Murray who plays Lord Krylar, Janet’s quantum realm lover. The reappearance of Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) was a surprising yet perfect contribution as it not only set up a new story for his character but connected this film to the previous in a way that was not forced.
A casting choice that should be noted is that of Cassie. In Avengers: Endgame after Scott finally gets out of the quantum realm in which he had been trapped in for five years, he catches up on the strange happenings that surround him. His first and most obvious instinct was to go check on his daughter Cassie to make sure she was not taken in the blip, this is when we are first introduced to grown-up Cassie. However, the actress in Endgame was Emma Fuhrmann, not Kathryn Newton, and we also must acknowledge the original Cassie from the first two Ant-Man films Abby Ryder Forts. Newton’s Cassie has a strong sense of self and identity, she knows who she is and stands behind her beliefs and what she stands for. She is also not afraid of a fight, I hope to see more of her spirit and her in action as her character continues to grow within the MCU.
The release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was one of the most anticipated releases of 2023, mostly because of the introduction of Kang the Conqueror played by Jonathan Majors. Firstly, the casting for this role was phenomenal. The way Majors adds levels of humanity and relatability to a character who is essentially a murderous monster is a performance to be admired. That being said the film could’ve done more with his character. As we see in both end credit scenes, Kang is not going anywhere if anything this is just the beginning, just a taste of what he will do and what he is capable of.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a fun addition to the Ant-Man story. However, I question whether or not it was the right film to kick off Phase 5? Furthermore, did the film do enough to set up the future of the MCU, the multiverse, and Kang? Let’s see what the future holds.