The first 10 years of Marvel films weren’t all amazing products, but there was a good cadence of highly entertaining films, with only a few less-than-stellar entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, since the release of Avengers: Endgame, and the conclusion of The Infinity Saga, Marvel has been much more hit or miss with films and Disney Plus shows. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was expected to kick off Phase 5 with a bang, but it feels a bit more like a whimper.

Ant-Man 3 follows the main characters from the previous two Ant-Man films, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and his wife, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). They are joined by Scott’s grown-up daughter, Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), and the new big bad in town, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). Luis (Michael Peña) is nowhere to be found, and David Dastmalchian has left behind Kurt, his character from the first two movies, in favor of Veb, a new CG character from the Quantum Realm.

Jonathan Majors completely steals the show. His Kang the Conqueror is very different from He Who Remains, the Kang variant from the first season of Loki on Disney Plus, but still feels like the same person in many ways. Majors’ performance is really the only standout of the entire film, although Bill Murray is charming as Krylar, and Veb is also a highlight. Scott Lang and the rest of the Ant family all feel very similar to their roles in the first two movies, which isn’t bad, they simply don’t stand out.

Unfortunately, Kathryn Newton’s MCU introduction as the new Cassie Lang doesn’t light any fires. When compared to her direct peers, Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop and Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan, Newton just doesn’t stack up. She feels very plain in the role, and rarely stands out in her scenes. Perhaps she’ll have better chemistry when she’s paired up with the other young women of the MCU, but for now, she was fairly mundane.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania review

Corey Stall returns as M.O.D.O.K., who tries to fill in some of the missing comedic charms from the first two films, but the humor really isn’t there. When he’s a menacing bad guy, he’s great. In every other scene, it just feels as though he’s trying too hard. He also looks very strange as M.O.D.O.K. Yes, he’s supposed to look odd, but compared to his comic counterpart his face is too big and it makes the character look awkward in live-action. A more direct comic adaptation may have looked a bit better.

For the most part, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a fairly normal Marvel movie. It doesn’t rise to the heights of Avengers: Infinity War or Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it doesn’t fall to the lows of Iron Man 2 or Thor: The Dark World. The first half of the movie has a very Star Wars-like feel to it, but even that falls to the wayside as the movie progresses.

One issue, that may have been unavoidable, is that Kang is far too powerful to be contained by the Ant family. His power is showcased in force at times, but then seemingly held back for no reason at other points in the film. It’s enough of a difference to make you ponder why some other heroes weren’t added to the film to help balance the power so that Kang wouldn’t have to be toned down just for Ant-Man to get a punch in.

Coming off of what many would consider a Phase 4 that was average at best, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania isn’t a great start to Phase 5. However, with two very important post-credits scenes there is a clear path forward, which is one aspect of Phase 4 many people took issue with. Given the fact that Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is coming, the path forward seems very bright, even if Quantumania is a little dim.

About Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Synopsis: Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, along with Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, explore the Quantum Realm, where they interact with strange creatures and embark on an adventure that goes beyond the limits of what they thought was possible.

Director: Peyton Reed

Writer: Jeff Loveness

Stars: Jonathan Majors, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Kathryn Newton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, David Dastmalchian, Bill Murray, Corey Stoll

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 2 Hours, 5 Minutes

Releases: February 17, 2023 (USA)

Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments