Ant-Man and the Wasp - Quantumania: Bring on the Big Bad! Almost No Spoilers

I'm forty minutes into Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania when I took a sip of my root beer. One problem; I poured myself a cherry coke. I look over at the neighbor to the right, and he hasn't noticed that I've taken a hefty swig from his soda either. I mumble sorry and get back to the fully immersive action on-screen.  By reading beyond this point, you are agreeing to my updated privacy policy, found here, and my use of commissioned links.

Let's be honest, Marvel has lost a few miles per hour off their fastball since Avengers Endgame. Seven feature films have graced the big screen since then, and while each has been entertaining in its own way, the vision of something bigger on the horizon has been missing. Ant-Man and the Wasp - Quantumania adds the multi-movie stakes that have been missing. Those stakes come in the form of a Thanos-level villain, Kang the Conqueror, played with heartbreaking menace by Jonathan Majors. 

Where in the MCU are we?

The latest installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have focused on family: Searching for it (Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness), losing it (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Spider-Man: No Way Home), defying it (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), and finding it (Thor: Love and Thunder). The latest Ant-Man and the Wasp movie is a story of family also. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has retired from "avenging" to make up for lost time with his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton). He's happy. He's relaxed. He's enjoying his fame as an Avenger. 


Cassie, Janet Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) have been tinkering with the "quantum realm" without getting advice from the only two people in the universe who have ever been there: Scott and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeifer). That turns out to be a terrible mistake as they soon find themselves lost and hunted in the quantum realm.

This is where the plot review ends, so you don't get any spoilers you can't find on a cast listing. 

The world-building in Ant-Man is incredible. The denizens of the quantum realm are a perfect mix of CGI and "real" special effects. The scenes achieved a level of variety and surprise in the life-forms that the later Star Wars movies aspired to, but never reached. The houses are a particular treat. No more to say on that!

The plot moves well, does not have any terrible "if only they'd just TALKED for one moment it never would have happened" moments, and kept me and the 9-year-old fully immersed and guessing what was going to happen next. Humor is stitched in throughout the movie. It's definitely not as funny (or farcical) as Thor: Love and Thunder, but it hit several theater-wide laughs. Here's the only real spoiler: Luis (Michael Pena), Scott's story-telling friend who narrates over-acted, lip-synched montages in the previous Ant-Man movies, is not in this one. At all. This is a major disappointment to me, but I will leaven that downer with the fact that I only just realized he was missing from the movie 24 hours later. 

Jonathan Majors as Kang is an incredible treat as he hits notes of tenderness, sorrow, rage, arrogance, and pity. He's my new favorite. Paul Rudd does Paul Rudd things which is always a joy for me. Michelle Pfeiffer gets more of a leading role than her previous stints in the Ant-Man movies, and Kathryn Newton is a believable activist daughter. One major loss to the movie is Evangeline Lilly doesn't get the screen time she deserves because of the amount of cast moving around.

Is Ant Man appropriate for kids?

The movie has some swearing which is a few exclamatory $h!ts that are properly placed and not slung about casually. 

This is the first MCU movie since Endgame where it feels that there is a bigger picture, a greater story being woven together in store for us. I expected that from Dr. Strange and the Multi-Verse of Madness, but it failed in that regard. Ant-Man and the Wasp - Quantumania is the true successor to Avengers Endgame. It is not nearly as good, nor are the stakes as high, but the movie sets the stage for great things to come.

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