Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania - A Spoiler Review

The Kangverse is off and running towards Avengers: The Kang Dynasty where things will come to a head. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was an entertaining start to phase five of the MCU that will end with Blade (September 2024). Quantumania is a very enjoyable and entertaining film, but that also has some problems that stay with me the more I think about it. The good outweighs the bad, but the trend of Marvel films no longer being widely adored continues. The tone of the previous two Ant-Man films has been changed to suit the need to introduce Kang the Conqueror. Quantumania is still funny, but there is an underlying darkness to the film that Kang brings. Jonathan Majors made his MCU debut in episode six of Loki where we meet a variant of Kang called He Who Remains, and he was fantastic there and even better in Quantumania. The film also features Kathryn Newton (Blockers) taking over the role of Cassie Lang (Scott's daughter), and she is also a good new addition and will make another possible Young Avenger. The film is almost entirely set inside the Quantum Realm, which means the film required a lot of visual effects work (VFX) which for the most part looked really good. The film also had Bill Murray make his MCU debut as Lord Krylar; it was a short but memorable appearance by Murray. 

Quantumania has been criticized for the quality of the VFX, but to me it never bothered me in the slightest. The main issue for me was that this did not feel like and Ant-Man film; it feels more like a Star Wars film at times. The jokes mixed with the henchman being faceless non-threats made this feel like Marvel's attempt at a Star Wars film. That criticism/opinion was something I read about before seeing the movie, and maybe that is why I could not shake that feeling. It has become so hard to be critical of Marvel films because the bar they have set is so high that it makes each new film feel like a let down. The MCU has never made a bad film (DC has made a few), but since Endgame it has become almost impossible for Marvel to wow audiences (except for maybe No Way Home). Multiverse of Madness is a good film, but it felt like a let down when I watched despite having some truly amazing moments. Maybe there is something to those Marvel fatigue suggestions, but I think it is a mixture of factors that has led to Marvel films not delivering. In the buildup to Infinity War we were getting a maximum of three films per year, but more often two and there were no Disney Plus series then too. There is a lot more content coming out now, and the familiar favourites of Captain America, Iron Man and Black Widow are long gone. There are so many new characters in the MCU now, with more on the way. The stars of Quantumania to me are Cassie and Kang, as the story revolved around them more than any other character. If the future of the MCU includes a lot more of Jonathan Major's Kang and more of Kathryn Newton's Cassie (Stinger) than I am excited for what is to come.


The film opens up showing Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) in the Quantum Realm until she sees something crash from the sky. When she goes to look something attacks her, but she is saved by a mysterious stranger (Jonathan Majors). In the present, we see Scott (Paul Rudd) and Hope have been up to since we last saw them (at the end of Avengers: Endgame). Scott has written a book (called Look Out for the Little Guy) and become a celebrity of sorts, while Hope has started her own company where she is the boss. Cassie (Kathryn Newton) meanwhile has become an activist that has led to her arrest for shrinking a police car which leads to Scott and Hope having to bail her out of jail. At a family dinner, Hank (Michael Douglas) reveals that he has encouraged Cassie's protesting, and he even made her a suit. Cassie and Hank reveal that they have been working on something; they have made a device that can communicate with the Quantum Realm. The device is turned on, but when Janet realizes what it does, she panics and has them turn it off. Before Janet can explain why she is upset, the device turns back on and it sucks all of them into the realm. Luckily for them, Hope and Scott have new suits which appear at the touch of a button. Hope is able to catch Janet and Hank, while Scott is able to catch Cassie; but the fall separates them into two groups. Scott and Cassie end up being taken by some formidable foes, while Janet uses her knowledge of the realm to her advantage in an effort to locate Scott and Cassie. 

The foes Scott and Cassie encountered are led by Jentorra (Katy O'Brian) who is a freedom fighter wanting to be free of Kang. Janet, Hank and Hope make it to a city where she looks to find an old ally of hers when she was a freedom fighter. Janet's ally is Lord Krylar (Bill Murray), and he is charming and arrogant, but he also now works with/for Kang. Krylar reveals that he knows the location of Scott and Cassie, but Kang has sent his Mechanical Organism Designed Only for Killing (MODOK) after them. Janet, Hank and Hope fight off Kang's men and they steal Krylar's ship leaving him to be eaten by a squid. Jentorra believes Scott and Cassie's presence is a danger to her group, but before they can do anything Kang's forces attack. Jentorra tries to get people to escape, but when MODOK arrives they are captured. MODOK reveals himself to be Darren Cross who was saved by Kang after Scott banished him to the Quantum Realm at the end of Ant-Man. Cross was left disfigured upon arrival to the Quantum Realm as his arms and legs shrunk, but Kang crafted a new body for him. MODOK then brings Scott and Cassie to Kang who wants to meet them. Janet reveals to Hank and Hope what happened to her in the Quantum Realm. Janet says after Kang rescued her they worked together to fix his time ship, and after they get it working he will return her to her world. Kang reveals that he was banished to the Quantum Realm by his variants who he says will bring destruction to the multiverse. When Janet and Kang get the ship working she touches the ship and it reveals Kang's history, and Janet sees what he has done and will do if he is freed. Janet enlarges the power source for the ship making it unusable and she ran away, but Kang was able to get his suit which he used to rule and build an empire inside the Quantum Realm. 

Scott meets Kang who wonders out loud if he has killed Scott since he has killed so many Avengers already, but Scott won't help him. Kang then uses Cassie as a bargaining chip; Kang tortures Cassie saying he will kill her if Scott does shrink the power source back to normal size. Scott is brought to the battery where he is dropped into the core where he must find a way to access the heart of the power source and shrink it back down to size. Hank, Janet and Hope find them, but while Hope goes to help Scott, Janet and Hank must fight MODOK who destroys the ship with Hank on it while bringing Janet to Kang. Scott and Hope manage to shrink the power source down to normal size, but Kang still has Cassie and now Janet too. Kang easily defeats Scott and Hope while taking the battery and Janet back to his base. Hope and Scott are found by Hank who did not die in the crash as he was saved by ants. Apparently some of Hank and Cassie's ant entered the Quantum Realm where they evolved and now will help them overthrow Kang. Hope and Scott free Cassie and Jentorra's people who will take on Kang. Kang is planning to use the ship to bring his entire base and all of his men out of the Quantum Realm so he can defeat his variants and conquer the multiverse. Scott makes himself bigger than he ever has as he attacks the base causing Kang to have to fight him. Kang is able to beat Scott again, but the ants attack, and they overwhelm Kang and his forces. MODOK switches sides against Kang at Cassie's urges to be a good guy. MODOK breaks through Kang's forcefield allowing Kang to be taken by the ants. 

Janet has fixed the battery and she opened a doorway back to their world allowing them to escape, but after Janet, Hank and Hope exit Scott pushes Cassie through before Kang attacks. The portal door is open, and Kang attempts to leave but Scott stops him. Kang and Scott fight, but Kang quickly bests Scott even without his technology. Before Kang can leave Scott shrinks the battery and Hope comes back to rescue Scott. Hope shoots Kang back into the shrinking battery which takes him too eventually disappearing with the battery. Hope and Scott are now stuck in the Quantum Realm, but Cassie uses her device to open a portal door allowing Scott and Hope to come home. As Scott walks around the city, his thoughts begin to stray to a warning that Kang delivered; Kang said that he was the only way to save Scott's earth from the variants. Scott spends the remaining time of the episode wondering if what Kang said was true, and there is serious trouble coming for them as the film ends. The mid-credits scene involves a stadium full of Kang variants, with three of them discussing now that the problem Kang is dead they can move forward with their plans. The end of credits scene sees Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) in the early 1900's watching a scientist Victor Timely (Jonathan Majors) presenting his ideas to an audience of people.


The MCU has struggled since Endgame with a clear path for fans to grasp onto, but with Kang about to take on a grander role than I think things are turning for the better. The casting of Jonathan Majors is very impressive, and to put it into context he was cast in 2021 with only a few credits to his acting resume (they were impressive credits). Majors has proven to be a very versatile actor as the role of Kang is complicated since there are so many variants of Kang he will need to play. I think Majors has been handed the most difficult role to play in the MCU so far, and he has proven to be a great choice as he has the range to make me believe he can pull it off. The Kang we see in this film can be charming, and that kept me wanting to believe all of what he was saying even though it might be a lie. Majors has become one of the best actors working right now, and I am excited for what he does with the role over his next several appearances. I also think Kathryn Newton was really good in the film, but the way Marvel handled this was a bit of a misfire. We first saw the older Cassie in Avengers: Endgame, but when Quantumania was announced Newton was hired to play Cassie going forward. I know it is asking a lot for Marvel to have known how big of a role Cassie would play, but I suspect they did, but they were not able to find an actress they liked for the role before Endgame started filming. I could see Newton joining the growing cast of young actors for a potential Young Avengers film or series (Yelena, Riri Williams, Kate Bishop and Billy and Tommy). 

While Quantumania never was boring (even for a second), there was not a lot of traditional Ant-Man action scenes like we saw in the first two films. There are some cool moments in the film, but this is more of a Star Wars film than an Ant-Man film. I saw a lot of people giving Michelle Pfeiffer a lot of credit for her performance in the film, and I think she was really strong, but the character of Janet is not a likeable character for me. Janet kept the secret of Kang from her family, and because of that it put every one them at risk. The movie felt as if Kang, Cassie and Janet were the main characters of the movie since they were the only characters given a lot to do. Scott, Hank and Hope felt like characters who had no arc to their story at all; for two characters that are in the title of the film I think that was a mistake. I know I sound so negative, but beyond Kang and Cassie the film left me wanting for more. I recently watched the first two Ant-Man films and I really enjoy them as something a little different than the typical MCU film. I think Quantumania was such a drastic shift in the formula of the series that I ended up missing the low-stakes fun of the first two films. I really missed Luis, Dave and Kurt who brought some really good comic relief to the first two films. Quantumania is very funny, but whenever Kang was there the humor disappeared, and if it was not for Jonathan Major's charisma as Kang I think this film would have been dragged to a halt. 

I am going to give Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania a 7/10 because despite a lot of my minor critiques I was thoroughly entertained by the film. While my review sounds more negative than I wish it did, I am finding a lot of minor faults. Quantumania is very entertaining, and the focus on Cassie and Kang was worked because of the performances given by Kathryn Newton and Jonathan Majors. I am not sure when we will see Scott, Hope, Janet and Hank again, I am sure we will be seeing Cassie and Kang a lot sooner. The mid-credits scene showing the variants of Kang is a tease to show audiences why the Avengers are going to be in for a multitude of Kangs who are seeking to conquer the multiverse. The end of credits scene means that Jonathan Majors will for sure be appearing in season two of Loki. I am not sure how the Victor Timely character will be explained, but obviously something very interesting will be revealed there. It took a lot for Kang to be taken out, but in hindsight I wish the ending was even more vague than it was. I do not believe we have seen the last of that version of Kang, but I wish the ending of the film might have shown Kang getting out of the Quantum Realm or being alive and well still trapped there. Listening to Kang talk about time it seems apparent that like He Who Remains there is an exhaustion to Kang that is related to his adventures, I wonder if we this variant of Kang again will we be given more of his story. A film that has Ant-Man and the Wasp in the title should have made those characters a more central part of the film, and those characters should have had a character arc of some kind. If not for Jonathan Majors powerhouse performance I think this film would have not worked at all, it is a fun watch and it will be keep you entertained.

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