In 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,' Bigger Isn't Always Better

The start of Marvel's Phase 5 begins with a super-sized 'Ant-Man' movie that brings Jonathan Majors' Kang into the MCU. But bigger doesn't always mean better.

Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania Review

Image via Marvel

Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania Review

It’s said that size doesn’t matter, but that’s not the ethos of Marvel’s Ant-Man films.

Beginning with 2015’s self-titled debut and through 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, director Payton Reed’s Marvel movies function as palate cleansers between Avengers installments (the 2015 debut followed Avengers: Age of Ultron, while Wasp came after the snappy ending of Infinity War). In short, Ant-Man means a small-stakes—that is engagingly fun and funny—trip to the movies, not bogged down by the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe machine. 

That’s not the case with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which kicks off the MCU’s staggering Phase 5 and begins the overarching Multiversal Saga storyline in full effect. What was once light fare is now responsible for introducing the next Thanos-level threat to MCU moviegoers and closing out the Ant-Man trilogy—a sentence I never thought I would type when the first film hit in 2015—in a satisfying way. 

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Quantumania picks up with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) in the intervening four years after Endgame. Lang is now a bestselling author, having sold an autobiography about his role in assisting the Avengers against Thanos. Hope is now running Hank’s company as a nonprofit. In short, it seems like the superhero-ing days of Ant-Man and the Wasp are done; the most action the two see is donning their Pym Particle–enhanced suits to sneak away and enjoy a cold sixer of beer on top of the Golden Gate Bridge. The most trouble in their lives comes as Scott’s daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) enters a rebellious streak; a humorous scene at the beginning of the film sees her use Pym Particles to shrink a cop car that was clearing displaced residents from an encampment. 

Cassie’s newfound heroics aren’t the only thing she’s up to, as she soon shows off a telescope she built to explore and communicate with the Quantum Realm with the larger group. As the receiver starts to ping a signal, the entire Van Dyne/Lang clan is sucked back into the subatomic universe, where they discover the universe is under the control of Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), who is particularly keen to leave after being trapped there by Janet. To escape, he needs a reluctant Scott to help acquire a missing object. 

Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania Review
Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania Review

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