At the end of ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania,’ Scott Lang enjoys his life and has a certain thought about a certain villain, one that might have doomed the universe…and then he laughed it off. Then he thought about it again…and laughed it off again. That, among other things, is the basis of this movie, and thus my Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania Review. It wants you to enjoy things, but not really care about other things just yet…and thus kind of makes the movie pointless, even with a certain end-credits scene.
So, let’s start with the beginning, shall we? Post-Endgame, Scott Lang has apparently been living the good life. He’s written a best-selling book, Janet and he are more in love than ever, and she’s running a major company bent on helping everyone, he’s spending time with Cassie (in her older form, of course), and life is good…except… Well, Scott literally hasn’t done much post-Endgame. He’s called out for it multiple times, and it…really doesn’t sink in until the very end, and even then, as I noted earlier. He’s fine, just “living the good life,” and while some (including my father) might think he’s earned that…it kind of betrays the character, but I’ll get to that later. Because as you would suspect, something always goes wrong to ruin a “good time.”
In this case, in a bid to impress her father, Cassie built a device to communicate and map the Quantum Realm, which naturally backfires and warps them all into the realm. From there, they’re separated and have to deal with the many dangers the Quantum Realm that the “universe within our own” offers, and we all know “who” that means.
Because as we found out, Janet Van Dyne’s time in the Quantum Realm wasn’t so solitary. There was a massive population there, which included Kang The Conquerer. We were warned about him in Loki, and now it’s time to pay the piper. I’ll give them credit in full for casting Jonathan Majors as Kang. He’s able to play all sides of the villain well. The soft-spoken one who can weasel his way into people’s hearts and get them to do what he wants. The man who’s determined to get what he wants. And the villain who will get his hands dirty when the time requires it. We’ll be seeing much of Majors in the future, and this was a mostly good setup for the character. They explained how he ended up in the Quantum Realm, why he couldn’t get out of it, and more.
I’ll give Marvel credit for portraying how the Quantum Realm felt alive. It had some fun visuals, creatures, and such to make you understand why it was a “living universe.” Not everything worked, but I appreciate them going that big with the visuals and look since much of the film had to take place in a CGI-created space.
Another good addition was Cassie. Scott Lang’s daughter has plenty of fire, and if we ever manage to get a Young Avengers roster, she will be fun to have in the crew alongside Kate Bishop, America Chavez, and others that may come. She played well off of Paul Rudd, while also getting some big moments of her own.
The surprise in terms of depth was Janet Van Dyne. I hated how she was treated as a MacGuffin in Ant-Man and the Wasp, but here we got more. It might not have always been shown or explained well, but her scenes with Kang, both in the past and present, were well-handled. She’s one of the OG’s of the Marvel universe, it’s about time Janet got her time to shine.
As for the rest of the cast, including Scott, Hope, and Hank, they were fine…which is a good sum-up for the whole film. It was “fine,” but hardly memorable.
Arguably the biggest problem that I must spell out in this Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania Review is that they tried to make one of the “lesser” Avengers feel like the most important. Which is not bad per se…if you execute it well. They really didn’t. As noted, since Endgame, Scott has done nothing but live in the lap of luxury. This is odd for a guy who fought to get his life back…and now is fine mooching off of people who like him, and getting constant praise. We also see his daughter being more of a hero than he is…and that’s weird because we don’t know what Cassie has been doing in the “blip” gap and post-Endgame outside of what we’re told.
Personally, it would’ve been more of a believable story if Scott was being the “I must spend as much time with Cassie as possible!” parent, and that forced Cassie to do things to show her dad she’s capable of doing stuff on her own. Scott is meant to be the “most relatable” Avenger because he’s not famous, or rich, or super smart. Yet here…he comes off as aloof and dumb in more ways than one.
Adding to that, for a movie called “Ant-Man and the Wasp” the Wasp didn’t have much to do! Seriously. Her biggest story beats were asking Janet about the Quantum Realm, getting shut down, and then being mad at her when everything blows up in her face. Yes, they do have an “I love you” moment by the end…but it feels tacked on. This was more about the original Wasp than Hope, and it showed.
Oh, and as for Hank, he had…fine moment…especially with his ants…but that also was part of the problem. One of many this film had.
The most consistent issue I had with this film is that they made lots of plot holes that never got resolved or even attempted to be explained. For example, we found out Janet was in this “universe” above where we found her in the previous film. But how did she go from being a freedom fighter to getting rescued by Scott and co.? If they gave a meaningful explanation…I don’t remember hearing it. What’s more, the “mystery” of who Janet was hiding from was beat into us for the whole first act, and it wasn’t a surprise. We all knew it was Kang, that’s what all the trailers were hyping up. Kang’s arrival. Yet they kept trying to make it “oh so mysterious” when it wasn’t.
Speaking of Kang, there were times that he showed his absolute power, and Janet said that he had technology “centuries ahead of what they had,” and yet…he lost…to Scott, and to others, his forces were wiped out by the rebellion at times, and more. In the battle against Ant-Man, Wasp and Stature (that’s Cassie’s hero name if you didn’t know), he couldn’t really hurt them. Yet seconds before, his blasts were eradicating the rebels! Shouldn’t a “conqueror” be able to squash “ants”?
Oh, and that’s another big plot hole—the ants. Apparently, the Quantum realm can “accelerate time for some,” and yet it only happened to the ants. And NATURALLY, those ants formed a “Class-B Society” that spawned enough ants to help everyone, save the day…and they were fine with listening to Hank. Ok…
Plus, even though they completely dominated Kang, and took him away, he was able to come back just in time to stop Scott from getting home…but not without losing most of his tech so he couldn’t kill him easily. Still not enough for you?
Why did Kang hold Scott above the ONE THING he couldn’t afford to lose? He held Scott above the Multiverse Engine because…why? We know it doesn’t hurt people because Janet touched it…so why did Kang allow Scott to be in range of the thing he needed more than anything? It was because they wanted to show that “Ant-Man could beat Kang,” yet that’s not what should’ve happened at all.
Other things felt off too. For example, the framing of certain scenes, the “cliffhangers” that made no sense as they jumped from one group to another, but also…there was just too much going on at times. I mentioned how cool the Quantum Realm looked, but it came at the cost of visual overload. Sometimes you couldn’t tell what was going on, and it sucked.
Speaking of which, the “Marvel Comedy” beat hit once again. There was literally a segment where Janet and Hank bantered to one another about others they slept with during their “break” because “they had needs.” Really? Did we really need that? Also, there was one character who was obsessed with “holes” and it as just…stupid.
And that brings me…to MODOK. Oh. My. Gosh. They went so far in the wrong direction with that character that it hurt. It was Yellowjacket, who had the dumbest origin to become MODOK, then they couldn’t decide whether they wanted him to be menacing or comedic…and it was weird. Then, when he died…he started spouting nonsense…and everyone ate it up! Why? It made no sense, and the character was honestly an eyesore.
So, as we start to end my Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania Review, you might wonder, “Did I think the movie was bad?” Well…no. Unlike Eternals and Thor Love and Thunder, I wouldn’t call this movie bad. But there’s a difference between “not being bad,” and being a good movie. This wasn’t a good movie to me. It was…average. Mid. Basic. It was a means to an end. It set up Kang, and it set him up mostly well, some inconsistencies aside. And the end-credits scene set up the future appearances of Kang. But was it worth the movie we got? Not really.
Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania Review
Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania did some things right by showing off something new for the Ant-Man crew and making Kang a worthy foe. But…it came at the cost of plot holes, true character development, and really dumb comedy.