Phase 5 is off to a fantastic start with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. While it keeps the fun and humor that has been a hallmark of the Ant-Man series, the stakes are much bigger — even though the world is technically much smaller. Unique visuals combined with exceptional performances makes the film not-to-be-missed.
One thing that should be noted is that, while the film does kick the Multiverse Saga into the next gear, it is still easily accessible. In fact, the film is quite simple when you get down to it. Outside of the other Ant-Man films, no other MCU knowledge is really necessary and the story wisely stays away from getting bogged down in the Multiverse or time travel, as I am sure there will be time to tackle those concepts in the due time. But the Quantum Realm is full of richness that gives the world complexity while not meandering down a rabbit hole of technobabble.
While it may exist, I cannot think of a film which has such a wide array of creatures. From blobs to living buildings, the team created a visual feast of creatures while also bringing to life the dynamic landscapes of the Quantum Realm. Even in its modest runtime, we spend most of our journey outside of the real world. Because of this, we don’t get to spend time with the Ant-Man films’ supporting cast. But the cast that is included, both new and old, deliver exceptional performances that ground the film despite its fantastical setting.
Two performances stick out in particular. Michelle Pfeifer delivers with Janet’s love and shame percolating throughout the adventure. It was great to see her have a chance to shine as she balances her love of her family while carrying the secrets and scars of 30 years in the Quantum Realm. Jonathan Majors solidifies his position as one of the greatest acting talents of our time by giving us this complex iteration of Kang who is very different from the variant we met in Loki. In just this film, he has shown that he can carry the Multiverse Saga on his back in a way that is much different than the Infinity Saga’s Thanos.
Speaking of the multiverse, Marvel fans have long understood that the MCU is not a direct lift from the comics’ continuity. While fans have mostly taken any modifications in stride, there is an element in this film which may be a bit too controversial. While it works on its own, fans may be yearning for a more comics accurate interpretation,
In the end, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, is a lot of fun while building towards something bigger. In many ways, its tone is as close to the original Avengers as you can get. Large scale action, a whole lot of secrets, humor, the looming presence of a deeper threat, and joy are united to create the most enjoyable Phase 5 film to date.
I give Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania 4.5 out of 5 stars.