“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” ushers in new vibe for Phase 5

“What place is this?”

Story: Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne (Ant-Man and The Wasp) have settled into domestic life after the goings-on of Endgame. Their life includes Scott’s daughter Cassie, as well as Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne (Hope’s parents, and the former Ant-Man and The Wasp). But when Cassie’s scientific research goes bloink, they’re all drawn into the Quantum Realm, where hilarity ensues, and Janet gets to show everyone what the place is all about. Phone home? Please?

Genre I’d put it in: Insec-tastic Sequels
Release Date: 2023
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Based on the characters from Ant-Man comics, and a continuation of the characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The official start of Phase 5 of the MCU.

Gotta say: Before we go anywhere with this, I must humbly beg you to stay away from Wikis, IMDbs, and other assorted movie 411 sites, before you watch this film. I do not want you to deny yourself the fun of experiencing the “WTF??? WHOA!” moments a few casting choices and cameos will bring. We good? Good. Let’s go.

Quantum (shortened because I am lazy) is a really, really fun intro to Phase 5 of the MCU. Is there a solid plot structure? Do things make sense? Nope, and not on your life. But who cares? It’s kind of psychedelic, it’s kinda Star Wars, and it’s absolutely, 100% the kind of weird trouble Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang would find himself in. And while I couldn’t help but think about how the many new and strange creatures the Quantum Realm would end up as Funko Pops or other such merchandising whateveralls, It’s a crazy trip, and I had fun. It’s fun. Don’t ask for more from this movie, and you’ll be fine.

Okay, so you want more from this movie? Fine. How about amazing performances? No spoilers, but I think Janet makes a helluva cool Han Solo-esque badass, and I’m happy to see Michelle Pfeiffer dig into this character. And Kathryn Newton does a wonderful job as a newly aged-up Cassie; I expect we’ll see a whole lot more of her as this Phase continues. As always Rudd and Lilly give it their all, with Lilly playing a great straight-man to Rudd’s seat-of-his-pants Scott Lang. I’d shout out a few hilariously awesome characters, but please see the first paragraph of this review. You’re welcome y’all.

As Kang the Conqueror, Lovecraft Country‘s Jonathan Majors shows that he’s got the chops for serious villainy, and Quantum revolves around Majors’ Shakespearean portrayal. Majors delivers a layered performance, with reasons why he does what he does. Does the film tell us everything about those reasons? Nope. And I was kinda bummed about that; yeah, I understand what happened/happens to him will most likely be divulged in bits and pieces throughout Phase 5. However, it does Majors’ amazing performance an injustice for viewers to constantly wonder why Kang is so hell-bent on [THE THING]. Especially when we get teased with moments of his past, and hints at what made him the Kang he is today. Fans of Disney+’s Loki may be especially unhappy about this – I was – because the Kang in that series was able to lay out the whys and wherefores of his particular POV. I’m just saying that I would have liked to have heard a bit more from this Kang, as I love the “variants” Loki presented, and am just the kind of nerd that enjoys seeing the similarities and differences between all these individuals.

Director Peyton Reed and writer Jeff Loveless do a great job keeping the characterizations and overall feel of the previous films firmly tucked into Quantum. Considering there is a lot of ground to cover with the introduction of a new world and a new Big Bad, that’s quite a feat. Does everything flow well? Um, not quite. If you’re like me (god help you), you’ll be doing cinematic shorthand by likening the Quantum Realm to the Star Wars universe, right down to a wild cantina scene. Expect to fall in love with a lot of the creatures here. (Special shout-out to a certain pink sidekick…I’ve said too much.)

If this movie is any indication, expect to see more “what next?” storylines from our Avengers, as everything seems to be a-okay now that The Blip was un-Blipped…or at least it does from the surface. Hints of protests and unrest are quickly brushed aside by Scott and the plot, but I’d bet they’ll re-appear as…things that end up happening during Quantum keep…unfolding. With so many new characters being introduced to the MCU in this film and the coming entries, I expect Phase 5 will be messy, chaotic, and filled with WTF moments. And if they’re handled with the same sly, winking fun as Quantum? I can’t wait. Just don’t leave us hanging, waiting for the next installment (or worse, the one after that) to fill in the blanks and get us truly invested. Hints are fine, but give us enough to chew on, rather than having us shrug and figure we’ll never know.

#Protip: Be sure to stay all the way through the end credits, for two teasers you’ll wanna see. You’ll really, really want to see.

About Denise

Professional nerd. Lover of licorice.
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