The Ant-Man franchise has primarily been focused on family and Scott Lang’s relationship with his daughter Cassie, throughout different phases of his life. The third installment, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is more of the same Lang family dynamic – this time in the quantum realm.
Cassie (Kathryn Newton) is a genius just like her father. She’s created technology that allows her to search the quantum realm without having to physically go there. While demonstrating how the new tech works, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) becomes alarmed and warns her to shut it off. Soon after, a portal opens and sucks Cassie, Janet, Scott (Paul Rudd), and Hank (Michael Douglas) into the quantum realm.
Once there, the family learns more about what happened to Janet during the 30 years she spent in the quantum realm. Janet and other people living down there are afraid of one man…Kang The Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). Kang rules with an iron fist and his one goal is to escape the quantum realm. He needs Ant-Man’s help to escape and uses Cassie as a bargaining chip to get Ant-Man to do his bidding.
Quantumania is a lot like the Ant-Man movies. It’s a family friendly romp through the quantum realm with a few serious moments, but it’s mostly filled with comedic one-liners and silly banter between characters. Early on, the film feels very much like a Star Wars property as it showcases a diverse group of creatures and species dwelling throughout the realm. The bar/club scene with Lord Krylar (Bill Murray) feels very much like a scene at Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine.
After the early Star Wars comparisons, Quantumania gets right back to the Lang family’s accidental and extremely dangerous family vacation. The most interesting part of the film is all the characters and people Scott and crew encounter during their stay. With Kang as the featured villain, the film doesn’t spend enough time with some of the films more delightful characters.
Speaking of Kang, Jonathan Majors gives a fabulous performance. He lays the foundation for the MCU’s next big bad that has the potential to be the most intimidating and horrifying villain in the MCU. Kang’s conversations with Janet and Scott come across more like evil soliloquies to foreshadow what’s to come in the next two Avengers films. Majors’ ability to jump off the screen whenever he’s talking makes him the perfect actor for to play Kang. This performance is only the beginning of what fans should expect from Majors as Kang.
Where fans of the MCU may feel a little fatigue is Quantumania not really being about anything. The film is kind of about Scott and Cassie. The two characters don’t spend enough onscreen time bonding or talking to make the big father/daughter moments at the end feel earned. Quantumania could’ve been a really interesting take and a cool vehicle to introduce a new version of Scott Lang’s Ant-Man. Sadly, the film is a victim of where the box office is today. The film being about something is less important than the film setting up Kang and the next few movies for the MCU. A 2 hour character introduction may not be the best use of the amazing cast, Majors as Kang, and even the very cool and interesting quantum realm.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is fun and entertaining in the moment, but doesn’t have anything memorable to hang onto other than Majors performance. For some, that may be enough for them to line up for the next movie. For others, their superhero fatigue will only get worse.