by Ronak Chadha ‘25
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania kicks off Marvel Studio’s “Phase 5” after a convoluted “Phase 4.” This is third installment of the Ant-Man franchise and brings together the super hero pair of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang aka “Ant-Man” and Evangeline Lily as Hope Van Dyne aka “The Wasp” with a supporting cast of familiar faces led by Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne, Michael Douglas as Dr. Pym, Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, and a re-cast of Cassie Lang, played by Kathyrn Newton. The film starts off in San Francisco, Scott’s hometown, and heads into the quantum realm. This film was released on February 17th, 2023.
To start, a major asset to this film is Kang the Conqueror, who was originally introduced in the Loki season finale. Jonathan Majors brings a fiery passion with his performance, creating an intimidating and villainous persona for this variant of Kang the Conqueror.
This film expands on the father-daughter dynamic of Scott and Cassie as Cassie has aged up since the Blip. Cassie takes a liking to her father, building tech that sends the group to the quantum realm and dawning an ant-man suit. The two are forced to navigate their way through the quantum realm to return home.
This film is not without its flaws. The plot is convoluted and uninspiring with a poor attempt to develop some intrigue and anticipation with Janet’s backstory which could have been resolved with a simple message to the rest of the group. Hank is grossly underused, with a few throwaway lines and little contribution to the plot. Hope is an afterthought, leaving me questioning why this film was called Ant-Man and the Wasp, and not just Ant-Man. The film features Ant-Man, but he ends up in the same place that he started the film, with no character development for anyone in the group, and seemingly no payoff for the 2 hours that preceded the ending. The only saving grace is the intricate and visually engaging conceptualization of the quantum realm, with its strange biomorphic creatures and eerie landscape.
However, this film is a precursor for the rest of Phase 5, and with a couple of mid-credits and post-credits scenes, it paves the way to the eventual next installment of the Avengers, The Kang Dynasty, providing potential hints towards a fan-favorite tv show, which will premiere later this year.
Overall, this movie provides a deep-dive into the quantum realm and the variants of Kang the Conqueror, but leaves the main cast right back where it started. With two hours of busy but confusing action, it is a deviation from the normal 2.5 hour films from Marvel, but screentime was still poorly used in various parts of the film. Overall, I would give this movie a 6/10 and hope Phase 5 can pick up where the Infinity Saga had left off.