6 Thoughts on Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Ant-Man is my favorite Avenger. He’s probably not my favorite franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he’s my favorite Avengers hero, largely because Paul Rudd is simply awesome. So I’m totally on board for more Ant-Man movies. I like the first two, I like all the characters; let’s have a good time! And Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a good time. It’s not a great movie, and I can see why it’s getting middling reviews, but I had a blast at the theater. I hope this isn’t the last movie in the Ant-Man and Wasp series.

Movie Rating: 8/10 – Very Good

Part of the problem, I think, is that movie critics are done with the MCU. I’ve read a couple of reviews, read a lot of the online discussion, and I think people are just not as excited anymore. I get it. I understand. I’m not one of them, of course. I’ll be a Marvel fanboy for life. I’m gladly watching everything Marvel puts out. But I think the public sentiment has shifted. Marvel and Disney weren’t about to stop after Avengers: Endgame. They can’t. They’re a business. So they expanded into TV shows, expanded into new characters and new franchises. And perhaps the quality has suffered due to the quantity. I can see it. And I’m confident Kevin Feige is smart enough to learn and pivot.

I enjoyed Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, some parts more than others .Join me after the jump for my thoughts/review of the film. Expect FULL SPOILERS for the whole movie.

6. Second half is way better than the first

I liked the updated costume for Wasp

I can remember sitting in the theater, watching Scott and Cassie run away from CGI explosions in the Quantum Realm, thinking to myself that the movie wasn’t anything special. All of the characters were there, the humor was nice, the spectacle was definitely spectacle, but the movie wasn’t really doing anything for me. The Quantum Realm was just CGI nonsense without much heart. The aliens were run-of-the-mill Star Wars extras. Everybody was only whispering about Kang. It was all just OK.

Then Kang actually showed up and the entire movie improved. And I don’t put that down to just Kang. I’ll talk about him more in a bit. But putting Scott in a tough situation, forcing him to dive down into that improbability field and the insanity that came with, really kicked the movie up several notches in terms of entertainment. I loved Baskin Robbins Scott. I loved all the Ant-Men working together like ants themselves. And I especially loved the third act. When Giant-Man stomps in through the fog to start laying waste to Kang’s city, the movie was on delicious overdrive! I loved everything about the second half of this film; it took things to another level and really earned this movie its high rating from me.

It was all just big, fun, delightful chaos. Giant-Man stomping around kicking butt. Cassie fumbling through her first steps at being a hero, before coming into her own and going big. M.O.D.O.K.’s third act journey. Hank coming through with his army of super-intelligent ants. Kang and Scott in a bloody, brutal fistfight. Wasp saving the day. Nobody dying! The second half of this movie really saved it for me and made it a hugely entertaining experience.

But I do understand the critical complaints…

5. No good character arcs or themes

He wasn’t conflicted enough

There’s not much depth to this movie beyond the spectacle, even though both the trailers and the movie itself scream out for such depth. There are simply no real character arcs in this film. All of the main characters, all five of our heroes, are the exact same people they were at the end of the film as they were at the start. I thought this movie was going to lean heavily into Scott’s relationship with his daughter. That’s always been a big part of this franchise. And they hint at such in the start of the film. He’s sad that he missed so much time with Cassie, whether in prison or because of superhero shenanigans. And he’s out of touch to the extent that he doesn’t realize she’s getting arrested for stuff. There’s this separation between them. Then they get trapped in the Quantum Realm together…but nothing comes of it. Not really.

Where’s the story of Scott and Cassie struggling and then bonding during their adventure? Where’s Scott’s dad-like worry of his daughter getting her own supersuit and joining the family business? Where’s Cassie proving to her dad that she’s not a little kid anymore? Where’s Kang promising to give Scott more time with his daughter and using that to manipulate Scott?

And I’m not just talking Scott and Cassie. Where is the parallel between Hope and Janet? Hope spends the start of the moving complaining to her mom that she’s not opening up, that there’s this wall between them. Well now they’re trapped in the Quantum Realm together, and Hope is getting a firsthand experience of what her mom was up to. But instead of really diving into that, the movie would rather goof around with Bill Murray for a scene, or repeatedly have Janet refuse to explain what’s going on, as if the movie had to maintain some sort of mystery about Kang.

Meanwhile, Hank Pym had his story arcs in the previous movies, and now he’s just hanging out being an awesome science grandpa. That part was fine. As was his arrival with his ant army. He just likes ants!

4. Add Cassie to the list of awesome young heroes who need a team

Young Avengers, darnit!

I thought Kathryn Newton did a great job as Cassie Lang and I would really love to see her team up with all the other new young heroes we’ve been meeting since Endgame. Kate Bishop, Kamala Khan, Yelena Belova, Riri Williams, America Chavez; throw in Peter Parker and Shuri and I really, really want to see this Young Avengers team that Marvel has been building! All these new characters are so much fun. Can you imagine a movie where they finally get to hang out and interact? Where they get to have conversations with one another? Also, as good as Newton was, I really do miss Abby Ryder Fortson as little kid Cassie from the first two movies. She was just so damn good in the role! Oooo, IMDB says she has the starring role in the Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret movie coming out this year. Good for her! Sadly, no major upcoming roles for Emma Fuhrmann, who was older Cassie in Endgame, but lost out on Quantumania. Shame.

3. M.O.D.O.K. stole the show

I completely understand using the facemask for most of it

Even though I don’t think they got the big, stretched face right, M.O.D.O.K. stole the show for me in Quantumania. He was a great mix of menacing and pathetic. I loved how everybody just kept calling him Darren. I loved how off-kilter he had become. And it worked so well making Darren Cross into M.O.D.O.K. Everybody had some sort of relationship with him from the first film (except for Janet, obviously). But his being there had some depth for Scott, Hope, Hank and especially Cassie, seeing as how he was the madman who terrorized her in her bedroom as a girl. And now here she was, all grown up and kicking butt, getting a chance to see how pathetic this boogeyman had become. While at the same time, telling him it’s not too late to stop being a dick. That was probably my favorite scene in the film. That had some good character moments.

2. Kang just isn’t impressing me

Keep him coming, though

Jonathan Majors is doing a great job as Kang, I think. He’s calm, he’s menacing; he was really gnarly and badass in that final fight with Scott. But in his two appearances so far — 2.5 if you count the mid-credits scene — I just haven’t been all that impressed with the character of Kang the Conqueror. I never cared much for him in the comics, so maybe that’s part of it. But Majors being calm and patient, with bits of violence, just isn’t scaring me or troubling me. Maybe that’s just me. I really liked his costume, though. Very well done.

1. I would love more Ant-Man movies

Paul Rudd is good in everything

I like Paul Rudd as Ant-Man. Paul Rudd is great. Ant-Man is my favorite Avenger. I know he’s over 50-years-old now, and it was definitely showing in this film, but I would be more than happy if he continued as the character. I would hope that Ant-Man 4 would be a smaller, more low key movie. Get back to basics with the character and his extended supporting cast. But perhaps the negative reception is too much and we won’t get any more movies. Rudd will be pushing 60 before too long. Perhaps his daughter can carry his mantle going forward. Or maybe he’ll just be used as a supporting character in the future Avengers movies. That would also be fun.

Whatever happens, I’m simply glad they didn’t kill Ant-Man or trap him in some time dilated Quantum Realm where he outgrew his superhero role. Rudd is awesome. Scott Lang is awesome. Ant-Man is awesome. Wasp is cool too.



About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on February 22, 2023, in Avengers, Lists of Six!, Marvel, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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