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From: Silver Screen

REVIEW: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ moves the franchise in a different direction

REVIEW: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ moves the franchise in a different direction
(L-R): Kathryn Newton as Cassandra "Cassie" Lang and Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in Marvel Studios' ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

The little guy made a big bang, kicking off Marvel’s phase five with power in the new film “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” The latest Marvel addition went in a new direction from past “Ant-Man” films but kept the classic humor involved as Ant-Man took on his biggest villain yet.  

Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) has the ability to change his molecular structure and shrink down to the size of an ant or make himself the size of a giant. True to his character, Ant-Man’s biggest motivation and the person he loves most in life is his daughter, Cassie (Kathryn Newton). 

In this movie, Cassie is all grown up and in her rebellious teenage years. As the movie progresses, it’s revealed that Cassie has been toying around with the Quantum Realm to learn more about it. The Quantum Realm is a tiny world where, in order to reach it, people must go subatomic, risking death in the process. Soon after, Ant-Man, Cassie, Hope Van Dyne, a.k.a. the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) all get sucked into the Quantum Realm where it is revealed that Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) has taken over and is attempting to escape to other universes to destroy them, but needs the heroes to aide him.

The movie had a more galactic feel than other Marvel movies. By designing the Quantum Realm to sometimes resemble space, adding laser sounds to the guns being shot, having the addition of different creatures and species living together in harmony and the rebel forces’ clothing and Kang’s soldiers having a stormtrooper-esque similarity to them, the film felt more like it was satirizing “Star Wars” than making it’s own world. 

Despite this, the acting performances tied the film together. Majors did a superb job portraying the villainous Kang and embodied the comic book character’s evil ways. The writing of the character in this film was a bit two dimensional, but the acting performance made up for it. A good villain has the ability to make or break a movie and luckily Kang helped give this film the villain it needed by being a character the viewer could safely root against and proving a worthy foe.

Rudd played a unique role in this film as his character was not only the main character, but also the main source of comedic relief for the film. Other characters had more development, but the titular character didn’t have the classic arc of being the sole hero, adding a refreshing twist on the typical formula, even though Ant-Man seemed a little flat at times.

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Considering how most of the movie takes place in the Quantum Realm, the CGI in the film had to be spectacular and it exceeded expectations. Although there were certain scenes where the actors looked a little out of place, the majority of the movie keeps viewers immersed in the Quantum Realm, particularly the immaculate fight scenes and the exploration of new terrains. 

Despite the amazing CGI, this film missed the mark on the emotional moments that Marvel typically does a great job hitting. The film made audience members laugh and cheer, but didn’t have many scenes that pulled heart strings. Since Ant-Man has never been a main Avenger, the lack of emotional moments makes it harder to attach to the film’s characters and leaves the possibility of this movie being forgotten by viewers in the future.

However, the film succeeded in making the story accessible to audience members who might not be familiar with the details of the Quantum Realm or Ant-Man’s past. A fault of past Marvel movies has been the need to watch other movies and shows in advance, but this film escapes that trap and makes it relatively easy for viewers with limited knowledge of Ant-Man’s past to understand the film.

If you want a treat, make sure you stick around for both end credit scenes included in this film that will help build the future of phase five and what viewers may see coming soon. 

Overall, the film was a refreshing addition to the “Ant-Man” franchise, however, it did not compare well to other Marvel films in the franchise. The film definitely kept the laughter flowing, but did not have hard hitting, emotional moments. Ultimately, Marvel fans will likely enjoy this film, but fans who are not avid Marvel nerds might grow tired.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” was released on February 17, 2023.

This article was edited by Bailey Hobbs, Kylie Bill and Nina Heller. Copy editing by Isabelle Kravis and Stella Guzik. 

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