Quantumania: Tiny Heroes, Big Thrills

Featured Image: Mel Lhuillier | Marlin Chronicle

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” directed by Peyton Reed, sees Ant-Man and the Wasp trapped inside the Quantum Realm. Unlike previous films’ brief exploration, “Quantumania” lives up to its title, as the film is predominantly set inside the Quantum Realm, with the film’s heroes having to face off against Kang the Conqueror.

Kang the Conqueror, portrayed by Jonathan Majors, is the highlight of the film. Majors’ performance is nuanced and menacing, causing him to rank among the best of Marvel’s villains. Kang is joined by M.O.D.O.K., played by Corey Stoll. Stoll’s M.O.D.O.K. serves as a comedic relief character in the film and is one of the funniest parts throughout.

A primary focus of the film is the dynamic between Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang, or Ant-Man, and his daughter, Cassie Lang, played by Kathryn Newton. Both actors give strong performances that cause the viewer to be invested in their characters’ bond. Paul Rudd’s performance once again causes Ant-Man to come across as a likable underdog, as the character struggles to protect his family while being out of his element. Kathryn Newton is a welcome addition to the cast, as she captures Cassie’s journey to becoming a hero with a suitably charming awkwardness that turns to confidence as the film progresses.

The film’s other titular hero, Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp, is given surprisingly little to do in the film. Despite this, the character does have some strong moments and Lilly gives a good performance despite the limited amount she is given to work with. 

Instead, the film focuses more on the original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, who was previously trapped in the Quantum Realm. Pfeiffer is one of the strongest aspects of the film, as she perfectly balances her character’s fear of Kang and her drive to stop him. The moments in which Michelle Pfeiffer and Jonathan Majors share the screen are the strongest scenes in the film, as the actors’ performances cause the tension between their characters to be just as engaging as the film’s action sequences.

Rounding out the main cast is Michael Douglas’s Hank Pym, who has a smaller role than in the previous movies. However, the character still stands out due to Douglas’s more comedic performance in this entry, as his character’s fascination with ants is a recurring gag.

The Quantum Realm itself features memorable visuals, as it features vibrant and colorful visuals that alternate between more abstract environments and “Star Wars-esque” environments. The Quantum Realm lends itself to exciting action sequences, with the film’s “probability storm” sequence and its third act finale being the standouts.

Overall, “Quantumania” is a more comedic entry in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe,” which is grounded by the film’s focus on its family dynamic and strong performances, specifically from Rudd, Majors and Pfeiffer. When combined with the action and visuals of the Quantum Realm, these elements cause “Quantumania” to be the best entry in the “Ant-Man” franchise, and an entertaining entry in the MCU.

By Ryan Abraham