Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the 31st film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and we have now officially kicked off Phase 5. The film stars Paul Rudd as the titular character Scott Lang, Evangeline Lily as Hope Van Dyne, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, and Michelle Pfieffer as Janet Van Dyne while welcoming Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror.
The story’s premise has Lang living a life as a celebrated author from his biographical book detailing the events that lead up to Avengers: Endgame while working on his strained relationship with his rebellious daughter, Cassie. Scott and his family are then thrusted in a new realm where he must face one of the most fearsome villains that the MCU has seen since Thanos.
To begin, I don’t want to say I am biased but what truly makes this film an enjoyable watch is Paul Rudd and Jonathan Majors on & off the screen. Seeing them on the red carpet and on their press junket really hyped me up for this film. I have been a long-time fan of the ageless Paul Rudd and his humor helps establish Scott Lang’s role as our favorite MCU underdog. Although I only started following Jonathan Majors in Lovecraft Country, he has been added to my list of must-see-everything-he-is-in actors. And let me tell you, his performance as this variant of Kang is truly a terrifying sight to behold. He is absolutely merciless and I don’t know what other actor would be able to carry such a big responsibility of being an Avengers-level threat of the MCU since Josh Brolin’s Thanos.
The biggest elephant in the room is the recasting of Cassie Lang. Although, it is not quite clear on why Emma Furhman was replaced in the casting for Cassie Lang, Kathryn Newton is a welcomed addition and was able to slip in the shoes and didn’t miss a step of the father-daughter dance with Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang. There is much to be explored with Cassie and Kathryn Newton seems to be up for the role.
Although I believe many die-hard comic fans would disagree, I enjoyed the reinvention of M.O.D.O.K.’s character. I do miss the more sinister iteration of M.O.D.O.K. but this felt more of a fitting piece for the Ant-Man movies because I don’t think a lot of casual MCU fans would take M.O.D.O.K. as serious.
What I would have liked to see was more exploration of the Quantum Realm. I felt that throughout the movie we saw so little of this new world which is very disappointing since almost 90% of the film took place there and yet it still felt like we barely scratched the surface. And by the end of the movie, it felt as if we will never venture to it again.
There were also many plotlines of other movies that they were attempting to tie in at the very end. But I felt that since the MCU is a multi-collection of projects, it would have been fine if they ended with Scott and Hope being trapped in the Quantum realm and figuring out how to return in the next film. It seems to me that although the MCU knows what it is, it attempts to create short stories with their films being chapters of a much larger story.
And honestly, where was LUIS?! Michael Pena’s character was surely missed and would have enjoyed a small cameo by him to see what he has been up to.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was an entertaining feature but fell a little flat on the purpose of its character development and the story it was attempting to create. Hopefully, many fans’ Marvel fatigue will cease in the next property but they might not see it end in this latest installment.
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