Film Review: “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”


Screengrab from "“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” released on Feb. 17, 2023 and features the shrinking hero face off against a time-traveling conquerer. The film completes a trilogy of Ant-Man movies and is the thirty-first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Cassandra Bauer, Film Reviewer

In attempts to create a never before seen daring adventure, Marvel brings us down to the subatomic level to reveal the quantum realm which turns out to be nothing more than a crude CGI mess in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”.

Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) is coping with everything he’s been through these past few years, saving the world via a time heist, missing years of his daughter’s life, and constantly being mistaken for other superheroes by writing a book. Opening the film with Scott strolling through the streets of San Francisco his own happy-go-lucky self while hearing his voice-over reading an excerpt of said book “Look Out For the Little Guy” (which you can actually buy, go look on Amazon) is the clear highlight. Everything goes downhill from there.

We do get to see a few characters return from our Ant-Man universe, original Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Micheal Douglas), his wife Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), their daughter and Scott’s love interest Hope (Evangeline Lilly). But the tragic exclusion of Michael Peña’s Luis is felt deeply. 

Due to Scott’s daughter Cassie’s (Kathryn Newton) supposed interest in the quantum realm that seemingly came out of nowhere and her newfound ability to make high-tech inventions, Scott Lang and company accidentally get sucked into the quantum realm which looks rather suspiciously like a planet from Star Wars, but worse.

This realm is home to entire civilizations of alien-like creatures and otherworldly landscapes all of which were unbeknownst to everyone except Janet, who was stuck there for a number of years and conveniently never told them about her time there. The tension of the plot hinges on this withheld information, and when the mystery of Janet’s time in the quantum realm is finally revealed, it’s through a bland monologue. The fact that within this bland monologue, we get introduced to Kang the Conqueror, the next big bad of this franchise, is just sad.

That being said, Jonathan Majors as Kang is genuinely dazzling to watch. Majors is slowly rising to be a top tier actor of this generation, and his skills are still seen in this comic book flic. 

We unfortunately spend the majority of our time in the ugly quantum realm, and therefore the actors likely spent most of their time in front of a green screen. I can only imagine how difficult it is to act when there is so little context around you. Making it even worse, I don’t even think some of the actors were in the same room because their eye lines don’t always match up, making their performances suffer greatly. 

It feels as though Marvel is dragging these genuinely talented A-List actors through the mud. It’s a bad hollow script with annoying forced one-liners leading to bad acting from good actors, which is a shame to see. I don’t think the actors are to blame; it’s more-so a combination of a bad script and no spatial awareness.

The first Ant-Man film was a surprise success, setting up a promising future for this relatively unknown superhero. He’s an ex-con that is great at heists. He’s your average guy who comes up with wild plans that work. That’s what’s fun about Ant-Man movies is their humorous take on the heist genre. No such fun is found in this film.

People have felt Marvel Studios slipping for a while now. Their stories have become formulaic and are clear cash grabs and the CGI and special effects continue to look worse in every film. The sad thing is that this movie will still make a lot of money, which is really all the big wigs over at Disney care about, so they will likely keep rolling out garbage.

Paul Rudd brings back his charm, but it’s not enough to save the movie.

Watch “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” in theaters now.