Film Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quautumania is only worth a one-time watch


Amishi Anand

With the high budget and high audience expectations, the movie doesn’t live up to the other Marvel movies but functions well as a stand-alone. There is never a moment where the audience is bored and I would say it’s worth a one-time watch.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”, released after its world premiere in Hollywood, Los Angeles, expectedly delivers admirable action sequences mixed with frequent humor, but lacks clarity and character development. Famous actors Paul Rudd (Scott Lang), Evangeline Lilly (Hope Van Dyne), and Michael Douglas (Hank Pym) joined again to make the third movie in the Ant-Man adventure/action movie series under the director Peyton Reed.

The first “Ant-Man” movie was released in 2015 followed by the second, “Ant-Man and the Wasp”, in 2018. Both movies are accredited as some of the more humorous MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) movies. The plot introduces a low-level thief named Scott Lang who is trained under Hank Pym, a technological genius who modified particles that allows humans and objects to shrink. Lang then takes on a heroic position under the name “Ant-Man” to protect his daughter and save the world. 

In the next movie, Lang is on the run after breaking house arrest—due to his involvement with the Avengers (Shown in “Captain America: Civil War”)—to save Hank Pym’s wife who is stuck in the quantum realm. He partners with Pym’s daughter, Hope Van Dyn, who takes on the superhero role of  “The Wasp”. The chemistry between Hope and Lang increases through both movies as they start a relationship towards the end of Ant-Man.

As the 31st movie released in the MCU, the latest film has a name to live up to. With my expectations set high, parts of the movie can be seen as too chaotic. In the entire movie, there were too many random characters introduced with no basis. Additionally, the movie didn’t do a good job of acknowledging how the quantum realm existed. However, Reed introduced an interesting concept of a world within a world. 

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania starts with Scott Lang having some sort of post-hero depression. After helping save the world in “Avengers: Endgame”, he talks about his experiences to people as a way to feel better about himself. On the other hand, his daughter, Cassie, is shown to be much more productive. As a side project, she builds an amplifier that can send signals down to the quantum realm

She does this in secret with Hank Pym, hiding it from Janet Van Dyne in particular as she was previously stuck in the quantum world. During an argument with Pym’s wife, Janet tries to shut it up causing it to malfunction. This leads to the crisis in the movie—the whole family is sucked into the quantum realm with no way out. The subatomic world is shown with beautiful graphics that feel immersing. Through adventures with each other, they discover the secrets Janet was hiding, explore a new world of people and creatures, and fight for their lives against the villain Kang.

Kang was introduced during the 2021 series “Loki” as a mastermind villain that controls the multiverse. However, his appearance in this movie was random and not well-explained. There are no references as to where he came from and his relevance to the quantum realm. However, one of the two end-credits scenes does somewhat make up for this as it was well thought out and definitely builds suspense and excitement for upcoming movies.

The movie itself showed multiple comedic moments that had the majority of the theater laughing with M.O.D.O.K., a previous villain introduced in a baby form that is constantly bullied. To my disappointment, his irrelevant side character seemed to be the only one that showed character development. One could argue that there was a character arc for Ant-Man, who goes from lazy with no purpose in life to motivated and ready to make a difference. However, it was an expected plot, making it disappointing.

The movie was more focused on the plot and didn’t reference the strong relationships between characters as much as the previous movies did. I wish the bonds between Ant-Man and his daughter could’ve been shown more frequently and portrayed as a bit stronger. I also was disappointed when one of the iconic hilarious characters, Louis, didn’t make an appearance in this movie. As Ant-Man’s best friend who had a significant amount of screen time in other movies, even a cameo from Louis would have significantly improved this movie. 

With the high budget and high audience expectations, the movie doesn’t live up to the other Marvel movies but functions well as a stand-alone. There is never a moment where the audience is bored and I would say it’s worth a one-time watch.