Movie Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a movie that follows Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) as they continue their adventures as Ant-Man and the Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), they explore the Quantum Realm, where they encounter strange new creatures and a new enemy, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), who can manipulate time and space. This movie is the third film in the Ant-Man franchise and the first film of Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and introduces Kang, thereby setting up the events of upcoming movies- Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars

The Basic story

In the movie, we see Scott as a successful memoirist having a happy relationship with Hope. His daughter Cassie has become a political activist and has developed a device to map the Quantum Realm without entering it. When Janet tries to stop Cassie from using the device, they get sucked into the Quantum Realm along with Scott, Hope and Hank, where they meet Kang. Scott helps Kang at first, but then realizes he is an evil villain who wants to conquer the multiverse using his Time Chair, a ship that allows him to travel through time and space.

They also encounter Krylar, a rebel leader who opposes Kang’s tyranny and leads a resistance movement. Together they fight and manage to destroy Kang’s Time Chair and seemingly kill him. However, they also trigger a chain reaction that causes the Quantum Realm to collapse. They escape and return home. In a mid-credits scene, it is revealed that Kang is still alive and has multiple variants across the multiverse. In the post-credits scene, we see that Cassie has joined the Young Avengers, a team of teenage superheroes who are related to or inspired by the original Avengers.

Cast and crew

The movie is directed by Peyton Reed and written by Jeff Loveness, based on characters created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, and Ernest Hart. It stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp, Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym, Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne, Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror, Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang, Bill Murray as Lord Krylar, Katy M. O’Brian as Jentorra, William Jackson Harper as Quaz, Jamie Andrew Cutler as Xolum, David Dastmalchian as Veb, and Randall Park as Jimmy Woo.

Some of the actors are reprised from previous Marvel movies. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, David Dastmalchian, and Randall Park have all appeared in the previous Ant-Man movies. Jonathan Majors made his debut as Kang The Conqueror in the Disney+ series Loki.

Source material and setting

Part of the movie follows some of the storylines from the comics involving Kang, such as Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, where he tries to conquer different timelines and realities. The movie also draws from the comics that explore the Quantum Realm, such as Fantastic Four #16 and Avengers #7, where Ant-Man and other heroes encounter strange worlds and creatures in the subatomic dimension.

The setting of the movie is mostly in the Quantum Realm, a subatomic dimension where Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, along with Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, explore and encounter strange creatures and adventures. 

Easter eggs

There are many Easter eggs in the movie Quantumania that reference previous and upcoming MCU films and shows, as well as the comic book source material. 

  • Scott’s memoir, Look Out for the Little Guy, which is a real book that fans can buy
  • Scott’s award from Baskin-Robbins, where he used to work in his first film
  • The Quantum Realm region of Sub-Atomica, which is a star system from the comics
  • Kang’s Time Chair, which is his signature vehicle and weapon in the comics
  • Cassie’s craving for limes after growing giant, which echoes Scott’s request for orange slices in Civil War
  • The post-Blip homelessness problem, which was first mentioned in Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • The Young Avengers team is formed by Cassie and other teenage heroes who are related to the original Avengers.

Some interesting behind the scene facts

Some interesting behind the scene details from the movie Quantumania are:

The movie was originally scheduled to be released in July 2022 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the reshuffling of the MCU slate.

It features the debut of Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang, Scott’s daughter who becomes a superhero herself. Newton replaced Emma Fuhrmann, who played Cassie in Avengers: Endgame.

The movie also features the return of Corey Stoll as Darren Cross, aka Yellowjacket, who was presumed dead in the first Ant-Man film. Stoll revealed that he filmed his scenes in secret and wore a motion capture suit to portray his character’s digital form.

It had to undergo reshoots in late 2022 to change its ending and post-credits scenes. According to director Destin Daniel Cretton, the original ending was too dark and depressing and did not fit with the tone of the Ant-Man franchise. The new ending was more hopeful and humorous and also set up the next Avengers films more clearly.

Cool Technology used in the movie

Some cool gadgets used in the movie Quantumania are:

  • The Ant-Man and the Wasp suits allow Scott and Hope to shrink and grow at will, as well as communicate with ants and other insects. The suits also have wings and blasters for Hope and a detachable helmet for Scott.
  • The Quantum Realm Explorer is a vehicle designed by Hank Pym to travel safely in the Quantum Realm. It resembles a submarine with a glass dome and can also shrink and grow as needed.
  • The Quantum Tunnel is a device that creates a portal to the Quantum Realm. It is built inside a van that can be driven around by Luis, Scott’s friend and former cellmate.
  • The Time Chair, Kang’s ship takes the form of a floating gold throne with rings swirling around it. It can protect Kang with weapons and allow him to travel to different points in time and across the multiverse. It is also linked to Kang’s thoughts and can generate his suit of armor.
  • MODOK is a giant robot head with arms and legs that serves as Kang’s enforcer in the Quantum Realm. It is based on a comic book villain who stands for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. It has various weapons and can fly and shoot lasers from its eyes.

Critical reception

The movie has been praised for its:

  • Inventive and psychedelic visuals, especially in the Quantum Realm.
  • Action-packed adventure, which explores the Quantum Realm and its wonders.
  • Jonathan Majors’ performance as Kang the Conqueror, who is menacing, charismatic and complex.
  • Marvel meets Star Wars vibe, which references sci-fi classics and offers a cosmic spectacle.
  • Humor and heart, especially in the relationship between Scott and Cassie.

The movie has been criticized for its:

Box Office performance

The box office performance of the movie Quantumania is disappointing, compared to other MCU films. The movie has grossed $197.9 million domestically and $249.6 million internationally, for a total of $447.5 million worldwide.

Although it had the biggest opening of the year so far with $225 million globally, it also had the biggest second-weekend drop in the franchise’s history with 69%. It is expected to finish its run with around $475 million to $490 million, making it the lowest earner of the Ant-Man trilogy. The Ant-Man series has never been one of the most popular or profitable franchises in the MCU, despite having a loyal fan base. The first two films also had modest box office performances compared to other MCU films.

The movie faced competition from other releases such as Super Mario Bros., Scream VI, Creed III, 65, and Champions, as well as mixed reviews and word-of-mouth from critics and audiences.

The film had a disappointing opening in China, where it earned only $19.2 million, far less than the previous two instalments.  The third film did not generate much hype or excitement among general audiences, who may have felt fatigued or indifferent to another Ant-Man adventure.

The Verdict

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a strong start to the MCU’s Phase 5, but also a mixed bag for fans and critics.

A good reason to watch the movie would be to see the standout performances of Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror and Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne. It explores the Quantum Realm and introduces new villains that offer a fresh perspective on the Marvel universe.

It is also a fun and exciting movie that combines action, comedy and adventure. And if nothing else, you can watch it as a conclusion to the Ant-Man trilogy and see the countdown for Phase 5 of the Multiverse Saga.

Do you agree with our verdict? Do share your comments with us!

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