Ant Man and The Wasp: Quantumania Review

Jonah Beinart, Features Editor

Since 2008, Marvel has released groups of movies over a span of a few years. Each group of movies is called a phase. The beginning of the fifth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) started with the release of “Ant Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, as the starting point in the timeline of films that will end in 2025 with the two-part finale of “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” and “Avengers: Secret Wars.”

With the disappointing conclusion of Phase four at the end of last year with a myriad of mediocre and lacking movies, many fans, including myself, were hoping for a big break with the release of this new film.

After watching, this movie was better than the majority of the more recent MCU movies that came before, like the incredibly disappointing “Thor: Love and Thunder” and “Black Widow.” However, it was not enough to bring back the feeling that most hardcore fans can understand, knowing that what they are about to watch will affect the next few years of movies in the timeline. 

Nonetheless, there were some impressive qualities about the movie. The main villain, Kang the Conqueror played by Jonathan Majors, was by far the best performance of the film. The motivation of the villain and the emotion that clearly went into the creation of his character showed on screen. 

Not only that, but the computer-generated images (CGI) were much more on par with what I expected from a blockbuster movie from the largest movie producer in the world. Just by watching the trailer, it was evident that the graphics design team wasn’t overworked, like during many of the Phase four films.

The movie also provided a conclusion to a full character arc for the main character, Scott Lang, whose main goal is to spend more time with his daughter. Throughout the three Ant Man films, Scott comes to terms with the time lost with his daughter over the years. And for the first time, in this movie, he does something without selfish intentions, which shows great character growth over the course of the MCU timeline.

The main theme of the two prior Ant Man films revolved around much more insignificant plots that didn’t threaten the fate of the world or universe. As a result, Scott and his compatriots crack many jokes in those films. The balance of seriousness and an almost silly narrative, especially with the introduction of the next “big bad” for the coming years was crucial for me to enjoy the film. I thought they struck that balance as well as they could, by keeping the funny and relatable human character but also putting him in a potentially multiverse-threatening situation.

One grievance that I have with many new Marvel movies is the use of a third act CGI battle with corresponding color coding for the good and bad guys while the main characters duke it out. This movie follows that theme in the books. The overuse of common movie tropes of deus ex machinas and Chekov’s guns when all seems lost for the heroes is tiring as a viewer, as the narrative becomes clear as soon as the saving grace is introduced. 

Overall, there is a lot to enjoy about this movie. It sets up the next few years of Marvel content by showing off the power and strength of the new villain and it also completed the character arc for one of the most overlooked characters in the MCU. But, it is concerning that the general quality of Marvel movies is decreasing. Having to watch ten movies and five extra shows just to keep up with the timeline of events will be seen as a chore for most casual fans. However, I don’t mind doing that.