Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Verdict: The third Ant-Man movie is a disappointing start to a new MCU phase - it lacks substance and humour and is visually underwhelming

  • Paul Rudd, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathryn Newton and Michael Douglas
  • February 17th 2023
  • Peyton Reed

Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly return as Ant-Man and the Wasp in Marvel’s latest superhero outing.

Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicks off with Ant-Man’s third solo movie.

Quantumania, once again directed by Peyton Reed, is set a few years after the events of Avengers: Endgame, in which Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) helped the Avengers reverse Thanos’ snap – which took his girlfriend Hope/Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) and her parents Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) – by harnessing the time-travel powers of the Quantum Realm.

His daughter Cassie (now played by Kathryn Newton) has been fascinated by the realm ever since and has created a device which can send signals between there and Earth. She inadvertently communicates with something down there and she, Scott, Hope, Hank, and Janet are sucked into the realm.

Janet, who was previously stuck down there for 30 years, knows of the dangers that await them – the realm’s ruler Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) has been trapped for a long time and needs the family’s Pym Particles to escape. They cannot let him out otherwise he will wage destruction on other universes and timelines.

The first Ant-Man movie stood out from other MCU instalments because it was fun, irreverent and didn’t take itself so seriously. It lost that identity a little with the sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and has completely disappeared with Quantumania, which doesn’t feel much like an Ant-Man film at all.

Although there are some laughs, it is nowhere near as funny as it should have been, while Rudd doesn’t get many opportunities to win us over with his comedy genius.

The plot feels very generic and mediocre and lacks stakes and substance. It also suffers from the classic Marvel problem of being an obvious stepping stone in a greater multi-film story. Marvel bosses really need to make each movie worthwhile in its own right.

The story and lack of humour aren’t the only disappointments – the visuals are also rather bad at times. The picture looks too dark and murky and the action is executed in a messy way. It also borrows a lot – some might say too much – from Star Wars, visually.

Thankfully, the stars still deliver excellent performances. Majors is a particular standout as the MCU’s new menacing villain, while Pfeiffer gives Janet depth and Newton makes Cassie one of the most relatable and likeable characters.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has moments of greatness but is ultimately an underwhelming start to a new phase of the MCU.

In cinemas from Friday 17th February.

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