Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania faced an uphill battle for things that were out of its control. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown to a massive size. It has some fans thinking they need to connect every movie to understand each one. Honestly, this is a non-factor. Fans can watch almost every movie in the MCU on their own, with little knowledge. They won’t miss anything other than Easter eggs and things that really don’t matter to the story.
If no one ever saw Loki, it wouldn’t hurt Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania at all. Kang made his first appearance on that Disney+ show. However, no one needs to know what happened to understand this movie. No one needs to have seen Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to understand the multiverse in this movie. No one really needed to see the first two Ant-Man movies. Scott Lang pretty much explains everything in the opening of this movie.
However, there will still be people who don’t like this movie for one reason or another. That is okay. Everyone has an opinion. But, this movie is nowhere near as bad as some detractors seem to think. It is just different. It lets goofy moments shine proudly. it is also a nice setup for the future of the MCU.
Scott Lang is living his best life. He has a podcast and wrote a bestselling book. Scott is also back with his daughter and has the love of his life Hope by his side. However, there are also problems. Cassie Lang lived on her own for years during the Blip. Now, she doesn’t understand why Scott isn’t helping people as Ant-Man anymore – even with no villains to fight. She became a social protestor, arrested for this more than once.
She has also been working with Hope and Hank Pym to find ways to help people. Together, the three of them built a signal beacon to the Quantum Realm in case anyone there needed help. This was bad. Janet van Dyne never told them what is really in the Quantum Realm. By the time she reminded them how dangerous it was, the device sucked them into the Quantum Realm. That is where the movie takes off.
The Quantum Realm is a lot like the world of the Micronauts (for those older comic book fans). It is also a lot like what the Negative Zone could look like. However, instead of dictators like Annihilius, there is a very different dictator in Kang the Conqueror. Janet met Kang years ago. She helped him after realizing they needed to escape. It wasn’t until she helped find a way out that she realized Kang was a mass-murdering world destroyer. The Council of Kangs sent him to the Quantum Realm as a prison sentence. Janet destroyed his way out and fled.
Kang has now used the machine Cassie, Hank, and Hope built to bring them all back into the Quantum Realm. He has two people he wants help from. Kang knows Janet can get the device working again. He then plans to send Scott to steal the object using Pym Particles. See, Kang also has someone in the Quantum Realm that knows Scott and hates him more than anyone.
Let’s talk about some of the complaints. First, people complained about the CGI and that really isn’t fair. The complaints are mostly about alien races that look a little goofy – but that was the entire point. A gelatinous alien named Veb (voiced by David Dastmalchian, who played Kurty in the first two Ant-Man movies) is in the movie. How else should the animators have made him look? I get people who hated MODOK. But, that’s just because he wasn’t the version from the comics (and the amazing Hulu series).
However, Jonathan Majors was incredible as Kang, going from calculating to downright evil. Admittedly, the plot was a paint-by-numbers ordeal, and everyone just went from one beat to the next. That was a little disappointing, as nothing really fresh happened here. However, the movie had amazing visuals in spades. it looked like a Jim Starlin drawing coming to life. What some called bad CGI, I called creative artistic choices – and most of them worked for me.
Sadly, some of the story beats felt forced. Janet refused to say anything about the Quantum Realm until it was too late, and that made no sense. The movie also short-changed Wasp. When she came back to save Scott, it didn’t ring true since nothing led to the moment. However, despite the story problems and the unchallenging plot beats, the movie was still fun.
Not every MCU movie needs to have the highest stakes. When it comes to delivering a fun time at the movies, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania delivered on that promise.