“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is just an FX dump without a good story

Omoleye Omoruyi
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

“Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania” starts with the hero Scott ‘Ant-Man’ Lang (Paul Rudd) and his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) being warped into a quantum-level universe filled with alien biology and sceneries that would ordinarily be imagined for distant planets.

But, we are not impressed by the mis-reality of the connection between the live humans and their wallpaper-like surroundings – Marvel just mixed Thor’s Asgard and Black Panther’s Wakanda.

Title: "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania"
Director: Peyton Reed
Writer: Jeff Loveness
Running time: 2 hours 4 minutes

The aesthetics of that already raises questions as to what Marvel is trying to achieve with the obvious artificiality that fails to ground its fantastical visuals with anything resembling human emotion. We may actually agree with Vulture’s Bilge Ebiri, who calls the film “a cry for help.”

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is an atrocious movie, but it’s atrocious in a way that Marvel movies rarely are…So the film fails on a basic, meat-and-potatoes comic-book-movie level. It doesn’t even manage to clearly explain the magic doodad (there’s always a magic doodad) our heroes have to recover this time.

Bilge Ebiri for Vulture

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” swarmed into theatres starting on February 17, 2023, with an impressive $241 million global total as of February 20, 2023.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Scott Lang and Cassie in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

What is “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s” story?

Kicking off Phase 5 of Marvel Studios' primary producer Kevin Feige's imaginative storytelling that now leans so much to the multiverse, this third outing for Antman makes plenty of room to introduce the MCU's newest megalomaniacal supervillain: Kang the Conqueror.

Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne, along with Hope’s parents, Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne, and Scott‘s daughter, Cassie, are accidentally sent to the Quantum Realm and soon find themselves exploring the Realm, interacting with strange new creatures.

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Before then, while Janet van Dyne is trapped in the Quantum Realm, she meets Kang, an “exiled” traveller who claims they can escape from the realm if she can help him rebuild his Multiversal Power Core. When this is done, Janet understands, through a vision, that he is keen on destroying and conquering worlds, so she turns on him. She can’t beat him, so she uses her Pym Particles to enlarge his Power Core, which makes it unusable, and keeps them stranded in the Realm.

Back to the present, Scott Lang has become a successful memoirist and is living happily with his girlfriend, Hope van Dyne. While visiting Hope‘s parents, Hank Pym and Janet, Cassie (Lang’s now teenage daughter) says she has been working on a device to make contact with the Quantum Realm.

Janet panics and tries to shut off the device, but it is too late. The message is received, resulting in a portal that opens and pulls the five of them into the Quantum Realm. Lang and Cassie are found by natives who are rebelling against their ruler, while Hope, Janet, and Hank explore the city to get answers.

At this point, Kang is now the leader of the realm, so all five encounter Kang at some point. But happily ever after is the cliche end of every story.

As Lang happily resumes his normal life out of the Quantum Realm, he begins to rethink what he was told about Kang‘s death being the start of something terrible happening but brushes it aside.

What we think
48% - Rotten Tomatoes...48% - Metacritic (not so good for an MCU film)

Ant-Man has come to be loved for different reasons, including being a hero and the ability to shrink into something so small an ant is bigger (also, Paul Rudd has given us hours of joy in the last decade or so). That is something only imagined and tickles the psyche of every audience. But, the storytelling of the life of the Ant-Man, and his heroics need more work. Ant-Man, this time, is no more than a prop in a plot that sets up the next big Marvel villain and does it without a jolt of energy.

"Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania"
Ant-Man and Kang in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” (PHOTO: New York Times)

It raises questions about why Ant-Man was brought into this if his personality will not be used.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Scott ‘Ant-Man’ Lang in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”

When you watch “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”, you begin to appreciate films like “Avatar: Way of Water“, another big-budget science fiction that also brings us to an alien world and is more realistic, with a vision to them, a consistency and inner logic to go with the awe.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” fails to provide reasons the sub-atomic universe is special or why Kang may want to rule it. The audience is left in oblivion.

Midway through the film, we want to remember the first “Ant-Man”, distinguished by its goofy humour and smaller-scale story – maybe this instalment needs more of that cheeky humour…or not.

We see an overlong action sequence, with suits and bodies crashing everywhere, but unsuspenseful and drab-looking. Indeed, the action is stiff, and the characters and plot hide under the overload of CGI and dull special effects – the whole film seems like a special effects dump.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
PHOTO: Marvel

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” may still take up more cash from pockets, possibly because nothing else in the theatres is taking our attention. But, as is too often the case in big-budget films, far less attention has been paid to the story.

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