Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Review (Movie) – The best Ant-Man film yet

Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang is an Avenger, and in a refreshingly honest fashion, he’s enjoying the kickbacks of having saved the world multiple times. Free coffees, people gawking in the street, adoring fans attending his book launch, family get-togethers. A kind of bliss, really.

Next to Sam Wilson and Bucky ecstatically partying after finishing the refurbishment of a fishing boat with Wilson’s family, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania boasts the best “superhero’s happy whilst off-duty” scenes in the MCU.

But then, the wheels fall off.

If you’ve seen the utterly stunning first season of Loki, you’ll be aware of the cosmic mess that is Kang, a galaxy-destroying maniac with a level of conviction that makes him nigh unstoppable. A dimension-hopping temporal eugenicist, Kang is now trapped in the quantum realm – which is to say, the whirling cosmic void that exists between the atoms all around us. And before long, Scott, Hope, Hank, Janet and Cassie (the superbly cast and played Lang slash Van Dyne family) are given the arduous task of stopping him. And, as multiple characters point out throughout this film – Ant-Man is… well, he’s Ant-Man. Ants.

Hardly a powerful card to play.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Review

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

And yet, somehow, Quantamania becomes a shockingly funny, balanced and thrilling film about the value of strength in numbers. Scott has begun to cool his heels post-snap, but as his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) reminds him, he’s a superhero. His job is to save people. His charming reticence comes from a good place – he doesn’t want to lose her again, as he did during the snap. And besides, Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) is using her father’s company, and Pym particles, to not just fight evil, but to help people. We’ve all lamented the fact that Bruce Wayne putting on a costume and punching bad guys is a ridiculous solution to Gotham’s problems, and that he should just use his wealth to invest in infrastructure, right?

Well, that’s what Hope is doing. She’s solving greenhouse gasses and the housing crisis. It’s awesome. See? They’re saving lives! But Cassie is out there getting arrested for stopping police from unlawfully breaking up homeless encampments, made up of post-snap refugees. So there’s a little friction, sure, but Quantumania never steers Scott down the path of “your favourite wisecracking hero has lost his way”. His reasons make sense, her reasons make sense, and they all love each other so much that the growth they need to make the film work happens organically.

There aren’t any grim dark emotional roadblocks; no misunderstandings, no needless tension. The stakes are god-level high, but the familial dynamic is so fresh, fun and positive, you feel completely safe the entire time.

(L-R): Kathryn Newton as Cassandra “Cassie” Lang and Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

Not to throw shade, but the degree to which Thor: Love and Thunder lost its way was baffling. It felt self-indulgent and rudderless, and it needlessly shelved its best character. Quantumania, on the other hand, deftly balances comedy with drama. The action, whilst abundant and CGI-heavy, is so deeply trippy and joyous that it never gets stale.

In many ways, it’s a sequel to Loki – and again, not throwing shade, but whilst Multiverse of Madness squandered the abundant potential of Wandavision, Quantumania manages to run with Loki’s big bad without turning him into a Hawaiian shirt-wearing shlubby version of his previously terrifying incarnation.

I’m looking at you, Hawkeye – you did Kingpin a little dirty, and we all know it.

It felt incredible to leave the cinema and realise that Quantumania had truly stuck the landing. Sure, it’s reliant on a billion other MCU stories, and it’s at risk of suffering from audiences’ growing superhero fatigue. But it’s a fun, frothy, smart foray into the sub-atomic world.

Everyone involved is having a blast, and the film’s conclusion is utterly wonderful – in short, as I said, it’s the best Ant-Man film yet, and one of the shining lights of this phase of the MCU.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be in theatres nationwide from 16 February 2023.

Paul Verhoeven attended a media screening as a guest of Disney.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
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Paul Verhoeven
Paul Verhoeven
Writer of Loose Units for Penguin. Host of ABCs Steam Punks. Host of 28 Plays Later. Unicorn enthusiast. Unicron enthusiast.

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