Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Updated: Feb 22
3.5 out of 5
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, or AWQ for short - it's too long a title for me to keep typing out in full - is, we're told, the first film in Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). I must have slept through Phases 3 and 4 - or was that Avengers: Endgame? Who knows? Who cares? Marvel have long since proved that they can weave amazing cinematic tapestries that, at this stage, I'm just along for the ride.
In the first Ant-Man film, (was there a colon or a sub-title? I honestly can't remember) we learned that Hank Pym's (Michael Douglas) wife Janet (Michelle Pfieffer) had been stuck in the Quantum Realm having shrunk herself to sub-atomic size. Was it the same film or the next where she escaped? It doesn't matter, she's out now and not keen to talk about her experiences.
In this new film, Ant-Man's (Paul Rudd) daughter (Kathryn Newton) has grown up and taken after her grandfather and invented a thingumabob that can communicate with the Quantum Realm. Why she would do this is never clear - probably so the film can happen. Anyway, bad stuff happens and our whole family of heroes get sucked into the Quantum Realm. Once there, they go through a perfunctory adventure as we discover that Janet has been keeping secrets. Bill Murray turns up in a cameo (one assumes to just cash his cheque). We are introduced to Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) who is the new villain that the Avengers will no doubt have to fight and defeat at the end of Phase 5. We've been here before, haven't we?
The film is not all bad. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. I was amazed by the world created by amazing artists. It is much more fantastical and believable than that created by James Cameron in Avatar 2 - and he had over ten years to work on it!
As it's an Ant-Man film there are jokes and Paul Rudd gets the lion's share of these. He's a very amiable and likeable screen presence who threatens to tip into irritating at any moment but manages not to. There's a running gag about how many holes humans have, and in the Quantum Realm buildings are alive! What, your's are not?
Michelle Pfeiffer has a lot more to do here than in previous films and that's is a good thing. Evangeline Lily has less to do, so little in fact, that one wonders why her character is even featured in the title. Michael Douglas looks invested and the rest of the support cast acquit themselves well. Jonathan Majors though, as Kang the Conqueror is an imposing presence. He has a very physical role and no doubt thanks to his training for Creed III, fills out the suit admirably. He delivers dialogue with sincerity and heft that might otherwise have fallen flat.
All in all, I enjoyed it as a piece of comic book fun accompanied by popcorn. It doesn't ask much of its audience and I'm ok with that. Oh, and Corey Stoll returns, kind-of. I'll say no more other than to say there are seven holes. Count them.