Ant-Man and the Wasp returns to theaters


Photo courtesy of IMBd

Marvel’s latest installment, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania,” kicks off the new Marvel era — Phase Five. Since the movie’s release, there have been many mixed reviews. It is currently rated 48% on Rotten Tomatoes, making the movie the second lowest-rated Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film, next to Marvel’s “Eternals.” Admittedly, the film does have its flaws but personally, it is not as bad as reviewers have made it out to be.

The third Ant-Man movie explores the depths of the universe within the unknown universe — known as the Quantum Realm. With the vast majority of the movie taking place in these unfamiliar settings, viewers are able to explore in depth how intricate the Quantum Realm truly is. 

In a post “Endgame” world Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) daughter, Cassandra “Cassie” Lang reveals to her father that she has been working on a device that is able to send a signal down to the Quantum Realm. As she shows it off, things quickly escalate and they shrink down into this unexplored universe.

 Due to Scott’s absence from the Marvel phenomenon known as “the blimp” the father-daughter relationship between Scott and Cassie has been fragmented. Although Ant-Man was not “blipped” by Thanos, he was trapped in the Quantum Realm due to Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet Pym (Michelle Pfeiffer) disappearing into dust. Scott’s time in the Quantum Realm felt quick for him, but when he came back he learned his Cassie was not the same anymore.

The adorable little, 8-year-old Cassie Lang that we knew and loved in the first movie is not-so-little anymore. Now 18 years old, Cassie (Kathryn Newton) is following in her father’s footsteps in not only his attitude but his willingness to do what is right.

The original post-blip Cassie Lang in “Avenger’s Endgame” was cast as Emma Furhmann. Despite only appearing in two scenes, Furhmann was able to build her character through an emotional performance for her role later in the MCU. Unexpectedly, the role was changed to Kathryn Newton. Marvel has not given any explanation as to why Cassie was recast as Newton but it is likely due to her recent uprising with recent movies.

 The majority of Newton’s lines were witty and fitting of how a teen is depicted. As a teenager, these lines were relatable to an extent but many of them were more cringey than what was likely intended. Hopefully, as her character grows (and shrinks) more in the MCU, Cassie will mature and follow in her father’s footsteps. If true to the Marvel comic books, this will not be the last we see of Cassandra Lang, as she will join the Young Avengers as the superhero Stinger.

In addition to the characters’ flaws, the vast majority of the characters are flat and only have one focus. Scott will do absolutely anything for his daughter, which is like most fathers, but Scott seems to make it his only personality trait and loses some of that comedic release he normally brings. Hank loves ants and science, as if that were not obvious already. Janet is acting mysterious and evidently is beholding a secret. Hope feels like she is just there not even as a main character but more like a side character if anything. 

The saving grace is Jonathan Major’s performance as MCU’s newest and one of its strongest antagonists so far in the series— Kang the Conqueror. The movie displays how powerful Kang truly is and that he is possibly a bigger threat than even Thanos. Major portrays the villain with such great emotion to the point where you want to sympathize with Kang despite his immoral intentions.

The MCU has had its ups and downs with movies, especially within the last few years. Although “Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantamania” is more sandwiched between the middle, the mid-credit and end-credit scenes manifest a promising future for the series. Of course, the biggest takeaway is to always look out for the little guy.