Evangeline Lily and Paul Rudd in "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania!" Source: Marvel Studios

Review: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania'

JC Alvarez READ TIME: 3 MIN.

Marvel Studios is sizing up the competition as it enters the fifth phase of its strategic cinematic universe with director Peyton Reed's "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania," starring one of the MCU's most popular dynamic duos, Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, as our titular heroes. The pair jump into the action immediately in this roller coaster of a movie, exploring a whole new dimension of excitement.

Scott Lang (Rudd) is a hero, and life has been good to him. He finally has everything that he thought he could want: a family that includes his willful daughter, Cassie (Kathryn Newton), as well as the perfect paramour in Hope Van Dyne (Lilly) who is now the CEO of a technologies foundation and is his partner in crime-fighting, The Wasp. Everything in Scott's life appears to be moving in the right direction, except that he hasn't really figured out what to do next. He's written a memoir detailing his exploits in saving the world, but what else has he got going on?

His daughter Cassie, on the other hand, is proving quite the genius, and, along with Hope and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), has developed a technology that will allow them to communicate with the quantum realm. Audiences will recall, Scott was trapped in the micro-dimension for five years, only to emerge and discover that Thanos had nearly erased everyone he held dear; but Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) had been lost to the quantum realm for three decades, and she knows what lurks in the depths of that micro-verse.

When Cassie activates the transmitter and it starts sending a signal, Janet attempts to shut it down. Before she can act, the device opens a portal to the quantum universe, and pulls all of our heroes through it. When they arrive on the other side, Janet is startled to see how much it's all changed, and must reveal to her family that during her time in the quantum universe she came across another scientist and assisted him in building a device to return them to normal space. That man, however, was actually a merciless time-traveler named Kang (Jonathan Majors), who has been exiled to the quantum dimension.

Now that Ant-Man and The Wasp have entered his realm, Kang plans on using the Pym Particles they brought to escape and continue on his mad plan to unravel the timelines across the multiverse and erase from existence those that imprisoned him. Ant-Man and The Wasp, along with the rest of their family, must stop Kang from escaping and unleashing quantumania!

Jonathan Majors made quite an impression on audiences with his turn in the HBO limited series "Lovecraft Country," and was first introduced into the MCU in the climatic, if confusing, season finale of "Loki" on Disney+. Now he's poised to plague an entire lot of Marvel heroes as one of the publishing imprint's most dastardly foes, Kang the Conqueror. Up against Paul Rudd's comically inclined superhero, it seems unfair, but Ant-Man rises to the occasion, and Lilly's Hope Van Dyne is no shrinking violet. The pair are a heroic power couple!

Peyton Reed has taken an otherwise B-lister in the Marvel Comics universe and made him a formidable player with a heart of gold that you just have to root for. "Quantumania" follows the most recent traditions of the MCU theatricals that have pushed the boundaries of the playing field and raised the stakes. As more heroes appear on the scene, the villains are also far more dangerous, and "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania" has opened the floodgates, introducing a threat that will have far-reaching consequences across the cinematic spectrum.

This third film in the "Ant-Man" series of adventures also stars Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer, who play the legacy characters that once wore the mantle our contemporary heroes now bear, but they also bring a gravitas to the film that roots the MCU in a solid foundation. Although Newton has stepped into the role of Cassie as an all-grown-up aspiring heroine of her own, she is still very much daddy's little girl, Scott's "peanut," as he calls her, who will undoubtedly follow in her dad's super boots.

"Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania" is a blockbuster worthy of its MCU roots, and fans who have loved the continuing adventures will get a thrill out of exploring this new dimension. The film is full of heart and heroics, with wall-to-wall special effects, so prepare to witness the beginning of an entirely new dynasty that is likely to conquer the imagination at the box office in true Marvel Studios fashion.

Marvel Studios' "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania" opens in theaters on Friday, February 17, 2023.

by JC Alvarez

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".

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