‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ leaves audiences searching for answers in the quantum realm


Photo provided by Disney.

Olivia Walton, Reporter

Minor spoilers ahead for “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”

The tiny-but-mighty Ant-Man and Wasp duo returned in theaters Friday, Feb. 17 for a third feature-length film in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”

New faces Bill Murray and Jonathan Majors joined familiar stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer in this third installment. 

Majors, who plays Kane the Conqueror, will return in several Marvel films over the next three years as the newest overarching villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is the first of six films set to release in Phase Five of the Multiverse Saga. 

Phase Four recently ended with the release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” 

The Multiverse Saga, which was preceded by the Infinity Saga, is Marvel Studios’ newest venture following “Avengers: Endgame.”

Phase Five is set to continue with “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3” and “The Marvels,” which will be released in May and November of this year respectively. 

Trailers for “Quantumania” had fans expecting new insight into the mysterious quantum realm, a subject mostly skirted around in the first two “Ant-Man” movies.

Personally, I was expecting a deeper dive into the thirty years Janet Van Dyne (Pfeiffer) spent in the realm. 

The film delivered, for the most part, on what was advertised. 

The main conflict of the film begins when Cassie Lang’s quantum satellite device goes haywire, and the whole gang is sucked into the subatomic universe. The scene reminded me of the “Jumanji” movies when the main characters are transported into a jungle-themed survival game.

Once in the quantum realm, Scott and Cassie are separated from Hope, Hank and Janet and struggle to find each other in amongst a labyrinth of worlds. 

It is revealed that the quantum realm is a lot more than the colorful matrix mush that was portrayed in the previous movie, “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

Perhaps the one thing missing from the movie is credit to George Lucas. The filmmakers may not have meant to almost copy some of the worlds from the “Star Wars” franchise, but it was very similar. 

The initial scenes in the quantum realm looked like what you would get if you instructed an artificial intelligence app to draw “Tatooine” or “Naboo.” At one point, Hope, Hank and Janet visit a bar to meet Lord Krylar (Murray), and I experienced so much deja vu — it was so similar to scenes in Jabba’s throne room bar on Tatooine. 

The scenery was very mesmerizing; I think the use of color and different creatures was fantastic, though I can’t say it felt like pure originality. But then again, is mockery not the best form of flattery?

A lot of time is dedicated to Janet’s back and forth stance on her life in the quantum realm. Honestly, I think the whole wavering dynamic from Janet was too drawn-out. 

Obviously, her life in the quantum realm was abnormal and would be hard to explain to the people she left on Earth, and I don’t think the writers ignored this fact, but I do think Janet’s lines were written in a way that made her character seem immature and petty. 

I think it is important to note that even when we do start to see a little bit more into Janet’s life in the realm and finally begin to grasp the meaning of life in the quantum realm, it is still not enough. 

Granted, we do not really know that much about the quantum realm, but I felt like the filmmakers were throwing in random elements and just crediting everything to being a part of the mystery of the unknown.

As we move into the later phases of the MCU, I think it is important to remember that we are no longer in the age of origin stories. 

I have to remind myself of this after watching some of the newer movies because I miss the build up of the hero. 

But the period of build up is over, and now we must watch our heroes continue their journeys.