Director Peyton Reed kicks off Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic in Marvel Studios Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantummanina. Jeff Loveness makes his screenwriting debut with the film after years of writing on television shows such as Rick & Morty, The Office, and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
After a five-year stint in the Quantum Realm and pulling off a time heist with The Avengers to defeat Thanos, Scott Lang, AKA Ant-Man, AKA Jack from Baskin Robbins (Paul Rudd), has been reunited with his family and is living his most fulfilling life. He has a best-selling book, is recognized worldwide, and has full custody of his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton). Hope, AKA The Wasp, is making boss moves at Pym Industries while her parents, Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), consider Cassie, their granddaughter.
Everything is running smoothly in their lives until Cassie's latest experiment involving communication with the quantum realm goes awry. In a matter of seconds, Scott Cassie, Hope, and the rest of the anthill are sucked into a dangerous world ruled by an immortal named Kang (Jonathan Majors), who is hell-bent on the conquest of existence and the multiverse as he sees fit.
Kang has access to powerful technology from the quantum realm. This technology allows him to manipulate matter, time, and space, giving him the power to wreak havoc on the entire universe. He also has an army of minions to help him in his quest. In their mission to stop Kang, Scott and crew run in a delightful array of characters, including Lord Krylar (Bill Murray) and Quaz (William Jackson Harper).
Following The Avengers films and in interviews, director Peyton Reed no longer wants Ant-Man to be a palate cleanser. His goal is to make the character a full-fledged team member and give him a unique story arc. While there are expectations to the rule, no matter what the genre is, the third film in some franchises is seen by fans as the weakest one. Furthermore, while the Ant-Man films make bank and have a positive critic reception, some see the character as mid.
For the most part Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantummanina avoids the threequel curse. Having previously written comic series centered around Marvel Comics characters Groot, Nova, and Spider-Man, Jeff Loveness is no stranger to the genre. With his debut, it's clear he loves the material. The film and the wackiness in the Quantum realm with numerous species and creatures may turn some viewers off, but it worked.
Regarding the acting Ant-Man franchise regulars Rudd, Lily, Douglas, and Pfeiffer all get moments to shine in action and comedy. Reed's direction keeps the film moving along at a nice pace, and there was never a moment where I checked my watch. I was also fond of the chemistry between Rudd and Newton as father and daughter. In brief roles, Bill Murray and William Jackson Harper also show off their comedy chops.
The big question on everyone's mind is how Johnthan Majors is our big bad. In the simplest terms, he steals the film. Physically strong and mentally conniving, Kang plays no games, and Majors delivers in every aspect. MCU fans already know Kang is an alternate-timeline variant of the character He Who Remains, the creator of the Time Variance Authority (TVA) introduced in the first season of Loki. Majors portrays the role differently here, and seeing what Kang The Conqueror does in this film, we can anticipate what's to come.
The cliches, plot armor and othetropes in the film didn't cause a hidnerence to my viewing experience. My biggest gripe with the film was the omission of the X-Con Security crew, and some jokes felt forced. Nevertheless, I know what to expect in an Ant-Man movie, and in that regard, the threequel delivers.
Final Grade : B
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantummanina opens in theaters today. Two post credit scenes and see it on the biggest screen you can.