This review contains spoilers
On Friday, Feb.17, the Marvel Cinematic Universe released “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” It is an excellent edition for the MCU. Though this movie is not one of my favorites from the MCU; It is, however, the best “Ant-Man” movie yet.
Even though this is not in my top ten favorite Marvel movies, that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. It still had a ton of laughs and featured some amazing world-design for the Quantum Realm.
The film follows Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), the Wasp (Evangeline Lily) and family as they get sucked into the Quantum Realm against their will. They are forced to find a way out with Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) looking for them.
The MCU is growing every larger and is diving into more complex stories and events, but this comes at the disadvantage for casual “Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania” viewers because if you haven't seen the previous movies, you’ll be completely lost to the film’s many references to Scott Lang’s history in the MCU. On top of that, if you have not watched the “Loki” TV show on Disney+ you will be a little lost to the gravity Kang holds.
This isn't a bad thing for hardcore MCU fans, though. It means we get more interesting stories than most of these superhero movies that are exclusively focused on their origins. We instead get to see the heroes progress through all the ups and downs after their previous origin stories.
This new “Ant-Man” film explores how Cassie is doing after not having her father in her life following the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” Cassie brings Scott’s good heart and humor, but also the intelligence of Hope. This makes her a charming character that starts to grow on you as the movie progresses.
This movie feels like Kang is being planned to be set up as the Thanos of this phase of the MCU. With the events of “Loki” being our first introduction to a variant of Kang, and all his following multiverse hopping, he is definitely going to be around for a while. Since all of his variants have different personalities and goals, this will definitely give us exciting plots in upcoming movies.
The addition of M.O.D.O.K. to the film as a side villain was one of its more confusing elements. That is, until we found out who he is: Darren Cross, the villain of the first “Ant-Man” film. If you don't remember who he is, I didn't either until M.O.D.O.K. explained that he was the big bad from the first “Ant-Man” movie.
At first, it felt so wrong that Cross was M.O.D.O.K. As a big comic book fan, there was a lot of missed potential to bring him into the MCU with the company A.I.M. posing a threat to some of our heroes, especially with how threatening M.O.D.O.K.’s intelligence is.
Eventually, though, the movie did convince me how this change was worth it as they leaned into M.O.D.O.K. being a more comical villain. This was made especially apparent with his childlike personality and humorous demeanor when anyone tried to call him anything other than M.O.D.O.K.
One thing viewers are sure to notice is the amazing design of the Quantum Realm. With a unique combination of space and microorganisms, the design didn’t end up feeling tacky. The sky could convince you that they are on some kind of alien planet with its colorful aesthetic, and the Realm’s technology being a living thing and not metal-based gives it an almost microscopic feel.
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I also loved looking at all the background characters. From a person's head that was a pink dust cloud to a broccoli head, the designs were all so eye-catching.
Ultimately, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” definitely felt like a filler movie in the MCU, providing the viewer with groundwork for upcoming plans in the MCU more than anything. This is not a groundbreaking Marvel movie, but definitely one I will come back to from time to time for a good laugh.
Jessica Baca is a freelance reporter and photographer for the Daily lobo. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @Jessica_Baca_