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REVIEW: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ Proves It’s Jonathan Majors’ Kang’s World

4/5 holes.

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania'

The next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is underway, and for most of post-Avengers: Endgame era, we’ve been wondering who is going to show up in what movie. And much like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness before it, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has run the gamut of who has been theorized to show up. Now that the movie’s release is imminent and some of us have seen it, it’s safe to say that the movie is solidly and definitively an Ant-Man movie and doesn’t try to venture into Avengers territory.

If you’re heading into this movie thinking you’re getting cameo after cameo, you’re not. It’s a movie that introduces us to the brilliance of Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror, after we met his variant He Who Remains back in Loki season 1, and we get to see the growth that Scott Lang has had to go through since Endgame. But Quantumania, as a whole, is a solid third movie in Scott’s franchise and a nod to relationships and science, and brings us a fresh take on his daughter, Cassie Lang.

Directed by Peyton Reed and written by Jeff Loveness, the movie starts off Marvel’s Phase 5 on a softer note that isn’t as emotionally heavy as some of the Phase 4 entries have been, but it’s still a fun time and a great addition for the character of Scott, played brilliantly (as always) by Paul Rudd. The cast of this movie is, for the most part, doing a lot of the heavy lifting—not that Quantumania is lacking, but the more outrageous aspects of the Quantum Realm work because of how characters like Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet Van Dyne or Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym sell them. When we do see Evangeline Lilly’s Hope, she’s just trying to keep her family together.

But at the heart of their interactions and the reason for their journey into the Quantum Realm is Cassie.

Quantumania’s Cassie Lang, Kathryn Newton, is perfection

Cassie Lang smiles in Ant-Man: Quantumania
(Marvel Entertainment)

The introduction of the younger Avengers has been a long journey throughout Phase 4 of the MCU, and while we have, technically, met Cassie Lang before, this is the first time we’re seeing Kathryn Newton’s take on the character. A brash young woman who is determined to protect those who need her help, Cassie is instantly great.

Truly and honestly. Watching Cassie Lang decide to use the gifts that Hank, Hope, and her father have given her for good? Amazing. She uses the technology to shrink a cop car because they threw her in jail. I absolutely love her. But Cassie’s heart is one of the reasons why she’s such an appealing character, and Newton balances her intelligence with her determination to get her father back into the superhero game with ease.

It would be so easy for us to roll our eyes at Cassie Lang’s determination and dedication to helping, but Newton performs it with such earnestness that you can’t help but want Cassie to succeed. And it makes her relationship with her father and their growth there that much more powerful.

A father/daughter journey through time

In a still from 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,' Cassie (Kathryn Newton) stands next to her father, Scott Lang. Scott is wearing his Ant-Man suit without the helmet, so his face his visible.
(Marvel Entertainment)

I, like many, am a sucker for a father/daughter story, and it has been, often, what is the most appealing aspect of the Ant-Man movies—not only for Scott and Cassie but for Hope and Hank and their relationship. It’s a story about the struggle that fathers and daughters can have in understanding each other, but one of the best aspects of Scott and Cassie’s relationship throughout the franchise has always been their ability to know what the other needs. It started with Cassie’s ugly birthday gift, and in Quantumania, it is all about Cassie’s desire to help.

Scott often tries to tell her no, but I think even he knows that’s not going to work, and Rudd and Newton fall into an ease with their dynamic that doesn’t feel like a new actress taking over the role but instead just a father and daughter taking charge because they have to. Their chemistry makes this story work. If they couldn’t sell us on them being a father and daughter who care about each other, this movie would fail.

But both Newton and Rudd find a balance in their angst and upset with each other and their genuine love for each other, and it’s beautiful to watch.

This is Kang’s time

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
(Marvel Entertainment)

While the movie might be an Ant-Man movie on a technicality, it is really a showcase of the power of Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror. There’s a quietness to Majors’ performance that brings you into his story and captivates you. You want to listen to his every word and believe him, and so, when his true nature as Kang rears its head, you’re reminded of who we are dealing with. It’s a lot to unpack but god does it set a tone for the rest of the Kang dynasty.

There are few actors in this world who could play a myriad versions of the same character and make it work, but you can see in He Who Remains to Kang the subtle ways that Majors focuses his variants and makes them unique. With Kang, his walk and stance show his power, and while He Who Remains was slightly more eccentric, Kang holds your attention and then brings his wrath crashing upon you, and it’s truly captivating.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is very solidly a Scott Lang vs. a bad guy film, but knowing that that bad guy is Kang and what that means in the grand scheme of Marvel makes this introduction to the Conqueror even more powerful.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is an action-packed, hilarious ride

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania'
(Marvel Entertainment)

What we’ve come to know from the Ant-Man movies is that they are funny. They’re exciting, hilarious, and aren’t afraid of being silly. This movie is pretty much the same. I love Veb (a jello-like creature obsessed with how many holes humans have) so much and he’s so silly, but that is a lot of what is attractive about the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

It could have been such a simple, cut and dried movie, but they let us have fun. We see quirky new characters, watch a rebellion fighting, and learn a lot about how Scott Lang’s past influenced Cassie Lang’s desire to help and how it inspires him even when he’s just trying to protect his family. Overall, it is a fun trip into the Quantum Realm and a pretty badass Ant-Man movie.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hits theaters on February 17!

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.