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Why Are People Saying ‘Quantumania’ Doesn’t Feel Like an Ant-Man Movie?

There's a ... hole in your logic

Paul Rudd's Ant-Man and Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror have a conversation in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

By now, we’ve all heard about the dismal critical response to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania—and the overwhelmingly positive audience response. Quantumania has polarized viewers, and one sticking point that’s been coming up in reviews and on social media is whether or not it stays true to the Ant-Man franchise.

Here’s what people are saying: it’s not a real Ant-Man movie because it’s humorless, Scott Lang’s buddies from X-Con aren’t there, and there are no giant Pez dispensers bouncing down the streets of San Francisco.

To be clear: I loved the Pez dispenser bit in Ant-Man and the Wasp. And not including Michael Peña in Ant-Man 3 was a crime (although they did manage to squeeze in a cameo with Randall Parks’ Jimmy Woo!). Yeah, there are beloved Ant-Man elements that didn’t make it in.

But it was still funny! It still had bizarro shrinking and growing stuff! Although Quantumania takes a different turn than its predecessors, it absolutely still feels like an Ant-Man movie.

The Ant-Man franchise has been teasing the Quantum Realm all along

Unlike Ant-Man 1 and 2, Quantumania spends most of its time in the Quantum Realm. Instead of San Francisco, we get a trippy Star Wars-esque land filled with aliens. Instead of shrinking cars and buildings, we get quantum uncertainty. (Although, for the record, Cassie does shrink one cop car.)

What the haters don’t acknowledge, though, is that the Quantum Realm has been at the heart of the Ant-Man series the whole time. We see it for a second in the first film. It becomes the focal point of the second movie, when Hank and Hope figure out a way to rescue Janet. Exploring the Quantum Realm more deeply isn’t just a natural place for the plot to go—after all, Cassie’s interest in it is sparked by the events of the previous movies—but also a culmination of the themes the franchise has been building for years.

Quantumania was funny!

A question for the people who thought Quantumania was humorless: which movie did you watch!?

Did you see the holes bit? That bit was perfect. Scott’s slack-jawed attempt to count up his own holes was perfect. Quaz’s weary mind reading was perfect. Or how about Ruben Rabasa’s masterful cameo? Or Scott’s smarmy reading of his memoir? Or the one Baskin-Robbins employee in the sea of Scotts? Or that horrendous cake at the end?

Was it as madcap as Ant-Man and the Wasp? No, I suppose not. But it still felt like a natural progression for the series.

Related: Best MODOK Decks in Marvel Snap on Twinfinite

Quantumania had tons of Pez dispensers, you just missed them

Nah, I’m kidding, it didn’t. But it did have plenty of weirdness. There’s Scott’s tower of himself when he’s stuck in the probability storm. That’s the kind of sequence you could only have in an Ant-Man film.

The third film in a trilogy often walks a tricky line. It has to stay true to the heart of the series, while avoiding tropes that might make it repetitive. These issues are extra tricky when it comes to Marvel, since none of their films are truly standalone projects.

With those issues in mind, though, I left the theater feeling like I’d just watched an An-Man movie. Now, if Marvel just brings back Luis, I’ll be totally satisfied.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and covers film, television, and books for The Mary Sue. When she's not making yarn on her spinning wheel, she consumes massive amounts of Marvel media, folk horror, science fiction, fantasy, and nature writing. You can check out more of her writing at, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.