Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
February 16, 2023 6:16 PM - Subscribe

Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, along with Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, explore the Quantum Realm, where they interact with strange creatures and embark on an adventure that goes beyond the limits of what they thought was possible.

Stay tuned for one mid-credits scene, and one post-credits scene.
posted by 1970s Antihero (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It was fun, more fun than I expected. The visuals were dazzling, to the extent that all the creature scenes felt more Star Wars than Star Wars itself.

Modok as humor worked fine the first time, then it was overkill. The script was tight and family oriented in that real way all the Antman films.

The problem was that it didn’t go dark enough. Jon Majors as Kang was magnificent, but unfortunately the character wasn’t allowed to kill any major characters. So it feels hollow that we’re introduced to a great villain that doesn’t do much, but we’re “promised” that next movie he’ll be very dangerous. Uh huh.

Also, there was no Luis, and he was sorely missed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:35 PM on February 16, 2023 [3 favorites]

Huge 48/84 critic/audience split at Rotten Tomatoes, for what that's worth. Save for streaming is my takeaway.
posted by mediareport at 3:28 AM on February 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

Agreed with Brandon Blatcher, it was fun, and the variety of creatures and scenery was fantastic.

MODOK is a difficult character to use in a live action movie. I do agree that they went a little too jokey with him, but I guess he's kind of a ridiculous character to begin with, so they leaned into it, for better or worse.

The ending almost felt like they intended it to go a different way and it was edited into what we got.

Agreed that Luis was sorely missed. At least give him a little scene in the end credits or something.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:03 AM on February 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

As Scott famously triggered the return of everyone Snapped, and we saw in What If? that Hank single-handedly wiped out the Avengers more than once, and this shows how Janet’s Samaritan nature almost released Kang the Conqueror from exile, and Hope’s quick thinking ended him, I think we have to conclude that the Ant-Man-and-adjacent folks are the most powerful beings in the MCU.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:50 AM on February 17, 2023 [2 favorites]

Awful. Not as bad as Eternals but unusually terrible visuals, especially the early scenes in the quantum realm. They got better as the movie went along, but not enough to erase the plot nonsense of “there’s no time to explain!” and multiversal jiggery-pokery.

Suffers in comparison to two other recent Disney things: Avatar 2 (that’s how you do a CG family movie!) and Andor (that’s how you do a rebellion!).
posted by adrianhon at 3:03 PM on February 17, 2023 [3 favorites]

I loved it!

William Jackson Harper Is The Hidden Gem Of The Quantum Realm [Inverse]
Quantumania Director Peyton Reed Sends Ant-Man and the Wasp on a “Whacked Out” Journey [Inverse]
posted by ellieBOA at 9:37 AM on February 18, 2023

Also I would watch a whole movie about Jentorra and the Quantum Realm!

Miniature Hero (interview with Katherine Newton) [Den of Geek magazine]
posted by ellieBOA at 9:47 AM on February 18, 2023

Thinking about it some more, Antman feels like the wrong place to introduce Kang, a supposedly huge threat. Yet, it's the happy go lucky guy and his family who go up against him and walk away without a single scratch.

The end bits, with Scott wondering if everything was alright, feel like the creators trying to have the cake and eat it. Oh sure, Kang was threat and yeah, it looked bad for Scott and Hope for a minute, with either Scott dead or he and hope lost in the Quantumverse.

But nope, they managed to defeat this Kang, which only bothered all the other Kangs, so now King Kang will get all the Kangs together to do SOMETHING, stay tuned for the next movie to find out what.

Do the Kangs really need to call a meeting before deciding to do something? Hell, would a Kang even answer the call to go to a meeting? It's so odd, right?

Bottom line, the movie needed to have our plucky heroes lose something or someone important, and they didn't so Kang doesn't feel very threatening, despite the fantastic work that Jonathan Majors did in portraying the character.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:18 PM on February 18, 2023 [2 favorites]

Best line: "that's really M.O.D.O.F.K."

I found this one ridiculous but enjoyable. Not unlike the most recent Thor movie.

They wasted Bill Murray, though. He seemed into his Kylar character.
posted by chavenet at 5:04 PM on February 18, 2023 [1 favorite]

Pray for M.O.D.O.K.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:21 PM on February 18, 2023 [2 favorites]

All I have to say is: Thanks, ants. Thants.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 7:23 PM on February 18, 2023 [12 favorites]

I really enjoyed that the other Ant-Man films were smaller in scale (hah) - not about world-ending threats. They were more self contained and referenced the wider MCU a bit less. They were some of the funniest and I liked the warmth of the redemption arc and focus on family.

All of that… was missing here. I thought it was a mess! And I’m here for all the weird creatures! And red goo, and mind reading! And revenge of the seafood menu! Also loved Kang and his… pauses. But the script was some AI-generated nonsense. Scott stomping things while shouting “Our word is our bond. Without that, who are we?” I mean… what?? Characters were cardboard, none of the relationships had much chemistry. Also, I have lots of continuity questions.

Anyway. Not knowing the comics well, I like predicting how the next generation of avengers is going to mesh as a team. Ant Girl (does she have another name?) won’t end up being the comic relief in that group, I don’t think. Too earnest.

Lastly, my favorite line was:

“Your houses are alive?”
“Yours are dead?
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 2:44 PM on February 19, 2023 [9 favorites]

Ant Man: Quantamania is my second favorite Star Wars movie and the third best episode of Rick and Morty.

I absolutely loved it. When I have more time I'll right more. There's no doubt that the movies of this phase of MCU are getting way more niche but the upside means there's going to be at least one franchise for the kind of nerd you are.
posted by midmarch snowman at 7:40 PM on February 19, 2023 [6 favorites]

Quantumania’s Post-Credits Scene Just Solved a Huge Loki Mystery [Inverse]
posted by ellieBOA at 8:16 AM on February 21, 2023

Mehhhhhhhh. My God, that editing was choppy. They must've taken out a good fifteen minutes at the last second.
posted by praemunire at 10:35 PM on February 24, 2023

I liked it a lot, and apparently a lot more than most professional reviewers. (Said reviewers went on to churn out thinkpieces wondering "are people just sick of superhero movies?"; with the high audience scores and decent success at the box office, it seems clear that it's mostly just them.) Yeah, I get that people might have wanted at least one more movie out of Scott and his scruffy gang of ex-cons/security experts, but they've already had one movie where Scott is a marginally employable ex-con and one where he's officially under house arrest, and it was fun to see one where he's actually a celebrity of sorts and enjoying it (unlike Clint Barton) and also dealing with a daughter who wants to be a different kind of hero. But the really interesting character here, and one that's the deuteragonist if not arguably the stealth protagonist, is Janet Van Dyne, who had a whole separate life in the Quantum Realm that's the plot engine for the movie. (One of my favorite little bits is how Hank and Janet admit that, even though they loved each other and missed each other terribly during Janet's exile, they both had affairs during the separation.)

I LOLed several times during the movie; MODO(f)K was great (and his death scene, including declaring himself an Avenger, was extra-great), Veb (and speaking of the ex-con gang, I found out that he's played by David Dastmalchian) with his universal-translater juice and his obsession with orifices was great, and all the other little bits. Just found out from Wikipedia that "A man asking Lang for a picture with his dog is played by Mark Oliver Everett, frontman of the rock band Eels, whose father was quantum physicist Hugh Everett III and the originator of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory." That's a pretty deep cut.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:01 AM on February 26, 2023 [15 favorites]

Saw it again this weekend with a friend. This is the first genuinely slipshod modern-Marvel production, with problems down to basic scene-blocking continuity. I'm long used to picking weird bits out of the twisted wreckage of pop-culture misfires to treasure in my weird greebly heart, but there wasn't much for me to scavenge here. ...OK, I did like William Jackson Harper's character, but I always like William Jackson Harper, and he was only on screen for about three minutes.
posted by praemunire at 12:32 PM on March 6, 2023

I had fun with this film. There were lots of individual moments that worked, and some charismatic performances.

That said there was a lot wrong with this film, both structurally but also in some baffling editing.

At the end of the film, Scott and Hope defeat Kang. It is pretty explicitly framed as them being trapped there, and theres even a cut to the crowds cheering, and you get the impression they are thinking about their new home. Then we cut to Cassie turning on her device (which up until this point was only ever described as a messaging tool) and a portal appears behind them, and they say, almost in ADR "Now its time to go home" without even turning around. What happened there? Did scenes get cut, or did they change the ending at the last minute? Hard to say.

The plot has similar weirdness to it. There is clearly set up a conflict between Cassie and Scott, where she insists they get involved, and he wants to just get home. The way these things usually work is that the hero is wrong, and has to learn a lesson. But he doesn't? Throughout the whole plot he is motivated to just rescue Cassie, and his over throwing Kang kind of feels incidental in his motivation. Even when he gets the doodad for Kang, he doesnt actually have to make a choice, as Kang grabs it and reneges on the deal before he can do anything.

Oh and heres another bit of plot weirdness: why does Hope help Scott shrink the orb? Hope knows that Kang wants the orb, and cant get it without their help? I expected some kind of conflict between Hope and Scott but it never actually happens!

Another weird missed conflict was Hope and her mother. Hope is clearly very frustrated with her mother for not explaining whats going on. But then Janet does... and its fine. One of the things that keeps happening in this film, which is again contrary to standard story telling, is that the protagonists are pretty blameless! Cassie had no reason to think her signal would cause problems, Janet had no reason to believe Kang was evil, and Scott doesnt really do much wrong at all!

Tonally I found this film a bit funny, MODOK being probably the worst offender. MODOK was clearly being used as a joke here, to the point where his cgi looked really bad, I sort of assume deliberately. But it did the thing that Marvel is often guilty of where it kind of makes its heroes look a bit sociopathic. Darren was never very sympathetic, and it wasnt like his death was ever going to massively effect the heroes, but sort of standing around making jokes as he died felt a little off to me.

So yeah I guess I had a lot to complain about.. but Kangs performance was just great, Paul Rudd is always fun, and Michael Douglas brings a lot of depth to his character. The rebels were fairly paper thin, but came alive thanks to fun performances. I also loved a lot of the character design and the sheer weirdness of the quantum realm.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 2:33 PM on March 10, 2023 [3 favorites]

Darren was never very sympathetic, and it wasnt like his death was ever going to massively effect the heroes, but sort of standing around making jokes as he died felt a little off to me.

It felt like a James Gunn moment in a movie that was very much not a James Gunn movie.
posted by praemunire at 10:28 PM on March 10, 2023 [1 favorite]

I didn't much like the tone of MODOK, mostly some of the writing. I liked the idea of "it's never too late to stop being a dick" and I think they could have almost made it work if they didn't have him say it again for his suicide attack and it kinda tipped the scales of his whole arc not working for me.

But MODOK is an inherently ridiculous character and I'm not mad that this wasn't the sort of grim-and-gritty movie that has him commit atrocities to make the audience take him seriously.

However what really worked for me was that the first Ant-Man ends with Darrin's grisly fate of having his limbs shrink separately before falling completely into the quantum realm, and using that as the excuse to introduce MODOK to the MCU was brilliant. And I really liked how he looked, even his distorted face when they weren't leaning in to the goofy. And I'll admit they got me to laugh at the cute little butt shot.
posted by straight at 9:54 PM on March 11, 2023 [2 favorites]

Scott stomping things while shouting “Our word is our bond. Without that, who are we?” I mean… what??

I think that was mostly a victim of the editing, but what I thought they were going for was Scott needling Kang: "Aren't you even gonna pretend that you're noble because you might massacre timelines but you always keep your promises?" He's had better lines in other movies where he quips complaints that—hey, the rules of superhero stories aren't being followed here.
posted by straight at 10:03 PM on March 11, 2023

I can't believe I saw months of hype for this and made it all the way to the end credits before noticing:


I was legitimately impressed with how clever that is—what with the perfect symmetry and all—and gave the movie an extra five points just for that.
posted by straight at 4:38 PM on March 12, 2023 [11 favorites]

I spent most of the movie annoyed that if this whole world is tiny, why can't Scott easily be as big as he wants by just shrinking a little bit less? But I guess the idea here is that if you "go subatomic" it's like going through a portal to a new universe where you're just "normal sized" for that universe and all the Pym tech works there just like it does here. Still, they could have said something like that.

On the other hand, they definitely need a few more rules about how big, how often, and for how long Scott can grow giant-sized. I still spent a lot of time wondering why he's not being a giant in this scene. And why can't Wasp be giant too? In the comics, she doesn't need Pym Particles, but her inherent power is just shrinking (and flying and zapping).

And they needed a better idea of how powerful Kang's technology is. If his army can't even destroy Giant-Man, he has no chance of conquering the Marvel Universe. From their confrontation in the prison, the setup seemed to be that just the tech in Kang's armor would be enough to defeat Scott at any size.
posted by straight at 5:16 PM on March 12, 2023 [2 favorites]

I really liked the scene with all the alternate Scotts because what a great way to give him ant-colony powers. It was fine that the scene was about that (and how any version of Scott would sacrifice himself to save Cassie) and not really interested in how the branching worked.

But it could have been 1000% better if the viewpoint Scott fell off the pile and the movie's POV switched to following one of the other Scotts a couple of times before finding the Scott who ended up being the one who succeeded.
posted by straight at 5:24 PM on March 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

The MCU generally doesn't let people play multiple roles onscreen, so, I'm slightly bummed that William Jackson Harper won't play Reed Richards.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:30 PM on March 16, 2023 [6 favorites]

I'd argue that the multiverse should suspend those rules, if it weren't that Reed is such a dick that I want to protect Harper from being him.
posted by praemunire at 8:42 AM on March 17, 2023

True, there are many FF stories where Reed is a dick, but I don't think that's an intrinsic part of his character.

Ryan "Dinosaur Comics/Squirrel Girl/How to Invent Everything" North has been writing some great Fantastic Four comics recently with a very familiar-feeling Reed Richards who is nevertheless not a dick.
posted by straight at 12:49 AM on March 24, 2023

I think that you could make a case for Harper doing double duty, especially since the MCU has been acknowledging that the Netflix shows are part of the MCU via Daredevil and Kingpin, and there are a couple of actors that were on Luke Cage--Alfre Woodard and Mahershala Ali--who went on to do stuff in the MCU: Woodard was the grieving mom who confronted Tony Stark in Civil War and Ali will be the new Blade. Plus, of course, Chris Evans used to be Johnny Storm, ditto for Michael B. Jordan. It could even be a funny bit:

LANG: Hey, you know, there's a guy in the Microverse who looks just like you!

RICHARDS: [long pause] OK.

LANG: I mean, it's... it's uncanny.

RICHARDS: Well, maybe sometime we'll go there and check it out.

And they do, but find Psycho-Man instead.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:37 PM on April 20, 2023 [2 favorites]

This is now streaming on Disney+
posted by jazon at 8:11 PM on May 20, 2023

This was… weirdly horny in patches of dialogue? I certainly never expected to hear “I can put some more ooze in your hole… wow, that’s a big hole!” in a Marvel film
posted by sixswitch at 8:33 PM on May 21, 2023

I liked that the starting and ending showed that things were going well for Scott Lang. MCU Ant-Man is a lighthearted character and it's great that he's remained that way.

I guess they had to re-cast Cassie so that she'd be higher profile for any Young Avengers movie they end up doing. Is that happening in this phase of the MCU? It would tie in pretty well to Kang being the big baddie.

My expectation for a Marvel movie is that I'll enjoy it while I'm watching it and then promptly forget about it until the next one references it and Quantumania met that expectation. I was a bit sad that Luis didn't even make a cameo but when I mentioned that to my family they had no idea who Luis was even though they've seen the first 2 movies so I guess they do an even better job of forgetting about the movies than I do.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:27 PM on June 5, 2023

I finally got around to watching this and it definitely seemed like a Marvel movie versus an Ant-Man movie. A lot of the plot didn't make tons of sense and it seemed like characters with a little more seriousness would have worked better for the purposes of introducing and developing the character of Kang, which seems like the reason this movie exists.

Also, look, I get it, live-action M.O.D.O.K. is going to look dumb almost whatever you do. But at least give him hair! His hair is a big part of the character's look. And maybe they could have found an actor with a teeny pug nose? But I do agree that having him big-headed and baby-limbed because of uneven Pym shrinkage was a pretty brilliant fix, especially if you're going for comic relief M.O.D.O.K. instead of tragic/horrifying experiment M.O.D.O.K.
posted by whir at 7:26 PM on August 26, 2023

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