Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Review: Kang you dig it? Yes, we Kang!

The third Ant-Man movie has a lot riding on its sometimes tiny shoulders, as it’s tasked with both kicking off Phase Five of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and giving a proper, big screen introduction to new series-long supervillain Kang the Conqueror, for anyone who might have missed the Loki TV series.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania sees Scott Lang / Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and girlfriend Hope van Dyne / The Wasp (Evangeline Lily) getting accidentally pulled into the microscopic Quantum Realm, along with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Scott’s now teenage daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton). There, they encounter multiple new races and find themselves pursued by time travelling warlord Kang (Jonathan Majors), who wants to use them to escape the Quantum Realm.

If some of the new lifeforms, costumes cityscapes and methods of transport have a degree of familiarity about them, that’s because the Quantum Realm bears a distinct resemblance to the Star Wars universe, something that’s either a canny bit of deliberate cross-promotion, or shocking laziness on the part of the production designers. At any rate, the effects work is exceptional, and there are plenty of entertaining little details in the world-building.

The rapport between the characters is extremely enjoyable and the Ant-Man franchise is afforded an extra degree of both emotion and energy with its focus on Cassie (Newton is terrific), though it’s a shame title character Hope is, once again, given so little to do.

For the most part, Quantumania sticks to the tried-and-tested Marvel formula, delivering exciting comic-book action (with a special focus on Ant-Man’s fighting style), character-based humour, strong emotion and a few surprises, casting-wise. However, the stand-out element is Majors, whose unsettlingly cool, calm and collected performance as Kang will have you eagerly anticipating his next MCU appearance.

Ant-Man 3: Quantumania opens in cinemas on 17 February, 2023. 

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