Kang the Conqueror conquerors the screen in Marvel’s newest Antman movie

Pictures of a poster found in the Warehouse Cinemas movie theater in Frederick Md promote Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania to passersby.

Keira Knedeisen

Pictures of a poster found in the Warehouse Cinemas movie theater in Frederick Md promote “Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania” to passersby.

by Keira Knedeisen, Reporter

Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania” was released on Feb. 17 as the first Marvel movie of 2023 and the third movie in the Ant Man trilogy. Unlike the other Ant Man movies, this film explores a universe known as the Quantum Realm where Ant Man and his family are the first of the Avengers to encounter new threats, a new society of people, and a new way of life that they must navigate and escape together. 

The original “Ant Man” film came out in 2015 and “Ant Man and the Wasp” followed in the summer of 2018. The newest film helps launch Marvel’s fifth phase, after their very successful phase four,  “the Multiverse Saga.”

Marvel announced some crucial sneak peeks into this upcoming phase during their show at the San Diego Comic-Con in July of 2022. Now, with their first project finally released, the upcoming films in this phase of the franchise are highly-anticipated.

The movie is well-done, from beginning to end. The plotline comes full circle, with a completely different energy from the opening to conclusion. Although the film features the same happy-go-lucky walk and music of Ant Man (Paul Rudd) himself, one can only wonder what the effects of the film’s plot will have on the timeline the Avengers are trying to protect. 

As Avengers, that is what Ant Man, otherwise known as Scott Lang, and his family do: they protect. Despite any love for the hero Avengers, one must appreciate the performance of Jonathan Majors aka Kang the Conqueror, who is the villain and undeniable star of this film. 

Before he was the star of “Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania,” Jonathan Majors’ character was introduced in the twist ending of the Marvel TV series “Loki,” whose character is based on a variant of himself called “he who remains.”

Compared to the other actors in this movie–whose performances were also amazing– Johnathan Majors’ performance is absolutely stellar. He really sells what he is saying and with how he portrays the emotions and motives of a villain. At times, he almost appears as an anti-hero, causing viewers to question if what he is doing is for the greater good and if the Avengers are the ones in the wrong, for once. 

What helps sell Jonathan Majors’ performance is the costuming and look of his character, which is very accurate to what the designer and creator of these characters, Stan Lee, had intended. 

Another new actor, Kathryn Newton, plays the older version of Scott Lang’s daughter Cassie in the film. Newton had a breakout moment, taking on a significant role and look for the movie. Through Newton’s portrayal, Cassie Lang becomes a hero on her own accord with the ambition and selfless personality of her father. She would rather save everyone else than keep herself safe. The touching moments between Lang and his daughter really tug at the viewers’ heartstrings. Fans of “Ant Man” know how much their father-daughter relationship has endured. 

Other significant roles include Janet Van Dyne, played by Michelle Pfiffere, who was the main focus of the second movie in the series. After spending 30 years in the Quantum Realm, Van Dyne is an expert and master of the new universe. Viewers also learn that she may play a bigger role than anyone on the screen. Pfiffere’s performance is what makes Van Dyne such an astonishing main character, and she well deserves the spotlight. 

As previously stated, the movie really focuses on the heart-touching father-daughter relationship between Scott Lang and his daughter. The importance of this relationship is so evident that Kang uses it against Ant Man, forcing him to go on an subatomic mission using the Ant Man suit and technology. Ant Man’s wife, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lily), joins him to help complete his end of the deal and keep their daughter safe.

An older yet similar father-daughter relationship includes Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the father of Hope’s character and master of ants. Hank may not have a big role, but you can count on the ants having one instead.

Many fans may prefer infamous side characters such as Luis, Kurt and Dave, but these characters either made a no-show in the film or minimal impact on the storyline. This movie already tried to contain so many concepts of the vast multiverse and the Lang’s familial relationship that these characters were not needed much to advance the plot.

It is sad to see the lack of scene or dialogue parallels and cameos that Marvel is so famous for in its earlier projects. Some invested viewers can catch the occasional recall and appreciate it, but it is nothing jaw-dropping or new. The only cameos are characters and scenes from the past within the trilogy.

People might even be disappointed with what they may see in theaters. For what this movie is, a set up to explore a universe that was only recently introduced, viewers who choose to overanalyze the movie could find themselves let down rather than appreciative of a genuinely good movie. 

Although this movie is considered a start of a new phase, viewers are not be advised to begin their binge-watching journey from here. The brand is set up in a timeline and event sequence for a reason. This allows its viewers, new and old, to see origin stories of individual characters and the Avengers team as a whole. 

Hopefully, after a couple months in theaters “Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania” will be released on Disney+ along with its sibling movies, therefore taking its place in the timeline.

Marvel movies are primarily categorized as action films, and this movie does not let up when it comes to that aspect. The action is aggressive, and although fight scenes look familiar as Ant Man and his family utilize the capabilities of their suits, the sequences are fresh and leave viewers on the edge of their seats.

Not only is the future of this action-packed franchise exciting, but it is thrilling to see how everything from the action to the origin stories plays out. The action only becomes hardcore and fulfilling when the dialogue and storylines themselves are not enough. Usually, for Marvel, action is key to creating an impact. 

Yet, what is even better than the action is the cinematography and special effects. The Quantum Realm, from which the title of Quantumania derives, is another world viewers and fans get to explore as the franchise progresses with its look and modes of functioning.

Even though guidance was provided from the mastermind that was Stan Lee and his comics, the directors of the film have been provided creative freedom using technology. The cinematography is breathtaking and impressive. The whole film is constructed with a green screen background, but the people in it act in a way that makes sense to its design, which helps contribute to the overall success of the film. 

After this new movie, the audience will believe that anything is possible. Following the ending of the film and the two end credits, viewers are left with a whirlwind of emotions. The end credits are worth waiting for; they provide key points to the continuation of the journey so recently begun and conclude with the creation of a new path that could only be possible with this film.

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