“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”: Opening the Fifth Stage of Marvel, Introducing a New Villain Leader

By Maggie Ma

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”, which will be released on February 17, marks the beginning of phase five of the MCU and introduces a Thano level villain: Kang the Conqueror. Like many marvel movies, it’s connected to previous Ant-Man series and will have hint for the future movies. At the same time, the movie also let the audiences have a closer look of the  Quantum Realm for the first time, unveiling this mysterious world beneath us. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer return with a teenaged Cassie now played by newcomer Kathryn Newton. But Jonathan Majors who plays Kang the Conqueror and his minion Modok steals the show.

image credit: Walt Disney Pictures

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum of Frenzy” is the third film in the Ant-Man series. Ant-Man Scott Lang, played by Paul Rudd, used to be an underdog but now is a famous Avenger who wrote a book called “Look Out For the Little Guy” . He is still the happy-go-lucky guy and finally can spend sometimes with his daughter Cassey and girlfriend Hope. Cassey has grown up into a smart , rebellious and curious young woman. Hope had taken over his father Henry Pym’s company and use the Pym Particles to save the environment . But one accident led the family back to Quantum Realm. In there, they encountered all kinds of strange creatures, including Kang the Conqueror who has been hiding here for a long time.

Quantum Realm has been teased since the first Ant-Man, but this time the audiences finally will have the opportunity to walk into it. It turned out that Quantum Realm looked a lot like a planet in Star Wars movie. Even some of the characters designs are similar. But there are still plenty of interesting characters that we have never seen before. The first 20 mins of the film leads the audience walked in to this wonderland. So many interesting creatures keep popping up.

image credit: Walt Disney Pictures

The mother of the Wasp(Hope), scientist Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) has been trapped in Quantum Realm for 30 years and was rescued in “Ant-Man 2” to reunite with her family. But she never talked about what happened in the past 30 years. The movie spends a long time to tease her secrets. Until the middle of the movie, her secrets finally came out. Michelle Pfeiffer makes people feel she is trying too hard to look cool, and some of her dialogues are quite repetitive. Although the design of the Quantum Realm is really eye catching, some of jokes didn’t land well. The dialogues of most characters are flat and sometimes awkward.

It’s getting better when Kang the Conqueror showed up. He is played by the well-built African-American actor Jonathan Majors (Jonathan Majors). With a well-built body and a thick voice, you may expect this Kang will be very intimating. But surprising, Jonathan Majors used a soft and calm voices first to disguise Kang’s true ambition later become more and more demanding.  And there are times, he even seems desperate. However, as one of the biggest villains from MCU, is this the guy will bring chaos to the multi-verse? Throughout the movie, this Kang’s behavior doesn’t seem convincing he could be the most dangerous villain in Phase Five. Luckily, you may find out more of him in the post credit scenes. We can just be hopeful he can grow into some one more spectacular.

image credit: Walt Disney Pictures

MODOK, on the other hand, is pure fun. Like he comics, he is a killing machine with a name stands for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. But with the giant head and tiny legs and hands, he looks ridiculous sometimes but serves to be a great comic relive.

The past two Ant-Man movies are very grounded and shot in real sets. But this one is quite different, and is heavily depends on CGI. So sometimes people may feel

Cassie Lang is 18 years of age in the film, and 26-year-old Kathyn Newton (Amber Heard’s doppelgänger) is obviously much older than her character. Unfortunately, it was difficult to suspend that belief and her dialogue didn’t help.

image credit: Walt Disney Pictures

He is even more similar to the thin Ant-Man Scott Lang in terms of size and temperament in stark contrast. Jonathan Majors plays just one of many Kangs in this film, wearing green and purple armor, locked in quantum space for punishment, making his abilities unable to be used, so he hopes to use The Quantum Space Tunnel Escape of the Ant-Man Family. There are various versions of the character in different universes, and audiences have seen another version of Kang before in the episode “Loki.” I believe that he will appear again in the future, and I am afraid that he will change his appearance again. He is a very changeable character.

There are also some interesting new characters in the film, such as MODOK hidden in the quantum space, a character full of jokes and related to the comics and the first two episodes of “Ant-Man”. MODOK’s name MODOK is the abbreviation of Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, which means “the spirit is specially strengthened for killing” and is also called a killing machine. But his appearance is very funny, with an egg-shaped, disproportionately large head, two small hands that are thinner than Tyrannosaurus rex, and two bean sprout-like feet, which add a lot of comical features to this character.

Father-daughter relationship and family affection are still the core.

In addition to laying the groundwork for the fifth stage of the multiverse battle, the core of the film is still the relationship between Ant-Man Scott Lang and his daughter Cassey Lang. This father-daughter relationship runs through the Ant-Man trilogy. Before, Scott Lang, who was divorced and had no money, always felt sorry for his daughter because he had been in prison, and hoped to make amends; later he became a superhero, and finally became stronger in the eyes of his daughter; now he hopes to make up for the past regrets and spend more time with his daughter. But the daughter grew up, and even did not lose to her father in terms of technical equipment, and the father and daughter finally realized fighting side by side. The new-generation beauty Kathryn Newton (Kathryn Newton), who has performed well in the series “Big Little Lies” and the movie “Detective Pikachu”, played the role of the grown-up daughter Cassey. She has shown her intelligence in this film and is expected to become The second generation of Ant-Man. This role may have more opportunities to show off in “Avengers 5 and 6” or “Young Avengers” in the future.

In addition to the successful introduction of new villains and quantum space, the film also has some obvious flaws. For example, not every joke hits the spot, and even some jokes are slightly vulgar, and the lines are relatively plain, which makes this film visually full, A hearty movie that lacks connotation and depth.

There are still two easter eggs at the end of the film and at the end of the credits, which will further display the content related to Conqueror Kang, which is not to be missed. The film will also be shown in Screen X and IMAX theaters starting Thursday. Because there are many special effects scenes in this film, and there are superheroes who become bigger and smaller, it is true that IMAX will make the picture more spectacular. The Screen X is more suitable for action scenes and wide viewing angles. However, the color of the film is slightly dark yellow due to the limitation of the quantum space background. It is better to choose a theater with a bright screen for better viewing effect.


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