‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ succeeds with its biggest story to date
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is easily the most imaginative of the three “Ant-Man” films.
And in terms of danger and scope, it’s also the biggest.
This time around, hero Scott Lang’s daughter Cassie (now played by the talented Kathryn Newton) is older and smarter, and she’s found a way to connect wit the Quantum Realm that Scott (Paul Rudd) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) have visited as the second and first Ant-Man respectively.
Cassie wants to be able to watch the universe from inside the safety of a lab. There’s no need to do something dangerous like, say, shrinking to subatomic size and actually going there.
But of course, something goes wrong. And Cassie; Scott; Hank; Hank’s wife Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the first Wasp; and Hank and Janet’s daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), aka the second Wasp, all are suddenly shrunk to subatomic size and pulled quickly into the Quantum Realm, which they learn is populated by various sentient species and the villainous Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).
Like the previous “Ant-Man” movies, “Quantumania” combines some great humor with intense drama and heart-tugging emotions. At their core, “Ant-Man” movies are about a family and what the members of this family will do for each other.
But there’s always the bigger question of what must be done to save the world or in this case, the Quantum Realm from the tyrannical Kang, whom Mr. Majors makes sinister with a disturbing calmness.
Meanwhile, Mr. Rudd continues to bring a down-to-earth likability and genuine nobility to Scott, who demonstrates the extent of his devotion to his daughter. And as Ant-Man, Scott shows his suit’s power for not only getting really small but gigantic (in relation to everything else in this subatomic universe).
Ms. Pfeiffer continues her dynamic, no-nonsense approach to playing Janet, who was stuck for 30 years in the Quantum Realm and serves as the guide for her family in this strange land.
As always, Mr. Douglas, whose father was the late, legendary Montecito star Kirk Douglas, plays Hank with intelligence, humor, compassion and honesty. It’s hard to imagine anyone else in this role.
And there’s a great scene with Bill Murray as …. well, you’ll see.
The imaginative story in “Quantumania” is credited to writers Jeff Loveness and Jack Kirby, the late, brilliant Thousand Oaks resident who co-created Ant-Man with the late Stan Lee and Mr. Lee’s younger brother Larry Lieber, now 91.
Peyton Reed, who directed the first two “Ant-Man” movies, returned to direct “Quantumania,” which is a major reason for this film’s success. Mr. Reed has a knack for making cosmic stories down-to-earth.