“Ant-Man Quantumania:” A Return to the MCU’s Greatness or a Continuation of Its “Flop Era?”

A promotional image featuring Ant Man (Scott Lang), The Wasp (Hope Van Dyme) and Cassie Lang.

Walt Disney Studios

A promotional image featuring Ant Man (Scott Lang), The Wasp (Hope Van Dyme) and Cassie Lang.

“Ant-Man Quantumania,” Marvel’s newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) successfully began phase 5 on Feb. 17, 2023. Although the movie has gained many bad reviews and is one of the worst-rated MCU films of all time, some fans still enjoyed it. 

In the MCU, movies are released in chunks known as phases. Phase 1-3, known as the Infinity Saga, covered an overarching plot of the villain Thanos gaining power and destroying half of the universe’s population. This plot was built up from the beginning, with connections to each Avenger through S.H.I.E.L.D., the introduction of one of the infinity stones, and Thanos, all within the first six movies. 

 Phase 4 came and went without obvious connections to an overarching plot, and nothing connecting all 14 projects. This tarnished the opinion of many avid fans, since most preferred an overarching plot that connects every story, and felt overwhelmed by the large number of projects being produced rapidly that did not appear to be leading anywhere. But for some fans, “Ant-Man Quantiumania” was more enjoyable compared to other projects in the MCU that fell flat. 

“Ant-Man Quantiumania” was the first addition to Phase 5 and had the first real connection to characters that otherwise did not share plots. For example, Kang, the villain in the Disney+ series “Loki,” was built to be an important villain but hasn’t returned since the 2021 series. “Ant-Man Quantumania” not only saw the return of Kang, but included more backstory and an engaging plot for his character, which is a good sign that Kang and the multiverse/time plot will be more connected to future MCU projects. 

The setting and environment of “Ant-Man Quantumania” had most of the feel-good comedy that has come to be expected from Paul Rudd’s character, Scott Lang, while still dealing with heavy ideas and concepts. The “Ant-Man” returning characters such as Scott Lang’s teenage daughter Cassie, Evangeline Lily’s character, Hope Vandine, and Hope’s mother (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) and father (played by Michael Douglas) created a view of what their life is like after the Blip, which occurred when Thanos destroyed half of humanity with the infinity stones. After five years, the Avengers were able to bring this half back, making it so people were coming back to life five years after they were last alive. The Blip had created its own set of problems, such as homelessness. 

“Ant-Man Quantiumania” introduced the world of the Quantum Realm, a microscopic world that exists within our own, which fans were waiting to be fully introduced. The Quantum Realm introduced societies and integrated lifeforms with extensive possibilities for future stories. There is almost no doubt that the world inside the Quantum Realm will be visited in more films in the future. 

This movie also explored the battle between doing what is right for humanity and what is right for yourself and your family. It continued to explore Scott Lang’s compassion and love for his daughter, a paternal love that is so strong he is able to survive difficult challenges in the Quantum Realm. 

The Quantum Realm also increased the amount of CGI and animation Marvel had to do to create this movie. While some of the animated settings and characters were breathtaking and immersive, one character in particular was unsettling. The character MODOK, who featured a human face stretched out into an egg shape, was startling to say the least, and was a main culprit for the fan’s disgust towards this movie.

Another reason some fans did not end up enjoying this movie was due to the supposed lack of humor. This is definitely true to some extent; this movie is the only “Ant-Man” solo film that did not feature the character of Luis, one of the key factors in the first two “Ant-Man” movies being comical. Despite having less of the charm of the other “Ant-Man” films, this addition was still funny in its own right. 

Despite its flaws, I found “Ant-Man Quantiumania” very enjoyable and think that it created new worlds for the MCU that will be exciting to explore through future projects, whether they are “Ant-Man” solo films or not. Their battle with Kang and the future implications it has will be fascinating to watch unravel in Marvel’s future projects. I give Marvel’s “Ant-Man Quantiumania” 5/5 stars.