Paul Rudd (left) and Jonathan Majors (right) star in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” (Photo Credit: Getty Images).
(“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” trailer courtesy of Marvel Entertainment)
Momentum is an interesting phenomenon.
Gain the right momentum and it can carry mediocrity into greatness.
Lose momentum, however, and that lack of momentum can carry greatness in the wrong direction.
Unfortunately, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” ventures too far into darker territory to equal the franchise’s predecessors.
But “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” contains enough of the trademark Ant-Man quirkiness to somewhat salvage this installment.
At the beginning of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is definitely enjoying the spoils of fame.
Joining the Avengers definitely has its advantages for a man that the world now knows as the superhero, Ant-Man.
Although some people mistake him for more popular superheroes like Spider-Man, Scott enjoys the free meals, drinks and coffee he gets from his admiring fans.
In “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” Scott has even monetized his fame, publishing books and participating in book readings, with autograph signings included.
The children at his book readings even have Ant-Man action figures.
When someone has their own action figure, that person has definitely arrived and “made it” in life.
Nevertheless, Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) is not impressed with fame just for fame’s sake.
Cassie has a problem with her father using his fame to promote books as opposed to using it to promote change in the world.
Although Cassie’s old man might be vain and superficial, Cassie uses her energy to protest the wrongs of the world in an attempt to make a difference in society.
In “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” Cassie is even willing to go to jail for her beliefs and convictions.
That trait makes her actions unpopular with her father and police officers because Cassie has taken some of her dad’s superpowers to wreak havoc on her adversaries.
When police officers question Cassie about a missing police car, she pulls out a “toy car” and gives it to them.
Ant-Man is known for shrinking himself to assist in his fights with his opponents.
And his young daughter, allegedly, has taken that power to play practical jokes on people like shrinking cop cars.
But practical jokes aside, Cassie is determined to use her powers to do good in the hood.
In fact, she does not want to limit her good to one universe.
Cassie wants to use her ingenuity to help beings in her universe and even those in the quantum realm, especially since her grandmother was stuck in the quantum realm for 30 years before reuniting with her family in the previous installment.
In “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” Cassie has developed a subatomic telescope that allows her to send and receive messages to and from the quantum realm.
While many in Cassie’s family, including her grandfather Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and her mother Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), are fascinated by her development, her grandmother Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) knows the quantum realm is nothing to play with.
Although Janet attempts to warn Cassie about the dangers of the quantum realm, her warnings come too late as the entire family is sucked into the quantum realm by Cassie’s new invention.
Although the imagery from the quantum realm is beautiful with the different colors and different species, Janet knows that for her family to survive their unplanned visit and to make it back to Earth safely, they will need to tread lightly, connect with the right beings and get out of dodge as soon as possible.
In “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” Janet does not want her family becoming too comfortable in their new surroundings, even if they are accepted by the locals, because she knows what danger awaits her in the quantum realm from and old and powerful foe.
One of the great things about “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is the arrival of the antihero, Kang (Johnathan Majors).
Many people love a beloved superhero, especially those from the long-neglected community of Black Marvel movie lovers.
That reality is why so many felt a spiritual connection to King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) from “Black Panther.”
Never had so many people seen an African king depicted so powerfully and elegantly on the big screen.
King T’Challa represented the historic beauty of an African country with an ingenuity that put his fictional country of Wakanda ahead of all its contemporaries.
But for every superhero, an anti-hero is needed to put the power of the superhero to a potentially world-ending test.
Although Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), the antihero of “Black Panther” did not place the world in danger of ending, having his hands on vibranium would have changed the world for the worse, especially the country of Wakanda.
But in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” Kang (Jonathan Majors) is like Killmonger on steroids and human growth hormone.
Kang makes Killmonger’s shenanigans look like child’s play.
The other intriguing character in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is the Generation Z rabble rouser, Cassie.
Sometimes, the old heads like Ant-Man and the Wasp can get complacent in their good deeds.
Therefore, it often takes the youngsters to light a fire in the behinds of elders to get results for a world descending into chaos and catastrophe.
Luckily for Marvel Studios, Kang has enough momentum to push forward with his own franchise.
Even Cassie does enough to show that she can survive on her own, without parental supervision.
It is just unfortunate that Ant-Man and the Wasp have begun to appear stale and uninspired.