- Paul Rudd returns as the tiniest Avenger alongside Evangeline Lilly as Hope/Wasp, who, with a series of other characters, get sucked into the Quantum Realm
- There they encounter weird and wonderful monsters, as well as arch-baddie Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), who wants to use them to escape that world
The tiniest Avenger, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), is back headlining his third movie in what is one of Marvel’s most trippy films yet.
A deep dive into the Quantum Realm, the subatomic secret universe beneath our own, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a glorious way to kick-start Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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That’s not least because it fully unveils Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), the major new villain of the series who has already been earmarked to clash with the Avengers in a future film.
It turns out Kang was exiled to the Quantum Realm while Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) was there. As those who saw 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp will know, she escaped this monster-filled world thanks to husband Hank (Michael Douglas) and daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly).
But when Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), daughter of Ant-Man’s alter ego Scott, starts messing with Hank’s “ant science” tech, sending a signal to the Quantum Realm, they all get sucked back in.
Directed by Peyton Reed, this new Ant-Man outing truly lives up to its title. The manic multi-coloured world makes it feel like you’ve just stepped in the Star Wars cantina, while weird and wonderful creatures fill the screen, from one with a broccoli stalk for a head to a blob that oozes goo that allows those who drink it to understand the bizarre alien language they speak.
There’s also Bill Murray, as Krylar, a former freedom fighter and lover of Janet’s who has clearly been seduced by Kang.
A destroyer of worlds, the time-bending Kang – or a variant thereof – has already been seen in Marvel TV show Loki, which first introduced the alternate dimensions known as the multiverse.
But here Majors gets to flex his not inconsiderable muscles. With two scars down his face, he’s every bit the equal of Thanos, the monstrous foe the Avengers previously defeated. Imprisoned in the Quantum Realm, when Ant-Man and the others arrive he spies his chance to use them as a way out.
With rebellions brewing against Kang’s evil empire, Quantumania feels like a real nod to Star Wars, with the Quantum Realm Marvel’s very own galaxy far, far away. It’s a great set-up for the battles to come, with Majors destined to be one of the finest MCU baddies.
Rudd also steps up here, bringing humour and heart to the story, although it’s really an ensemble – Hank, Hope, Janet, and Cassie all play their part in this hugely enjoyable knockabout adventure.
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