As a smaller part of the huge Marvel Studios franchise, the Ant-Man saga has never, previously, carried the responsibility of launching anything major within the greater whole of the MCU. Well, that has most definitely changed with this third installment. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantimania gets to be the one movie to introduce the next big villain of the MCU, and does on effectively. At the same time, because this heavy lifting has been forced upon one of Marvel’s simpler characters, the movie does have its problems. Nevertheless, I still found myself very entertained and often wowed with the creativity and imagination that went into this movie. While this latest Ant-Man installment may be, in my opinion, my favorite of the three, I will acknowledge that, perhaps, a slightly better movie could have introduced the new baddie that is Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).

Since Scott Lang’s/Ant-Man’s last appearance in Avengers: Endgame, our lovable hero has reached a point in his life where he is enjoying and relishing his role as a hero. However, he does have his struggles as a parent, as he hopes to raise his teenage daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) in a mostly normal way. While this seems impossible, he has managed to offer her a new family with his beloved surrogate family Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). However, Cassie aspires to be both a scientist and superhero like her father.

This desire to be someone exceptional drives her to work on a new experiment that she hopes will further advance exploration of the Quantum Realm. Working with Hank on this new project, the two devise a way to make contact with the miniscule universe within our own, but also triggers a new threat, with which Janet Van Dyne is all too familiar. Cassie’s first demonstration of her device manages to get herself, Scott, Hope, Janet, and Hank trapped with the Quantum Realm. As the family attempts to find their way home, they soon discover the very threat Janet fears.

While I have my criticisms about this film, I still had a great time with all that it has to offer. The Quantum Realm is a science-fiction geek’s fantasy world with amazing and wild imagery and creatures that would normally be found in a space movie. Of course, the filmmakers of the film had to rely on CGI to create this setting and a lot of these characters, but I honestly had no problem with this. I mean, we’re talking about the Quantum Realm, so of course the filmmakers are going to use computer images to create this world.

My complaints have nothing to do with this, and I realize that Marvel is trying to use this movie as a launching board for further movies, but the trouble with that is certain elements will be sacrificed in the process. Namely, the character development of the supporting characters. The movie mostly focuses on Scott Lang, his daughter Cassie, Janet Van Dyne, and the new villain Kang. And given that Marvel wants this movie to set up further installments with this antagonist, I feel the movies succeeds well enough. There is enough in this movie regarding Scott’s relationship with his daughter, along with the introduction and development of its villain to work as Marvel’s next stepping stone.

Nevertheless, I found myself genuinely intrigued with all that happens, I marvelled at this other-worldly setting, and actually excited at what the future holds for the MCU. This is mostly thanks to the developement and realization of villain Kang the Conqueror who is brought to life throught the extraordinary performance by Jonathan Majors. After watching Majors take on this incredible role with much gusto, passion, gravitas, and sincerity, I have come to the realization that Majors is the next Denzel Washington. Jonathan Majors brings an undeniable Shakespearian element to his take as Kang that simply cannot see anyone take on this role from now on.

For anyone who thought Thanos would be hard to top, Majors, through his embodiment as Kang, should have people blown away. That is not to say that no one else performs solidly here. Of course, Paul Rudd is great as Scott Lang, but this movie allows Kang to make his presence known in the MCU in a big way. After watching this movie, I simply cannot wait to see him again, and hope that Marvel Studios don’t squander any future installments where Kang will appear.

Now, as I write this review, I am already aware that this movie has received some negative reviews, but I just cannot help the way I felt when I left the theater following the screening. I had a great time with this film, and despite its flaws, I feel it is a solid offering from Marvel. I feel that maybe some critics are expecting a higher bar to be met from Marvel, but this is Ant-Man we’re talking about. It’s not actually Shakespeare or an art film, or anything that people believe it should be. However, I will say that Jonathan Majors attempts to bring it closer to that with his grand and extraordinary debut in the MCU.

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