Marvel Studios utilizes trilogy cappers in a way that sets up their epic ensemble Avengers films. We’ve seen that in the Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Now with the marquee heroes dead or retired, it leaves some of the heroes to carry the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a new direction. And while Phase 4 ushered in the introduction of “The Multiverse Saga” through new superhero origins stories, Phase 5 explores how expansive it is with the return of some of our favorites like Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly). Starting with “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” the trilogy capper brings an exciting conclusion to the Ant-Man franchise while planting the seeds for the future that will surely change the MCU as we know it.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” departs from the typical Ant-Man entries that came before it. Those films were a fun play on the heist genre. They, and “Avengers: Endgame” saw Scott using his thieving abilities in conjunction with the titular suit’s size manipulation. Of course, that allowed him to break into areas where no person could get into. And his ability to communicate with ants helped with these heists. In addition, it brought a bit of animal companion fun to a superhero franchise. So it was an excellent way to distance itself from the world-domination villain formula to give the MCU a sense of humanity.
The films center themselves on the themes of family, specifically fathers and daughters, with Scott’s adoration of Cassie and Hank’s contentious relationship serving as its center point. As such, these films focus more on the bonds between Scott and Cassie (Kathryn Newton) and Hope Van Dyne and Hank (Michael Douglas). That would soon evolve into something new once they rescued Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the Quantum Realm, the very place that would serve as the capper’s unique setting.
As with most of these heist films, there is a race against time-aspect to its story. It adds to the stakes and gives something for our heroes to reach for. But for “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quanumania,” removing the heist aspect takes a lot of fun out of the franchise. Instead, director Peyton Reed goes all in on the family dynamics. It attempts to fill what’s missing by using Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) as a villain forcing Scott to dive deeper into the quantum realm to collect a powerful MacGuffin. Unfortunately, Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Stinger are no match for a villain who could burn our heroes out of time. So the real villain of this film is Kang’s impatience and laziness. Kang doesn’t need to be in such a rush to get out since the Quantum Realm exists outside of time, plus all he needs to do to access the inaccessible Power Core is to take the Pym particles by force or at least some convincing rather than use Cassie as a bargaining chip. Of course, that method
But even if “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” lacked some of the magic the first two films have, the capper didn’t forget that the film is mostly about family. And much of that shines through in Scott trying to make up for the lost time by spending five years in the Quantum Realm and going on a journey with his daughter into the Quantum Realm, where he will teach he how to be a hero.
Though this capper is an excellent way to wrap up the Ant-Man film franchise, it also lays the groundwork for future films. Unfortunately, that robs it of finality. Something most of the MCU trilogies lack.
So with “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” out now on digital, fans can rewatch Scott and his family on their adventure into the Quantum Realm over and over again. Plus, the bonus features give us a look at some of the fun the cast and crew had on set.
Sure, there are the obligatory gag reels, two deleted scenes, and an audio commentary by director Peyton Reed and writer Jeff Loveness, but there are two featurettes. The first, “All in the Family,” see how Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Michelle Pfeiffer discuss the complex layers and secrets – yet incredibly strong bond of this heroic family.
The second, “Formidable Foes,” looks at how Jonathan Majors, Bill Murray, and Corey Stoll brought gravitas to their villains: Kang, Lord Kylar, and M.O.D.O.K., respectively, of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”
“Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” is currently on digital and drops on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™, and DVD on May 16, 2023.