Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the perfect example of "third time's the charm."
After solo outings with relatively minimal repercussions throughout the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Scott Lang and Hope Pym, along with an all-grown-up Cassie Lang, are back for a third outing. But, this time, the movie will serve as the introduction of the Multiverse Saga's big baddie, Kang the Conqueror, which will be played by the multi-faceted actor, Jonathan Majors.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania isn't set to premiere until February 17 but early reactions ahead of the review embargo are already out and they're quite hype-inducing:
PHASE 5 HAS BEGUN! The new #AntMan movie is like a psychedelic rollercoaster full of frightening & hilarious oddities, plus one VERY menacing Kang. Big STAR WARS vibes meet the MCU at its freakiest & most inventive. MODOK is a riot, but Jonathan Majors conquers. Loved the ride! pic.twitter.com/gdJqHld3rT
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) February 7, 2023
I think my favorite part of #AntManAndTheWaspQuantumania was the dynamic between Scott and Cassie. Every time he calls her “peanut,” I just kind of want to cry. Please make 10 more one-shots just of him catching up on her birthdays. pic.twitter.com/CJYPfropRy
— Andi Ortiz (@ReallyAndi) February 7, 2023
Marvel’s #AntManAndTheWaspQuantumania is a strong start to Phase 5. I now understand why it’s called #Quantumania. JonathanMajors is excellent as Kang and cannot wait to see where this all goes. 2 after the credits scenes and both are very good. pic.twitter.com/62Ch3w2O5N
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) February 7, 2023
#AntManAndTheWaspQuantumania takes big swings, hits on most but not all. Captivating visuals which elevate a fun story, but some stakes were lacking.
Kang is HERE. What an incredible performance from Jonathan Majors
Overall, a solid start to Phase 5! pic.twitter.com/8xmYDews53
— Richard Nebens - The Direct (@RichardNebens) February 7, 2023
The early fears about Ant-Man 3 having too much going on appear to be warranted, even when with its lengthy runtime. In addition to introducing a future member of the still-unformed Young Avengers, Quantumania saw the respective debuts of MODOK as well as Kang the Conqueror and a more detailed quantum realm. Then again, Ant-Man 3 is uncharted territory for Marvel Studios.
Thanos, the first overarching villain of the franchise, only made a small appearance before Avengers: Infinity War. This time around, the MCU is bringing in an arguably more dangerous villain early on, with a lot more involvement.
For what it's worth, Ant-Man 3 doesn't seem like a "throw everything at the wall to see what sticks" kind of situation.
As per the early previews, Paul Rudd delivers and Kathryn Newton doesn't disappoint in her first appearance in the MCU. More importantly, everyone loves Jonathan Majors. After playing the happy, playful and near-unhinged Kang variant, He Who Remains, in the Loki series, critics are fawning over Majors' ability to flip the switch as a completely different variant in Kang the Conqueror.
As the kids say these days, Majors understood the assignment.
Curiously enough, we don't hear much about the performance of Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, and Evangeline Lilly. With that said, we'll find out more about Ant-Man and the Quantumania when it finally hits theaters on February 17.
Speaking of Ant-Man 3's premiere, it's interesting that Avatar: The Way of Water is still available to watch. Even though it's finally been dethroned from its perch atop the box office, people continue to watch and re-watch the sequel in droves. It doesn't look like Disney has plans to stop showing Avatar 2 in theaters anytime soon, so Ant-Man 3 and Avatar 2 will likely have to duke it out in a friendly box-office battle two weekends from now.