Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is a successful author now and living with his girlfriend Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). Their 18-year-old daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) is an activist and her Dad has to bail her out of jail. When they visit Hope’s parents, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), Cassie reveals that she has invented a device to contact the Quantum Realm, where Janet had been trapped for thirty years. Janet panics at this news and tries to shut off the machine, but a portal opens and all five of them are pulled into the Quantum Realm. Scott and Cassie are befriended by natives who are rebelling against their ruler, Kang the Conqueror (Johnathan Majors), while Hope, Janet, and Hank are lost in a sprawling city.
Those three meet Lord Kryler (Bill Murray), whom Janet had known when she was in exile there. He is working for Kang now. They steal his ship and flee. The others, meanwhile, are told by the leader of the rebels, Jentorra (Katy O’Brien) that Janet is partly responsible for the rise of Kang because she had helped rebuild his Multiversal Power Core, which he used to take over the Quantum Realm, but she then sabotaged it, trapping him, and he’s pissed. The Langs are attacked by Kang’s army and his robot henchmen led by M.O.D.O.K., who is Darren Cross (Corey Stall). Lang thought he had killed him, but no.
The Langs are taken before Kang, who demands that Lang help get his power back or he will kill Cassie. Lang is taken to the site and shrinks down, a process that nearly drives him mad, but Hope arrives and together they acquire the power core. But Kang betrays them. He captures Janet and destroys her ship with Hank inside. Hank is saved by his ants, who had been pulled into the Quantum Realm, rapidly evolved, and are now highly intelligent. He helps Lang and Hope as they are taken to Kang. Cassie rescues Jentorra and they join the uprising against Kang. At Cassie’s urging, Darren Cross joins the fight against Kang and is killed.
Janet repairs the power core. She, Hank, Hope, and Cassie all jump through, but Kang attacks Lang and beats him severely. Hope returns and she and Lang destroy the power core. Kang is pulled through it into oblivion. Cassie reopens the portal for Hope and Lang. He returns to his happy life but worries a bit about Kang’s warnings. Elsewhere, variants of Kang plan a multiversal uprising. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) track down another Kang variant named Victor Timely in the 1920’s. (Timely Comics, incidentally, was an early name of Marvel.)
The film was directed by Peyton Reed, written by Jeff Loveness, and produced by Kevin Feige and Stephen Broussard for Marvel Studios and Disney. It is of course the sequel to Ant-Man and to Ant-Man and the Wasp. It received mixed reviews but quickly became a box-office hit. The villain, Kang the Conqueror, who wants to emerge from the Quantum World (It is no longer sufficient to rule the universe; one wants to rule all the universes) was introduced to audiences in the first season of T.V.’s Loki series but has been around in the Marvel Comics with various names for some time. Jonathan Majors appears in this film as several of them. He may be the best thing in the movie.
Marvel got some big-name actors like Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Michael Douglas to reprise somewhat lesser roles in the earlier Ant-Man movies. Bill Murray pops up as Lord Krylar. He is charming but inconsequential. The movie was filmed in Buckinghamshire, Turkey, and San Francisco. The music was by Christophe Beck. As usual, footage was shown at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2022, mostly I would think to keep it on fans’ minds during Covid. It is rare for a trilogy of films to be helmed by the same director, as Payton Reed has done here and Jon Watts did with the Spider-Man films in 2017-2021.
It's even more rare for the third part of a trilogy to be as impactful as the first two. Both Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp were exciting, funny, and visually astonishing, with some of the most bizarre and wonderful battle and chase scenes in movies. Ant-Man was always something of a joke in the Marvel comic world, as Aquaman was in the DC comic world. For the movies, the latter changed Aquaman completely, dropping the handsome blond image and going for the tough, grungy sex-symbol of Jason Momoa. Marvel just accepted the comic implications of Antman as they had those of Spiderman and ran with it. Quantumania features some jokes and wry comments but is not as goofy/funny as the first two films. Still, the Quantum Realm is gorgeous and mind-boggling on the screen, the top-notch actors are likable, the adventure rollicking, and the ants amazing.