4 Things Parents Should Know about Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Cassie is a talented young woman with a mega-famous father.

Her dad, Scott Lang, is better known as Ant-Man – the ex-convict who took advantage of his second chance in life by becoming a superhero. He has saved countless lives – and the world – with his unique talent to change sizes. (He can shrink himself.)

Cassie has other talents, including the ability to invent. She created a machine that allows scientists to explore the so-called subatomic "quantum realm." As Cassie sees it, the machine is similar to a satellite for studying deep space – except it studies particles trillions of times smaller.

"It's amazing," her father says.

Unfortunately, though, the machine malfunctions, suctioning Cassie and her dad into the quantum realm. It also takes three other people – Lang's girlfriend, Hope Van Dyne (the Wasp) and her parents, Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne.

Will they ever return?

The new Marvel film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (PG-13) follows the adventures of Scott Lang and his family, who eventually face off against the quantum realm's evil ruler, Kang the Conqueror. It stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas and Jonathan Majors.

Here are four things parents should know:

Photo courtesy: ©Disney/Marvel, used with permission.

Ant-Man and the Wasp 3

1. It's Star Wars Meets Horton Hears a Who

The "subatomic" realm is spotlighted, but Quantumania is definitely not a "nerdy" movie about protons and neutrons. Instead, it's a film about alien-like creatures, flying machines, laser battles and fantastical landscapes. If that sounds a little bit like Star Wars, then that's because it has the look and feel of a space movie – minus, of course, the space. (In Quantumania, we even learn that Kang The Conqueror saved a human from death and turned him into a powerful robotic sidekick – mirroring the Star Wars storyline of the Emperor and Darth

"It's a place outside of time and space – a secret universe beneath ours," we hear.

Although a handful of the individuals in this subatomic world realize they are tiny creatures on a much larger world (Earth), most of them don't. (That's a lot like Horton Hears a Who.)

Quantumania is the third film in the Ant-Man series, following 2015's Ant-Man and 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp.

As the movie progresses, Lang and Cassie get separated from the rest of their party. Each group then goes on a separate quest with the goal of finding one another.

Photo courtesy: ©Disney/Marvel, used with permission.

Paul Rudd and Jonathan Majors in Ant-Man 3

2. It's a Tale of Ethical Dilemmas

Initially, Scott Lang and his gang of lost earthlings have one goal: escape the quantum realm. That goal, though, becomes muddled due to demands placed on Lang and the others.

Lang and his daughter Cassie learn of a civilization-wide struggle between the people of the quantum realm and their evil ruler, Kang The Conqueror, who previously burned their land. (Although Cassie wants to help, Lang is less than willing to volunteer.)

Later, Lang faces an ethical dilemma when Kang threatens to kill Cassie if Lang doesn't help him escape the quantum realm. Lang, though, knows that Kang's escape will lead to him murdering countless people in the wider universe. (According to the film, Kang had been sentenced to the quantum realm for violent crimes.)

Meanwhile, we learn that Hope Van Dyne's mother, Janet, previously faced an ethical dilemma when she was stuck in the quantum realm with Kang – at the time a friend – for 30 years. Both were trying to escape the realm, but only Janet had pure motives (she wanted to see her family – Kang wanted to eliminate multiple universes).

Photo courtesy: ©Disney/Marvel, used with permission.

Ant-Man and his daughter in Ant-Man 3

3. It Launches a New Superhero

Ant-Man and the Wasp still have top billing, but we get a new superhero in Quantumania in Cassie Lang, who is now a teenager and who has similar superpowers as her more famous dad. Cassie is portrayed by Kathryn Newton, a different actress from the one featured in 2015's Ant-Man and 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp (Abby Ryder Fortson played Cassie in those two films).

Cassie wears an ant-man costume. She fights the bad guys. She also gets a few "superhero tips" from her father. We likely will see more of her in the future. At IMBD.com, Cassie Lang is listed as a character in two future Avengers films that are slated for release in 2025 and 2026.

Quantumania also introduces legendary actor Bill Murray, who plays a comical character/bad guy named Lord Krylar, who apparently had a romantic interest in Janet Hope Van Dyne when she was stuck there for 30 years. Krylar's scenes are one of the film's high points. (At a restaurant, he happily swallows a squid-like tiny creature that screams in terror as it's digested.)

Photo courtesy: ©Disney/Marvel, used with permission.

Janet and Hank in Ant-Man 3

4. It's Family-Centric, But …

The relationship between Scott Lang and Cassie is exemplary for all fathers and daughters in the audience (as well as for anyone involved in a parent-child relationship). They joke. They tease. They laugh. They obviously love one another. Instead of growing angry at Cassie for accidentally sending him to the quantum realm, Lang models patience. ("It's OK. … It's like we're camping. We love camping," he says in an attempt to calm her nerves.) The film also offers solid lessons on selflessness, self-sacrifice and heroism.

Even with those positive elements, Quantumania includes plenty of PG-13 content that may push some parents away.

Although the violence is similar to other Marvel films – there are countless fights, battles and frightening creatures – its use of language and sexual discussions pushes boundaries for what some consider a family film. We learn that Janet had a relationship with Lord Krylar when stuck in the quantum realm for three decades. ("I was down here for 30 years," she tells her husband, Hank Pym. "I had needs." Hank then replies, "I did it with someone a few times.”) Quantumania also has strong language (details below), including a back-and-forth commentary between Cassie and another character in which she tells him, "don't be a d--k." (The phrase is used multiple times.)

For families, Quantumania has a few bumps in the road. But for the rest of the audience, it opens up a new fantastical world of creatures, ships and kingdoms that is fun to explore.

Rated PG-13 for violence/action and language. Language details: a-- 1, OMG 6, d--n 1, s--t 4, GD 1, d--k 4, h-ll 10.

Entertainment rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Family-friendly rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Photo courtesy: ©Disney/Marvel, used with permission.

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.


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