Fifteen years ago Marvel Studios began a long-term, theatrical venture that became known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe - the MCU for short. Up and running with the release of Iron Man, Marvel Studios not only gave superhero films a boost but reinvigorated Robert Downey Jr.'s (Sherlock Holmes) career. Over the next ten years, and two "phases" the world was (re) introduced to Captain America, Black Widow, The Hulk, Thor, Loki, and a host of other heroes and villains. This year the release of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, ushered in phase five of the franchise, set off into the multiverse, and brought in a new villain named Kang the Conqueror (Johnathan Majors; Creed III).
After Thanos (Josh Brolin; No Country for Old Men) was defeated, the van Dynes, Pyms, and the Langs enjoyed a quiet existence until Cassie (Kathryn Newton; Freaky) reveals she has been working on a device that can make contact with the Quantum Realm. Unfortunately, before Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer; Batman Returns) can shut it down the device reaches its target, and a portal is opened, sucking the five of them into the Quantum Realm. While Cassie and Scott are found by rebels, the Pym/van Dyne party explores a city in the Realm. Surprised to see Janet has returned, the inhabitants update her on Kang. She then reveals who Kang is and why he is so dangerous.
The cast is largely the same with the addition of Majors, Newton, and Billy Murray (Lost in Translation) in an extended cameo, and while Majors is an excellent actor and well cast as Kang, it will be interesting to see how Marvel will proceed based on his recent legal issues. They could recast and simply blame it on being in a different realm of the multiverse but that could lead to inconsistency. Newton, however, is a star on the rise and hopefully, she will be part of the MCU for a few more phases.
The 2160p resolution is excellent and enhances the picture quality, which can be good and bad. Colors are bright and vivid and details are sharp. However, since some of the special effects look fake, the higher quality emphasizes the flaws even more. The Dolby Atmos audio is standard fare for Marvel which is slightly disappointing. Their tracks are plentiful yet not especially robust. Surround sound and ambient noises are fine but don't necessarily stand out either in a good or bad way. It seems Marvel chooses to spend their budget more on cast and visuals than on audio.
The Combo pack has the 4K and Blu-ray discs along with a digital code and minimal extras. Besides the commentary, Marvel included less than 25 minutes of footage which are all found on the Blu-ray Disc. The extras include: Audio Commentary by director Peyton Reed and writer Jeff Loveness, All in the Family, Formidable Foes, Gag Reel, and Deleted Scenes.
Visually, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is incredible with precise details and colors exploding everywhere on screen. The audio isn't quite as strong as the video but it is livable. The story does what it is supposed to do which is open up the multiverse for additional Marvel stories. However, if you were looking for the fun, joking Ant-Man/Scott Lang from the original movie, you won't find very much of him here. It seems from the end of phase four to the beginning of phase five, everything has turned upside down. Thor became the buffoon and butt of the jokes in the MCU, while Scott Lang turned very serious. It will be interesting to see where the MCU goes with this new direction but, so far, it isn't impressive.