Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (4K UHD Review)

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: Jul 06, 2023
  • Format: 4K Ultra HD
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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (4K UHD Review)


Peyton Reed

Release Date(s)

2023 (May 16, 2023)


Marvel Studios (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment)
  • Film/Program Grade: C-
  • Video Grade: A-
  • Audio Grade: B
  • Extras Grade: C

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (4K UHD)

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Post-Endgame, films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have had their ups and downs. Some are more entertaining than others, but once the chapter on the Infinity/Thanos storyline concluded, it’s clear that Kevin Feige and his team didn’t really have a clear direction other than to make more content at a faster rate. As of this writing, they seem to have slowed down to a crawl after several TV series and films, the latter of which were beginning to not do as well at the box office. In the case of the previous Ant-Man films, they tended to gross anywhere from $500 to $600 million globally, and such was the case with 2023’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Granted that $500 million worldwide is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but considering that the majority of MCU films have grossed over $1 billion a piece, Quantumania still only bringing in around $476 million (less than either of its predecessors) was a sign that the oversaturation of Marvel Studios-produced media was becoming evident.

In this entry, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has a strained relationship with his rebellious daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), who resents his absence during the “Blip.” Scott is also navigating a post-Avengers world with his girlfriend and fellow hero Hope (Evangine Lily), having recently written a memoir about their previous ordeals. During a family get-together, Cassie reveals to them and to Hope’s parents, Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), that she’s been working on a device that can contact the Quantum Realm. When she attempts to turn it on, Janet fearfully shuts it off, but not before all of them are sucked into a portal that takes them directly into the Quantum Realm. Once there, they find a civilization under the iron rule of Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), a former associate of Janet’s, whom she knows to be a truly evil and powerful individual. It’s up to the five of them to survive the Quantum Realm’s perils, including Kang’s murderous right-hand, M.O.D.O.K. (Corey Stoll), and halt Kang’s plan to escape from a place that he was banished to by his multiversal variants.

What’s clear here is that Marvel is trying to rush into its next big success, meaning another Infinity War/Endgame situation with the forthcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars films. While repeated success as big as Endgame is certainly not out of the realm of possibility, the recent series of films don’t have that same kind of multi-film build-up. We seem to be getting to big events and characters in a quicker fashion than before. Matters aren’t helped by Disney’s regrouping of finances and serious troubles concerning Jonathan Majors’ personal life, which could indeed affect what’s already been announced.

In any case, Quantumania feels like ground that’s already been covered many times over, and in better films. Two things manage to set it apart: Jonathan Majors’ performance as Kang, and Marvel’s willingness to get weird. They never go fully over the top in truly awe-inspiring or interesting ways, but there’s something oddly intriguing about including an off the wall character like M.O.D.O.K., even if he’s a one and done in this incarnation. The family dynamics, despite the filmmakers attempts to try and defend them, are old hat with nothing new brought to the table. Marvel is also continuing to wring every last drop out of the Blip, which was certainly a world-changing event in the ongoing MCU storyline, but we’ve seen enough. It’s time to move on and come up with something fresh. It’s also strange that the titular co-lead, the Wasp, has very little screen time and no real bearing on the plot or Scott’s issues with his daughter. Meeting Bill Murray for a quick in-and-out setup for other things in the story doesn’t mean much either. It’s also laughable that a villain that continues from project to project to be built up as one of the most powerful in all of Marvel Comics is “defeated” by a human being with no skills or powers other than tech that allows him to shrink and grow large at will.

Bottom line, Quantumania is messy, and often bland when it comes to character dynamics and situations. None of it is awful, but like the previous Ant-Man films, it isn’t all that special either.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was captured by cinematographer Bill Pope digitally in the ARRIRAW (4.5K) and Redcode RAW (8K) codecs using Arri Alexa Mini LF IMAX and Panavision Millenium DXL2 cameras with various Leica Summicron and Zeiss Supreme Prime Radiance lenses. Everything was then finished as a 4K Digital Intermediate and presented theatrically in the aspect ratio of 2.39:1 (with some scenes presented in 1.90:1 for IMAX presentations). Quantumania comes to 4K Ultra HD with a presentation graded for HDR10 only (though you’ll find a Dolby Vision option on Disney+). The world of the Quantum Realm certainly lends itself to 4K with a wide spectrum of textures and colors, all of which are dutifully represented here. Gorgeous hues mixed with a nice variety of shadows and rich blacks permeate the majority of the presentation. Detail is high and images are crisp with excellent definition, and the HDR mostly widens the gamut for color detail, though a Dolby Vision pass would be an improvement. It’s also not an IMAX Enhanced presentation, but its Disney+ counterpart is. Other than that, nothing is really amiss.

The main audio option is in English Dolby Atmos (7.1 Dolby TrueHD compatible). As has been well documented here at the site, Disney’s Atmos presentations always leave something to be desired when it comes to volume and dynamics. Things have slowly improved from one release to the next, but not completely. Quantumania certainly offers a bit more bass than usual, and has been turned up a notch, but it’s still not reference quality (whether it was aiming for it or not). Dialogue exchanges are clear and there’s definite movement all around the space, occasionally giving height channels something to do. Music and score have decent power as well. Other audio options include English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, and Spanish & Japanese 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus. Subtitle options include English SDH, French, Spanish, and Japanese.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania sits in a black amaray case alongside a 1080p Blu-ray and a Digital code on a paper insert. Everything is housed in a slipcover with the standardized Cinematic Universe Edition artwork. The following extras are included on the Blu-ray only, all in HD:

  • Audio Commentary with Peyton Reed and Jeff Loveness
  • All in the Family (7:28)
  • Formidable Foes (11:36)
  • Gag Reel (1:52)
  • Deleted Scene: Drink the Ooze (1:51)
  • Deleted Scene: I Have Holes (:57)

Minor amounts of information about the production can be gleaned from the audio commentary with director Peyton Reed and screenwriter Jeff Loveness, but it’s mostly an excuse to talk about how great everything and everyone is. The video-based extras aren’t much better, but they do manage to offer a small amount of behind-the-scenes material that isn’t entirely lawyer-approved studio fluff. During Formidable Foes, they actually show the process of making Kang’s costume and speak to one of the designers, as well as Majors about it. It’s an honest behind-the-scenes moment. The rest of the material is made up of everybody talking about how special the film is, how great the characters are, how much fun they had making it, and on and on and on. The Deleted Scenes are simply showcases for David Dastmalchian’s performance, who was actually on set in a motion capture suit during filming before being covered up completely by CGI.

Quantumania is far from Marvel’s highest of highs, but it’s not the complete depths either. It’s somewhere in between, and that middling can be frustrating with such varied, lovely imagery and a strong performance from the villain. The 4K UHD presentation and extras package could certainly be improved upon, like most Marvel home video releases, but it still manages to offer a mostly solid 4K experience.

- Tim Salmons


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