By Kieran Burt.
The second trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has arrived, and it teases a much darker chapter for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) than anyone was likely expecting. Great visuals of the quantum realm are on show, but it’s the conflict between Ant-Man and Kang the Conqueror that is truly the spectacle here.
There is a brief recap of the first trailer, but the voiceover from Jonathan Majors’ Kang tells the audience the stakes for the film. He can give Ant-Man the one thing he desperately wants, which is more time with his daughter. All the times we have seen the character, that’s all he wants to do. Family. It’s a great motivation for Ant-Man, because it forces him to work with a guy who we know is evil to have his chance at a happy ever after.
Janet Van Dyne pleads with Ant-Man not to work with Kang, warning him of his immense power. Ant-Man ignores this and says he doesn’t care. This will likely put him at odds with Hank Pym and Hope as well as Janet, which is certainly interesting. How they explain Janet and Kang know each other should fill in the gaps in their relationship, because Janet was freed from the Quantum Realm before the events of Loki, so she shouldn’t know who Kang is.
This is where some of the excellent visuals kick in, with Ant-Man diving into a hole surrounded by tentacles, and standing on a mountain of himself to get something for Kang (which Kang will likely get at the end of the film). The music at this moment and throughout the trailer has an ominous feeling of evil to it, and it kicks in when Ant-Man is making this mistake, and when Kang reveals his full villainy.
M.O.D.O.K. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) is on show in a couple of different points, and he looks quite bad. The first shot of him in the background, where it does look like it is Darren Cross actor Corey Stoll as M.O.D.O.K, looks fake. The second shot of him in some kind of combat gear doesn’t look awful, but knowing what’s underneath the helmet does get me worried. There is little time to change this before the film comes out too.
The last part of the trailer is by far the most shocking. As Kang’s army begins to depart, some attacking Ant-Man and Cassie. Cassie blames herself for getting them sucked into this mess, but it’s really Ant-Man’s fault for being selfish and ignoring Janet. Hopefully this is recognised.
Kang also attacks Ant-Man, beating him up very badly, and smashing his helmet. He has also caused significant damage to Ant-Man’s face. He also acknowledges he can’t beat Kang, they just both have to lose. This has me worried that Ant-Man might get killed in their fight, a feeling of fear that hasn’t been present for a long time with MCU films. It would certainly set up the threat of Kang for the future, and increased my excitement for the film and character. It’s fair to say many of us thought Ant-Man might lose to Kang, but not so completely.
The trailer finishes with a guttural scream from Kang, as he unleashes blue bolts of energy. Turning his blueness to an effect of his helmet and ability to walk in air on blue discs is a great idea. It allows Majors to be free from heavy makeup or poor CGI obscuring what’s shaping up to be a terrifying performance but keeps some comics accuracy.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania releases in cinemas on February 17.