The Quantum Realm is a psychedelic subatomic landscape that yes, is a peak example of CGI environment nonsense — but once you get past the fact that each of these actors are just emoting before a green screen, you can appreciate all the ways that this micro-verse is a fleshed out society. Below the world of molecules and atoms, and far beyond the laws of physics, there’s a vibrant flora and fauna, with dazzling cityscapes and strange humanoid creatures. And to be frank, watching our miniaturized heroes run around in that subatomic world feels like being on an acid trip.
You’d be forgiven for forgetting halfway through “Quantumania” that this isn’t your typical sci-fi adventure. Don’t let the alien-like creatures or the clear “Star Wars” influence fool you: we aren’t in space. The reality is so much stranger than that! In space, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) would simply put his scientific expertise to use, trying to figure out the inner workings of an alien ship. Instead, he gets to stick his hands into the goopy steering system of a machine that may or may not be alive. Much like the living, walking, and shooting buildings.
While some of our heroes fend off desert nomads, others make nice with a misfit band of alien lifeforms — many of whom look human sans the occasional oddity (a glowing forehead here, a supernova there, a broccoli growth … everywhere). My favorite side character is the alien blob made of pink gel, which Scott and his daughter must drink in order to understand the mysterious quantum language. No further exploration is needed. Seeing Scott dragged into a circle of chanting strangers and finding out that he has consumed Veb’s gel is more than enough. Also, life becomes 100% better when we discover that Veb is obsessed with holes.