It happens only rarely that a composer stays on board to write the music for all the installments of a superhero movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For example, this is the case for the Ant-Man movies. After writing a fantastic and fun score for Ant-Man, Christophe Beck did a wonderful job for the sequel Ant-Man and The Wasp as well. I was excited when I learned that he would write the score for the third Ant-Man movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, too. In this film, a new fantasy world will be explored, which makes me curious as to how Beck will expand on his two excellent scores from the two predecessors.
As expected, Beck leans heavily on the already-established themes for the third Ant-Man movie. The themes for Ant-Man and The Wasp can be heard in all kinds of variations. The latest rendition of the brilliant Ant-Man theme can be found in “Theme From “Quantumania”.” This version mixes brass elements of the orchestra with all kinds of electronic components perfectly. “Hymenoptera” is another fantastic version of the theme, where it sounds like it is part of some slow dance.
Since there are two The Wasp characters in this movie, mother Janet and daughter Hope Van Dyne, their shared theme appears regularly. At the end of “Fifty Shades of Kang,” for example, you can listen to a gorgeous rendition of the theme. A hint of the theme is, in addition, often integrated into other cues, with “Honey, I Shrunk the Energy Core” as the highlight, because in it The Wasp theme is in harmony with the Ant-Man theme.
Some characters in this movie are set up as being part of the new story arc in the Marvel Universe and Beck had the honor of writing themes for them. The first is for Kang the Conqueror, who will be the main villain in this next phase of Marvel movies. Beck found the actor’s performance so excellent in the film that he went for a minimalistic theme with only a few mysterious-sounding tones to avoid distraction. A good example of it can be heard in “Fifty Shades of Kang” at the 1:25 mark.
Quantumania takes place in a fantastical world called the Quantum Realm, and such a world needs its own theme. It can be heard prominently in two places. In “We Should Be Dead,” the theme is mysterious, but in “Skies of Axia,” the full orchestra plays this melody, resulting in a massive-sounding piece representing the potential of this new world.
The last theme I would like to mention is for the daughter of Ant-Man, Cassie Lang. She has the same powers as her father and will take over his role in future movies. Her theme, as with The Wasp’s, can be emotional, representing the young adult, as can be heard in “Look Out for the Little Guy” and “Like Father Like Daughter.” The theme can also be bold and powerful, representing her as a full-fledged hero, like at the 2:40 mark in “The Hunter.” What I love about her theme is how well it works together with the themes from The Wasp and Ant-Man, like a family.
I have been listening to the score many times in preparation for watching the movie and writing this review, and it is an excellent score. The themes are perfect and brilliantly woven into the overall music. If you listen to all three scores of the Ant-Man movies in order, you can hear the growth. Ant-Man was a thief in the first movie, resulting in a pleasant and refreshing score as if it was a heist movie. In the second one, there was still some fun to be had, but the story got a bit more serious, with The Wasp being a responsible woman and Ant-Man trying to leave his past behind. In Quantumania, this is taken to the next level. Ant-Man, while still having some of his wits, is the hero trying to protect his daughter, resulting in a more standard orchestral score for an action movie with bold brass statements. I secretly miss the fun and silliness from the first Ant-Man score, but that is to be expected: Superheroes have to grow up. I think we have a bright future musically: Cassie Lang’s theme, with its emotion and power, suggests she is quite capable of taking over the reins from her father.
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The highlights are in bold.
- Theme From “Quantumania” (2:32)
- We Should Be Dead (2:21)
- What Is This Place? (1:48)
- Skies of Axia (2:43)
- The Hunter (4:24)
- Fifty Shades of Kang (3:23)
- Quantum Nexus (3:16)
- The Conqueror (6:17)
- Through the Storm (3:14)
- Sting Operation (2:17)
- Honey, I Shrunk the Energy Core (3:01)
- Look Out for the Little Guy (2:10)
- He’s Kang, He Saw, He Conquered (1:22)
- Sting Low, Sweet Variant (3:41)
- Like Father Like Daughter (1:09)
- Kang Bang (3:19)
- Alien Ant Harm (2:28)
- Threnody for a Reformed Dick (2:20)
- Lang vs. Kang (2:48)
- Don’t Let Go (2:17)
- Hymenoptera (2:31)
- Holes (0:43)
Total length: 1 hour
Hollywood Records (2023)