Ant-Man and The Wasp (Blu-Ray)
Marvel's unlikely hero, Ant-Man, is back in action along with The Wasp in the latest MCU film to arrive on blu-ray. While it doesn't tackle universe-ending threats like Infinity War, the sequel is more than worth your time. Come inside to check out my review of this week's new blu-ray release!
I missed out on Ant-Man and The Wasp when it launched during the Summer (as I missed out on MOST films this year). To be honest, I wasn't all that upset about this one. While many seem to look to the first Ant-Man as one of the MCU's best, I only thought it was okay. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but I didn't think it was all that 'woohoo' and never understood the exorbitant praise heaped upon it.
As such, Ant-Man and The Wasp just wasn't high on my list of films to see this year. When Disney/Marvel was kind enough to send the blu-ray my direction, I figured that was the best time to get caught up (I still wanted to watch it, of course). Boy...I'm so happy to have been so wrong about a film.
Ant-Man and The Wasp is the rare movie sequel that absolutely improves on the original in just about every way and is so much better than expected. After watching this blu-ray, I instantly regretted not catching it in theaters and had the strong urge to pop it right back in and watch again. It's just a ridiculous amount of fun and features some impressive action that really takes advantage of these heroes' powers.
Where the first film was definitely an origin story, featuring a fairly predictable villain, the sequel takes a far more personal approach to the story being told. The film picks up a couple years after the events of Captain America: Civil War (and just before Infinity War) and shows how Scott Lang has adjusted to life under house arrest and not as a superhero.
Just days away from his two year house arrest being done, he has to put everything at risk when sudden visions from his time in the Quantum Realm reunites him with Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne. The pair are also on the run from the FBI and have been in hiding for the last couple years, prompted by Scott's adventure in Civil War. While they haven't talked since, they need Scott's help to rescue Hope's mother (the original Wasp) from the Quantum Realm.
Their journey sees them come across greedy and corrupt businessman, Sonny Burch, and a deadly assassin with the power to phase in and out. Both groups are after Hank Pym's new invention for their own reasons and willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their ends. For the most part, the film plays out as a race against the clock. Scott, Hank, and Hope have to fend off Burch and Ghost, avoid the FBI and make sure they get in and out of the Quantum Realm within a very narrow window of time.
I loved it. I loved Hannah John-Kamen's Ghost and the fact that she's not really a villain (despite her being marketed this way). Evangelilne Lilly's Wasp finally gets the attention she deserves and delivers on some of the film's best action sequences. The humor is taken up another notch, without coming off over the top, and everything manages to be a step above what came before.
Sure, it's not the same weighty story material we got from Infinity War (and has only the briefest of connections to that film), but it's delightful nonetheless. It's pure fun and has a ridiculous amount of heart behind it. There's so much to love and once it was over, I couldn't believe I wasn't willing to give it more of a chance. If you missed out on it in theaters, there's definitely no reason to skip out on the blu-ray release.
Sight and Sound
Ant-Man and The Wasp is a good looking movie and features some impressive visual effects that sell the shrinking and enlarging action sequences. On blu-ray it stands out pretty well with a crisp image and colors that pop. I didn't notice and black crushing in my time watching, nor saw any artifacting.
The sound is solid as well, featuring great priority for the dialog tracks, and incorporating the sound effects to make you feel like you're in the middle of all the action. From a technical standpoint, it's a solid blu-ray outing, something Disney/Marvel have done a great job with for a while now.
The Bonus Features
Like all Marvel releases, Ant-Man and The Wasp comes loaded up with a plethora of special features to dive into:
Director’s Intro by Peyton Reed – The talented creator behind some of Marvel Studios’ funniest and most charming films will invite home audiences deeper into the world of “Ant-Man and The Wasp.”
Back in the Ant Suit: Scott Lang – Hero and all-star dad Scott Lang keeps the laughs coming for the audience, cast and crew.
A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp – Highly trained Hope Van Dyne is now the Wasp. See how some of her craziest stunts and action-packed scenes were brought to life.
Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet – Hank Pym’s wife Janet was lost in the quantum realm. Trace the legacy of these characters and the iconic actors who portray them.
Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production Design of “Ant-Man and The Wasp”– Explore the movie’s visual effects and production design from a whole new viewpoint, in which every micro and macro detail counts.
Gag Reel and Outtakes – Audiences are treated to the hilarious quips that did not make the film as well as exclusive outtakes from Stan Lee and Tim Heidecker.
Gag Reel - Join in the fun with these outtakes from the set.
Stan Lee Outtakes - Stan Lee tries out a series of hilarious one-liners for the scene in which his car shrinks.
Tim Heidecker Outtakes - Check out Whale Boat Captain Daniel Goobler and his improvised whale-watching riffs.
Deleted Scenes (with commentary by Director Peyton Reed)
Worlds Upon Worlds - As Janet leads Hank through the surreal landscape of the quantum realm, they encounter an intelligent life form.
Sonny’s on the Trail - On the hunt for Hank Pym and his lab, Sonny Burch and his henchmen check the security camera of a neighborhood bookstore.
Overall, the bonus features are about what you'd expect with some behind the scenes look at the VFX work and how they brought the action to life. For fans who may not be as familiar with the characters from the comics, there's also some good featurettes on the characters' origins and how they've changed for the big screen.
The outtakes are hilarious and offer a fun look at how this kind of Marvel movie comes together (it's definitely different from the typical Marvel hero film). All in all, there are enough extras to feel like you're getting more bang for your dollar, even though you may not come back to them all that often.