Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña
Release Date: October 16, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
In “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices, as both the Super Hero Ant-Man and a father, in the aftermath of “Captain America: Civil War.” As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission to rescue Janet van Dyne from the Quantum Realm. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp, all while attempting to serve house arrest, assist fast talking-Luis (Michael Peña) and the X-con Security crew, and thwart the efforts of a new adversary called Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and her ally Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne).
‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ rejoins Scott Lang (Rudd) who is currently serving time on house arrest as a consequence of assisting Captain America during the airfield battle. Trying to bide his time and await his release which is finally fast approaching, everything begins going sour when he finds himself caught up once more with Hank Pym (Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Lilly) who is now a full-fledged hero herself, donning the mantle of the new Wasp. With Hank and Hope convinced that Scott holds the key to rescuing Janet (Pfeiffer) from the Quantum Realm, Scott soon finds himself having to return to the role of Ant-Man in order to help his old friends, while also trying to avoid any further trouble from the authorities who are already itching to nail him for something with only days remaining on his house arrest sentence.
Once again directed by Peyton Reed (Ant-Man, Yes Man) this time from a screenplay by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, Reed does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ once more capturing the heart, humor and excitement of the story with ease. The second film in the series features a pretty solid cast comprised of both numerous returning individuals and newcomers to the franchise including Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Evangeline Lilly (The Hobbit franchise), Michael Peña (End of Watch), Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight), Michael Douglas (Falling Down), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix trilogy), Michelle Pfeiffer (mother!), Hannah John-Kamen (Ready Player One), Randall Park (Fresh Off The Boat), Bobby Cannavale (TV’s Mr. Robot), Judy Greer (TV’s Kidding), Abby Ryder Fortson (TV’s Togetherness) and a number more, nearly all delivering quite capable performances in each of their respective roles for the most part.
‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ is a wildly entertaining, frequently hilarious and visually magnificent entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that brings all of the goofy fun and excitement fans of the original will expect, coming together into a wonderful sequel that doesn’t disappoint. Once again effortlessly managing to serve up constant laughs and fun without ever making the humor feel forced like it can in some of the Marvel films, ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ settles into a perfect formula and tone, then assaults the viewer with a thoroughly entertaining and massively enjoyable ride the whole way that never falters or becomes dull for a moment. Once more guided along with style by director Peyton Reed whose work behind the camera is complimented at every step by the spot on performance from returning star Paul Rudd who couldn’t be more magnificent in the role. I can’t encourage fans of the first ‘Ant-Man’ film strongly enough to make a point of checking out ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ at your earliest convenience. It’s a hilarious, heartwarming and just flat out enjoyable ride that once again makes for some of the most satisfying fun I’ve had with the universe in recent years. Any fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe overall or simply of the Ant-man character in particular won’t want to miss out on this gem that even while retaining many elements of the overall MCU also feels like a much needed vacation in its own right.
Overall, ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ is a magnificent follow-up to 2015’s ‘Ant-Man’ that once again serves up an incredibly enjoyable and fast moving adventure overloaded with laughs and stunning action every step of the way. It’s a smart and delightfully goofy ride that’s moving, visually gorgeous and just downright fun. ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ is definitely highly recommended, especially for any fans of these films in particular and/or of the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a well crafted sequel that follows the formula of the bigger picture yet still never hesitates to very much do its own thing, once more making the ‘Ant-Man’ films some of the most enjoyable and unique films in this ever expanding world. It should easily prove well worth your time and the price of a rental at the absolute least for any fan.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful altogether and provides a sharp, detailed and colorful presentation from start to finish with no notable faults to be found throughout. It holds up remarkably well even during the heavily populated, fast moving and darkly lit moments, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible in any way. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic high definition video presentation that should easily satisfy the diehard fans and casual viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack makes a splendid compliment to the on-screen fun and delivers a clean, crisp and quite active audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send cars, bugs and heroes zipping throughout the various speakers with regularity, along with plenty of action elements, crowd chatter and more, all while making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a great and fairly aggressive 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes a great deal of additional fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ includes a number of enjoyable extras that fans should appreciate. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Peyton Reed’, along with a couple of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 2 minutes in length combined) with optional commentary by Peyton Reed. We’re also treated to a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of bringing the film to life and featuring behind the scenes footage, interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Back in the Ant Suit: Scott Lang’ (running approximately 6 minutes), ‘A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp’ (approximately 5 minutes), ‘Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank and Janet’ (4 minutes) and ‘Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production Design of Ant-Man and The Wasp‘ (7 minutes). Also included is an ‘Introduction to the film by Director Peyton Reed’ (approximately 1 minute), plus a ‘Gag Reel’ (90 seconds), ‘Stan Lee Outtakes’ (45 seconds) and ‘Tim Heidecker Outtakes’ (90 seconds).