Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Douglas return in the sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, the latest film in the MCU.
The Production: 4/5
Placed under house arrest for two years after violating the Sokovia Accords for assisting Captain America in Captain Amercia: Civil War, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has been using that time to bond with his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) and start a security firm with his ex-con friend Luis (Michael Peña). Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) have been on the run from the FBI, accused of conspiring with Scott since Scott used their technology in the airport incident in Germany, forced to purchase items to continue their research from black market dealer Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins). When Scott has a dream recalling his visit to the Quantum Realm, he has a vision where he is Hank’s wife, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), who was thought to have been lost in the realm several years ago. Scott violates his house arrest by calling Hank on a burner phone, telling him about the dream. Next thing he knows, he’s on the run with Hank and Hope (who has been operating as The Wasp), who are now trying to find the final piece to complete their research and rescue Janet, with Burch desperately trying to acquire their tech by stealing their miniature lab. To make matters worse, one of Hank’s former research partners, Dr. Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburn) and Ava (Hanna John-Kamen), a young woman who was a victim of her father’s phasing research, are also after the technology in hopes of finding a cure for Ava.
The plot of Ant-Man and the Wasp may not be as world-threatening as it was in the first film, and that is actually a good thing after the last few Marvel Cinematic Universe entries. The stakes are a bit lower, with Scott’s freedom, Janet and Ava’s life, and Hank’s technology possibly falling into the wrong hands again (although that angle is not as high on the story’s priority list). Peyton Reed, who was a last minute replacement on the first Ant-Man movie, returns to the directing chair for this installment, and is obviously more involved in the creative process this time around, as the film fuses excellent comedic timing with an onslaught of visual gags that pay off handsomely. Paul Rudd has a charming charisma that helps make Scott Lang very likeable and more of an every man who really cares about his daughter. Michael Peña once again steals just about every scene he appears in, although his jive storytelling gag is limited to only one sequence, but is nonetheless hilarious. This is possibly the most light-hearted film in the MCU, and for the life of me cannot figure out why the MPAA handed this film a PG-13 rating (the movie has very little swearing and the violence is more akin to cartoons). And it is the father-daughter relationship between Scott and Cassie that makes this film much more family-friendly.
3D Rating: NA
Ant Man and the Wasp was captured in 3.4K and 6.5K resolution using Arri Alexa 65, Alexa Mini, Alexa SXT, and Panavision Millenium DXL cameras, with some visual effects captured at 6K and 8K on Red Epic Dragon cameras, then completed as a 2K digital intermediate with Dolby Vision high dynamic range for select theatrical engagements. Disney’s UHD release features the film in its theatrical aspect ratio of 2.39:1 with a 2160p HEVC encode with HDR10 high dynamic range. This is a richly detailed transfer, highlighting the honeycombed gilver (gold and silver) of The Wasp’s suit, the intricate backgrounds of Hank’s lab, as well as facial features like wrinkles on Michael Douglas’ face. Colors are vivid and natural, with lots of reds that never bleed or show signs of banding. Contrast is exceptional, with deep blacks that never blend in to each other – a good example is a shot where Scott and Hope are wearing black against a very dark background (50:59).
Disney’s UHD release contains a Dolby Atmos mix that does not suffer from the issues that have plagued previous UDH releases like Thor: Ragnarok. LFE is fairly solid throughout, emphasizing many of the miniaturization and enlargement sound effects. Although sounds are more precisely placed within the listening environment, heights are used rather sparingly. At first I thought something was wrong with my system, as I placed an ear by my Atmos-enabled speakers and initially heard silence for the opening sequences, until Scott entered the Quantum Realm and just about blew my ear out, but then silence again until the next big action sequence. Overall fidelity is excellent, and dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.
Special Features: 3/5
As usual, all of the special features can either be found on the included Blu-ray edition of the film or by redeeming the digital copy code.
Introduction by Director Peyton Reed (1080p; 1:08): Reed discusses very quickly some of the key character moments.
Making-of Featurettes (1080p; 22:30): Four rather brief behind the scenes looks at the movie – Back in the Ant Suit: Scott Lang, A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp, Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet, and Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production Design of “Ant-Man and the Wasp”
Gag Reel (1080p; 1:31): Quite possibly the shortest blooper reel in MCU history, surprising considering the comedic talent involved in the film.
Stan Lee Outtakes (1080p; 0:46): Various line readings by legend Stan Lee for his cameo.
Tim Heidecker Outtakes (1080p; 1:29): Various improved lines by the comic actor who plays a whale tour guide.
Deleted Scenes (1080p; ): Two scenes with optional commentary by director Peyton Reed – Worlds Upon Worlds and Sonny’s on the Trail.
Audio Commentary with Director Peyton Reed: A rather lively track with the director discussing the movie.
It Takes Two (HD; 1:00): Very brief EPK piece featuring interviews and behind the scenes footage. Available only on Movies Anywhere.
Line By Line: The Art of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (HD; 7:41): This digital-only extra takes a look at the Visual Development Department at Marvel Studios.
Online Magic University In-World Ad (HD; 0:55): An advertisement for the online magic school that Scott attends in the film. Digital exclusive on Movies Anywhere.
Leader of the Colony (HD; 2:36): A Vudu exclusive extra on director Peyton Reed.
Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a digital copy on Movies Anywhere. My code redemption offered me the film in UHD on Vudu, FandangoNow, and Amazon Prime Video, and HD on Movies Anywhere and Google Play Movies. I do not own an Apple TV or an XBOX One so therefore cannot confirm the resolutions provided on iTunes and Microsoft Movies, respectively.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is a fun, mostly family-friendly action-comedy from Marvel. The UHD has excellent video and audio, and an average set of special features.https://www.amazon.com/ANT-MAN-WASP-Blu-ray-Paul-Rudd/dp/B07F3ND8R9/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539644157&sr=8-1&keywords=786936858945