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Blu-ray Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp

October 16, 2018

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

A sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man, and the most recent piece of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and the Wasp opens with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) still under house arrest following the events of Captain America: Civil War. As part of his bail conditions, he is not allowed to wear the shrinking Ant-Man suit or have any contact with his old cohorts.

But Scott is sucked back into working with physicist Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), when they discover that Hope’s mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), who disappeared decades earlier after shrinking down to a molecular level, might still be alive and stuck in the quantum realm.

Dr. Pym has developed technology to enter the quantum realm, and Scott’s experience in the field makes him ideal for the experiment. But several antagonistic forces stand in their way, including Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), a mysterious young woman with the ability to walk through walls and fragment herself who wants the technology for her own reasons, and Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), a sleazy dealer who sells classified technology on the black market and is also trying to steal their equipment.

Director Peyton Reed brings the same lightness of tone to Ant-Man and the Wasp that he brought to the first one, and a big part of why this sequel works is because the interplay between the cast members is just so enjoyable to watch. Paul Rudd is very good at playing a sort of goofy action hero, building upon his prior appearances as Ant-Man and bringing genuine charm and likability to the film that helps it tremendously.

The way he bounces off the other cast members, including Douglas and Lilly, is often delightful, and gives an enjoyably loose quality to the film. Michael Peña reprises his role as Luis, Scott’s hyper-talking sidekick and security expert, and a hilarious rapid fire monologue that he delivers under the influence of “truth serum” is one of the main comic high points in the film. Randall Park is also a delightful addition to the cast as the bemused FBI Agent who is on Scott’s case.

The screenplay, which Rudd has a credit on along with four other writers, doesn’t get too bogged down with the physics talk, and leaves ample room for witty banter and jokes, a surprising amount of which actually land. The action scenes do a good job of playing up the sense of scale, and the ending becomes a wild car chase through the streets of San Francisco that finds a bunch of people all in pursuit of the same object, heightened by the ability of our heroes and their vehicles to shrink and grow in size.

This is not the deepest or most complex film in the MCU, but it’s a thoroughly entertaining diversion that doesn’t overstay its welcome at just under two hours, and provides an enjoyable reprieve from the heaviness of Avengers: Infinity War. As an action comedy that embraces its comic book origins, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a fun and frequently very funny movie that unfolds at a brisk pace and is buoyed along by the often amusing interplay of its ensemble cast.

The Blu-ray also includes a commentary track with Peyton Reed, a couple of brief deleted scenes with optional commentary, as well as outtakes and a gag reel, and the four featurettes Back in the Ant Suit: Scott Lang, A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp, Subatomic Superheros: Hank & Janet, and Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production Design of Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment release. It’s 118 minutes and rated PG.

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