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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Ant-Man

December 6th, 2015

Ant-Man - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
Video on Demand


Ant-Man had the fourth worst global box office for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It earned over $500 million and was still the fourth worst in the franchise's run. That's impressive. One of the reasons for the franchise's success is the quality. No MCU film has earned a Tomatometer Score below the overall positive level, this includes Ant-Man. Is it worthy of this? Or is this the first MCU film I didn't like?

The Movie

The film begins in 1989 with Dr. Hank Pym, a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist, confronting Howard Stark and Mitchell Carson. It turns out that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been trying to replicate Pym's greatest success, the Pym Particle. However, Hank Pym believes it is far too dangerous to be messed with, so he vows that as long as he is alive, he will hide is work.

Returning to the present day, we see Scott Lang getting a beating in prison. It's not that he's made enemies. This is just a going away ritual. He's getting out. His former cellmate, Luis, picks him up. Immediately, Luis tries to convince Scott to be part of a team, but Scott is determined to go legit. He's got a daughter, Cassie, and he doesn't want to go back to prison. However, being an ex-con, even one with an advanced degree, he can't get a job. Worse still, his ex-wife and her new fiancé, tell him that if he doesn't pay the back child support, he won't be able to see his daughter. Because of this, Scott agrees to work with Luis and Luis' two friends.

Meanwhile, we catch up with Hank Pym, who is going to Pym Industries. As you can guess, he founded it and ran it, but later his protegee, Darren Cross, and his own daughter, Hope, pushed him out of the company. Now he's been invited by Cross to witness his new invention. He claims to have replicated the Pym Particle and is about to create an army of shrinking soldiers. This is Hank Pym's nightmare. Hope says they have to work now and tells her father that they don't have a choice, but he says there's a guy.

That guy is Scott. After calculating that he won't be able to meet his daughter for over a year, Scott goes to Luis and they, plus Dave and Kurt plan their heist based on the information Luis got. There are a couple of hiccups in their plan, but Scott gets into the cage. However, the only thing he finds is what looks like an old motorcycle suit. He steals it anyway. Later, he decides to put it on, just to see what happens.

Spoilers is what happens. After that, Scott freaks out enough that he returns the suit, only to be arrested. Fortunately, Hank meets with Scott posing as his lawyer and offers him a second chance, a shot at redemption. He needs Scott to don the Ant-Man suit, break into Pym Tech, and steal / destroy Darren Cross's Yellowjacket suit and all of the research. That is going to take at least three training montages to work.

I love this movie. It is, at its heart, a heist movie and I love heist movies. This movie has all of the elements a great heist movie needs, from the planning stages, the training montages, to the inevitable hiccups, and the frantic improv to save the plan. Additionally, the script makes great use of the shrinking that is the key to Ant-Man's power. I especially love the fight scene on the Thomas the Tank Engine toy train. Add in a healthy dose of comedy and drama and the script hits all the right marks.

The actors have a lot to work with, but a lot of the praise has to go to the three lead actors: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, and Evangeline Lilly. The three had excellent chemistry together and I can't wait to see Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp in Ant-Man and the Wasp in 2018.

The only weakness is Darren Cross. No offense to the actor, but like many MCU movies, the villain is the weakest part of the film. ... That's better than having the villain being the only interesting part of the movie, which we've also seen.

The Extras

Extras begin with an audio commentary track with the director, Peyton Reed, and the lead actor, Paul Rudd. There are also two making of featurettes with a total running time of 23 minutes. The first one is a more general making of featurette, while the second focuses on the special effects. WHIH NewsFront has a a number of short world-building clips and includes Christine Everheart from the first two Iron Man movies. Up next is 9 minutes of deleted and extended scenes. And finally, there are three minutes of outtakes.

I actually got the 3D version of the movie. In fact, this is one of two 3D movies I'll be reviewing this weekend. The film has both great depth with scenes extending to the distances, as well as parts where the action seems to spill out of the TV screen. (The bathtub scene is a perfect example of that.) Additionally, it didn't negatively effect the picture quality, which sometimes happens. Finally, the 3D adds to the action. A movie about a shrinking super hero really benefits from the 3D effects. This isn't always the case.

The 3D Blu-ray costs $30, which isn't a bad deal. However, the Blu-ray and the DVD cost $18 and $15 respectively, so the 3D costs $12 more than the regular Blu-ray. That might be too much. On the other hand, if you are looking for a disc to show off your 3D setup, then this is worth it.

The Verdict

Ant-Man is a heist movie set in the MCU. I love heist movies and I love the MCU, so it comes as no surprise that I loved this movie as well. I've already watched it a couple of times and I will likely watch it a couple of more times before the Christmas season is over. It is certainly worth picking up, although I'm not 100% sure which is the better deal, the Blu-ray Combo Pack or the 3D Combo Pack.

Filed under: Video Review, Ant-Man, Iron Man, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Leslie Bibb, Bobby Cannavale, Martin Donovan, Michael Douglas, Judy Greer, T.I. Tip Harris, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Peyton Reed, Paul Rudd, John Slattery, Corey Stoll,