Digital Review: “Ant-Man and the Wasp”

Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Waspthe 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, offers a sequel to one of the most unlikely superhero films ever brought to the screen. Like all films in the MCU, it combines compelling characters with great storytelling, yielding yet another memorable and fun experience. At first glance it appears to be a sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man, but it’s essential that viewers also watch Captain America: Civil War to fully understand everything that’s happening.

Scott Lang is under house arrest, which ends in just a few days. But when Hope Van Dyne and her father Hank Pym abduct him, he is once again caught up on an adventure of both epic and miniature proportions. When Hope’s mother, Janet, plants memories in Scott’s head, he is the only one who can help them bring her back from the Quantum Realm.

One of the biggest differences this time around, as the title suggests, is that Hope is now donning a suit of her own and has taken over her mother’s alias, the Wasp. It was set up and teased in the first film, but comic fans finally get to see her on screen for the first time. Her ability to fly at a micro scale adds a new level of impressive visuals and excitement to the series.

In addition to Scott’s need to wrap up the mission to save Janet due to his house arrest, he is also thwarted by another character named Ghost. She needs the quantum tunnel, the only way to get Janet back, in order to stop her from phasing out. And they are all pursued by a gangster who makes his trade in expensive and rare tech.

In addition to turning Ant-Man into more of a team-up film, Ant-Man and the Wasp also continues the MCU’s tradition of attracting top talent and legendary actors. To be specific, it brings Michelle Pfeiffer into the Marvel franchise as Janet Van Dyne, the original Wasp. This is significant because it’s Pfeiffer’s first superhero film since 1992’s Batman Returns, one of my favorites. It also adds a layer to MCU history, making a statement that women have been heroic in this universe for a long time, a theme that will be reflected in the next film, Captain Marvel.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is now available digitally from all major providers. Fans holding out for an on-disc release will have to wait until October 16th to add it to their collection, while it can be yours right now if you’ve already switched to digital.

Bonus Features

  • Movie Selection
    • Play Movie (1:58:06) – The theatrical version of the film.
    • Play Movie with Intro (1:08 + 1:58:05) – Play the movie with an introduction by Director Peyton Reed.
    • Play Movie with Commentary (1:58:05) – Peyton Reed provides an informative and entertaining commentary track that points out Easter Eggs, in-jokes, and gives insight into the difficulties bringing the story to life.
  • 10 Years of Marvel Studios: The Art of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (7:43) – Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Ryan Meinerding, and Andy Park discuss the small team of artists that have shaped the visual design of every Marvel Studios film from the very beginning and how they adapt the comics to the big screen.
  • Online Close-Up Magic University (0:55) – A fake ad for the online school that taught Scott Lang his close-up magic.
  • Making-Of Featurettes
    • Back in the Ant Suit: Scott Lang (5:58) – The cast and crew talk about Paul Rudd along with lots of clips of the actor goofing off on set.
    • A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp (5:19) – Evangeline Lilly’s wardrobe gets an upgrade with her Wasp suit in this featurette that explores her character and powers.
    • Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet (4:11) – Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer discuss their characters and their love of this franchise.
    • Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production design of Ant-Man and the Wasp (7:06) – The set design, visual effects, and Georgia/San Francisco shooting locations are all explored.
  • Gag Reel and Outtakes
    • Gag Reel (1:31) – All of the cast make mistakes and mug for the camera, but mostly Paul Rudd.
    • Stan Lee Outtakes (0:46) – A quick reel of Stan Lee improving his line in the film.
    • Tim Heidecker Outtakes (1:29) – The comedian improvs his cameo as a bay tour guide.
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Worlds Upon Worlds (0:48) – An extended scene of Hank and Janet in the subatomic realm.
    • Sonny’s on the Trail (0:50) – The bad guys watch some security footage of Hank’s lab shrinking.
    • Worlds Upon Worlds with Commentary (0:50) – Peyton Reed gives more information on the device Janet uses in this scene.
    • Sonny’s on the Trail with Commentary (0:52) – The Director discusses why this scene was cut.
  • Sizable Moments – A quick menu of scenes featuring the characters changing in size.
    • “We Need What’s In Your Head” (2:16)
    • Kitchen Encounter (2:09)
    • Ant-Man and the Wasp meet Ghost (1:20)
    • Show and Tell (3:02)
    • Ulysses S. Gr-ANT (1:52)
    • Jail Break (1:02)
    • San Francisco Car Chase (9:42)
    • San Francisco Wharf (7:48)
    • Back from the Quantum Realm (1:10)
    • Movie Night (0:46)
  • Image Gallery
    • Ant-Man and the Wasp Gallery – 50 behind-the-scenes images from the set.
    • Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Gallery – 49 concept images from films across the MCU’s 10 years of films.

Final Thoughts

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a showcase of how the Marvel Cinematic Universe allows each film to change its tone, style, and approach to storytelling. It’s a compelling story with hilarious moments and impressive visuals, one of the most entertaining films of 2018. Enjoy this lighter, fun break from the dark and serious tone that is on the horizon in the exciting conclusion to Avengers: Infinity War.