Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Review: ANT-MAN (2015): Action, Comedy, & the Inexplicable Collide

Paul Rudd Ant-Man

Ant-Man (2015) Blu-ray Review, a movie starring Michael Douglas, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Judy Greer, T.I., Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Martin Donovan, David Dastmalchian, Jordi Mollà, Michael PenaJohn Slattery, Vanessa Ross, and Wood Harris.

Release Date: December 8, 2015

Plot

The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man. Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Disc Specifications

Run Time: 117 min

Format: Blu-ray, AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen

Region: A/1

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Language: English (DTS-HD High Res Audio), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Rating: PG-13

Video

The video in this set is typical of Marvel Cinematic Universe home releases: clean and clear (especially in low light situations, of which there were many in the film) with no artifacts distracting from the viewing experience.

Audio

The score for Ant-Man may have been the most subtle that I have heard for a Marvel film. There was nothing memorable about it. It lacked the power of The Avengers‘ score and the substantiveness of Captain America: The First Avenger‘s score. The score was functional while the sound was standard for a Marvel film i.e. top notch.

Blu-ray Bonus Content

* Audio Commentary By Peyton Reed And Paul Rudd
* Making Of An Ant-Sized Heist: A How-To Guide – Set your watch and count down the action in this fast-paced behind-the-scenes look at how to pull-off a heist movie, including Scott Lang’s hilarious heist “family,” Ant-Man costume, amazing stunts, and effects.
* Let’s Go To The Macroverse – Shrink down to size in this fascinating look at creating the world from Ant-Man’s perspective, from macro photography through the subatomic.
* WHIH News Front – A hard-hitting collection of content, including a glimpse at the future of Pym Technologies with Darren Cross, anchor Christine Everheart’s Interview with soon-to-be-released prisoner Scott Lang on his notorious VistaCorp Heist, and more
* Deleted & extended scenes
* Gag Reel – humorous outtakes from the film.
* An Inside Look At Marvel’s Phase 3 With Ant-Man And More – Ant-Man’s director and others talk about how Ant-Man fits into Phase 3, about Civil War, about Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe featuring Doctor Strange (“a mind-trip action film”), and Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2. It was insightful and actually featured BTS footage of Captain America: Civil War.

Film Review

The beginning of Ant-Man was excellent and surprising, setting a grounded foundation for a comic book film that many have not been imbued with (most opt instead for the fantastic). Using CGI to make younger a key character was completely unexpected yet highly effective. CGI has come a long way since the de-aging of Professor X and Magneto in X-Men: The Last Stand.

Ant-Man‘s initial moments tied this film to Iron Man 2, Agent Carter, and Captain America: The First Avenger, introducing a brand new character (and his story arc) into the Marvel Cinematic Universe mythos.

This beginning contained no opening battle like the CGI monstrosity in Avengers: Age of Ultron. There was just a conversation. A well-acted, well-written conversation between individuals with opposing view points on a particular issue, a central issue that became the focal point of the film that it spawned: how best to use the Pym Particle, who should wield it, and if anyone can be trusted with such power?

Answering these questions raised even bigger questions within the film and the decisions its screenwriters made, though none really hampered the viewer’s overall enjoyment of the film.

Why risk so much with a rookie?

Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) placed sentiment above choosing the best candidate to becoming Ant-Man. His daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) was the best candidate. He knew it and she knew it. He wouldn’t choose her because he was afraid of losing her like he lost her mother and thus picked someone more disposal.

This was the first, major fault of the film. Why risk so much on a rookie when the need is not present? There was too much at stake to entrust it to a neophyte i.e. a new type of warfare being released onto the world yet that’s what Pym was willing to risk; his daughter’s safety over the lives of potentially millions that his tech could hurt or kill if it got loose and/or fell into the wrong hands.

It was a selfish choice where a selfless one was necessary. Because of what happened to his wife and because it was his daughter, the viewer understood but like I said, the mission need Hope van Dyne, not someone that still had their training wheels on.

The mission also need good, up-to-date intelligence.

One of the biggest narrative blunders in Ant-Man was Pym not knowing the old Stark building was the new Avengers headquarters. Pym has been watching Scott for years, judging whether or not if he was worthy of being Ant-Man and he never did a simple Internet search to find out the current status of the old Stark warehouse? That made absolutely no sense and it ruined some of the realism the film was trying to establish. So much work went into training Scott Lang / Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) then one of his teachers showed that he was incompetent, that he didn’t do basic, up-to-date reconnaissance on a site that he sent his trainee to? It made no sense. The only way that it could is if Pym did that on purpose, to test Lang but there was absolutely no evidence of that. On the contrary, Pym seemed genuinely shocked at the new status (and condition) of the old Stark warehouse.

Speaking of oversights, it was never explained in the third act of the film how Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) got himself into a miniaturized Yellowjacket suit while traveling through  the air in a helicopter. How did he make the suit full sized? One moment he was outside a miniaturized suit, the next moment he was in a full-sized suit. The viewer was forced to swallow: “oh, he used the unexplained, the whatchamacallit, to unminitarize the suit and somehow get into it in lightning speed while enduring a bumpy helicopter ride.”

This was another unforced error in the script and in the resultant film.

Another flaw, well not a flaw, more an common sense oversight, was Yellowjacket’s laser weapons. Cross had successfully invented portable laser weapons. Why not make rifles and handguns out of them and sell them to the United States military and if not, to Hydra? Cross spent so much time of cracking miniaturization, he was blind to an even more powerful and devastating break-through he had made months, maybe years previously.

Then there was the police’s complete overreaction to Lang escaping from prison (they acted like he was an escaped serial killer) and Luis (Michael Peña) punching and knocking out multiple security guards à la Happy Hogan in Iron Man 2, guards that were most-likely ex-soldiers and ex-police officers, people used to being hit and shot at by would-be assailants. Let’s not even talk about Cross going after Lang’s family (though the viewer could blame that idiocy on the side-effects of the miniaturization serum / process he subjected himself to repeatedly).

Returning to the positive side of the film, Cross and Pym’s father/son relationship could have been paper thin but it actually ameliorated the film.  Seeing Cross still vying for Pym’s approval after having been pushed away years ago added depth to their relationship and to the film. When Pym said he saw too much of himself in Cross, Cross must have been simultaneously elated and crushed. Pym’s self-loathing, prompted by the result of past actions, crossed over in an uneudemonic way, and permanently damaged his relationship with Cross.

Taken as a whole, especially the thrilling and inventive Falcon / Ant-Man fight, Ant-Man was a far better film than I initially thought it would be, filled with humor and high-points, but it was its flaws and logic oversights that shackle the film, relegating it to the ‘good’ column, not the ‘great’ one.

Disc Acquisition

Purchase Ant-Man here: Buy Now

Rating: 8/10

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created ProMovieBlogger.com and Trending Awards.com.

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