Review: Ant-Man and The Wasp; What You Didn’t Notice

The most fun thread in the Earth-bound tapestry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe owes much to the presence of star/co-writer Paul Rudd, whose comedic charms and dramatic sensibilities embiggen an otherwise diminutive hero.

Two years after the fallout from Captain America: Civil War, when ex-con Scott Lang (Rudd) illegally fought as Ant-Man, he’s nearing the completion of his house arrest and ready to get his life back on track. But as the only person to ever visit the sub-microscopic quantum realm and return safely, he is uniquely qualified to help genius inventor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his tough-as-nails daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly). After a series of bizarre visions, Scott is drafted into a risky plan that might offer the only chance of rescuing a long-lost member of the family.

The challenges posed by the beyond-PhD-level physics are complicated enough, but the appearance of Ghost, a new enemy with the power to pass through solid matter, plus the meddling of a ruthless technology broker, threaten to make their noble quest nigh-impossible. Old friends return for this fast-paced, enjoyable romp, one that turns downright chilling with its not-to-be-missed mid-credit bonus scene.

The 2.39:1 image includes frequent dark sequences that are reasonably well-resolved at 4K, and much of Act III showcases the freaky visions of the cartoonishly hued nano-world, which should show your TV’s available wide color gamut capability to ample advantage. Clever, seamless special effects give life to some droll sight gags that play whimsically off of Pym’s shrinking/growing tech and depict it in inspired ways. A high dynamic range is used judiciously throughout to subtly enhance select moments.

Dolby Atmos is a wholly appropriate soundtrack format choice for this movie, what with all of the size-reduction that puts much of the action above the listener. The TrueHD core pleasantly surprises as well with a generous placement of cues in the sides and rears, be it a bouncing bowling ball, a wolf howling in the distance, or off-camera voices. Flying ants and the occasional winged heroine tend to zip all around the 7.1-channel sound field, adding excitement with their treble, phase-y presence. The tremendous energy required to bring all of this super-science to bear is also keenly represented by the realistic deployment of low-frequency effects.

There are no extras on the 4K disc, but the companion Blu-ray features an audio commentary by director Peyton Reed, four featurettes, three gag/outtake reels, plus a minute-and-a-half of deleted scenes with optional commentary. A Movies Anywhere digital copy code is supplied.

Ultra HD Blu-ray
Studio: Walt Disney, 2018
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
HDR Format: HDR10
Audio Format: Dolby Atmos with TrueHD 7.1 core
Length: 118 mins.
Director: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, Michelle Pfeiffer.


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