Ant-Man (Disney, Blu-ray)

Director - Peyton Reed

Cast - Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evageline Lilly

Country of Origin - U.S.

Discs - 2

Distributor - Disney

Reviewer - Scott MacDonald

Date - 12/12/15

The Film (3.5/5)

   Paul Rudd stars as Scott Lang an ex-con who is newly released from prison. He has a masters degree in electrical engineering, but because of his criminal record he can't even maintain a job at Baskin Robbins. He has a daughter who his wife will not allow him to have access to until his life gets straightened out. In his desperation he agrees to a heist set up by his former cellmate Luis (Micheal Pena).  The heist is a success, but all he manages to find is a bizarre suit.  When he tries it on it miniaturizes him, and it's prior owner communicates to him while wearing it, making the whole ordeal more of a test for Lang.

     After he removes the suit, he attempts to break back into the house where he stole it, and put it back, and that's where he is arrested.  However, while in police custody he is broken out when the suit is redelivered to him by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) the suit's creator, and the person whom he stole it from, who it turns out orchestrated the robbery himself to get Scott Lang into the suit(this is complicated). Pym takes Lang under his wing and trains him in the uses of the suit which offers it's wearer the ability to shrink, but also keep his regular strength. The reason for this training, is that Pym owns a company that wants the technology present in the suit, and is close to finding out the secret themselves. Pym wants to prevent that from happening and is using Scott Lang as the Ant-Man to sabotage their plans.

     Just to cut to the chase after that extraordinarily long synopsis, I had a lot of fun with Ant-Man.   It's a film I fell for, because like last year's Guardians of the Galaxy it didn't take itself all too seriously. Unlike Guardians, it played in a smaller playground than most superhero films. When one boils Ant-Man down to its most essential elements it is simply a heist film with a high tech shine to it.  Yes, there is an inherent danger if Pym's company releases the Ant-Man technology to the militaries of the world, but it's not an immediately apocalyptic scenario. Ant-Man is about a heist, and a guy trying to reconnect with his daughter, and in that regard it's a cracking success.

   I will admit that to get to that point it is a bit slow. The first part of the film while entertaining enough to watch, does drag a bit and some elements of the film do feel a bit cliché, but overall viewers will find themselves caught up in a series of effective performances by Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, and Evangeline Lilly. These combined with the film's well choreographed action sequences which are both exciting and quite funny sometimes in one-go certainly help to elevate something that could have been decidedly average to something far greater.

 

Audio/Video (5/5)

     Ant-Man is another excellent transfer from Marvel. The film is presented in a 1:85:1 1080p AVC encode, detail is excellent throughout, colors are bright, yet natural, and blacks are nice and deep. I did not detect any issue during my viewing.

     The DTS-HD 7.1 track in English is quite effective with dialogue and score coming through nicely, and ambient noise creating an excellent atmosphere all around.  I did not detect any problems with the track.

 

Extras (2.5/5)

   Marvel/Disney have created a decent extras package for Ant-Man. There are a good few Behind the Scenes featurettes, deleted and alternate scenes, and an audio commentary with director Peyton Reed. There is also a gag reel, and trailers.

 

Overall

   Probably not Marvel's best film so far, Ant-Man is still a lot of fun, and easy to recommend. The Blu-ray looks and sounds amazing, and though the extras are slim this title is RECOMMENDED.