Honey, I Shrunk the Avenger: Ant-Man Debuts on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of CriticalBlast.com or its management.

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
StumbleUpon icon
Del.icio.us icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Ant-Man Marvel Cinematic Universe

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd, PARKS AND RECREATION) is just getting out of prison for burglary -- but of the social justice kind, so that makes it okay. The particulars of his case -- as well as his character and skills -- bring him to the attention of Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who wants him to break into a vault to steal back technology Pym invented that is being prepped for military use and sold to the baddest bad guys in the Marvel Universe, Hydra.

The technology utilizes Pym's discovery, the Pym Particle, which allows for items to shrink by reducing the space between atoms. Per the film, Pym himself used the technology during World War II (which must not have been as far in the past of the Marvel Universe as it is in our own, since Pym was a grown man then, and a contemporary of Howard Stark), who was dubbed the Ant-Man. But when his last adventure went awry, resulting in the loss of his wife and partner, Janet, Pym became reclusive and would not allow the technology to be replicated.

That technology is now about to be successfully duplicated by Darren Cross (Corey Stoll, THE STRAIN), who has taken over the company Pym founded. To stop Cross from marketing his Yellowjacket suit to the bad guys, he enlists Lang to become the Ant-Man, much to the chagrin of his daughter, Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lily, LOST), who apparently took her mother's last name for reasons unexplained except that the future Wasp has to be a van Dyne.

Much of the film then focuses on Lang trying to get the hang of his new abilities, Hank and Hope going through longstanding father/daughter angst to a resolution, and extraordinary special effects of size changing (because not only can the Pym Particle shrink things, it can also make them larger). The climactic fight between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket is simultaneously stunning in scale and mind-boggling banal given that its setting is a wooden Thomas the Tank Engine play table; surprisingly, the scene works wonderfully.

The ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe are tight. Not only do we see Howard Stark (John Slattery) and Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) in flashback footage, but we also see Ant-Man infiltrate Avengers headquarters, taking on -- and beating -- the Falcon (Anthony Mackie). (Expect to see Ant-Man appearing in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR to further solidify those ties!)

Bonus features on this Blu-ray (and you want to see the Blu-ray version of this one, for the exquisite detail of the microverse!) include documentary featurettes "An Inside Look at Marvel's Phase 3 With Ant-Man and More," "Making of an Ant-Sized Heist: A How-To Guide" (in case you get yourself some Pym Particles), and "Let's Go to the Macroverse." These are supplemented by a handful of short clips from WHIH News which give some background details on the scenes and characters under the guise of an in-universe news broadcast. Topping this off, there are over a dozen deleted scenes that will further flesh out your understanding of Ant-Man and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Following in the footsteps of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, ANT-MAN proves that action can be both fun and funny without losing any of the action/adventure feel.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0