Ant-Man & the Wasp is the lowest grossing Marvel release since the first Ant-Man four years ago and the lowest-grossing sequel they’ve ever made. I hear the percentage increase from the first was proportional to their other properties (leaving out the ones – like Captain America: Civil War and Thor: Ragnarok – that became quasi-Avengers movies).
This isn’t to dig on Ant-Man & the Wasp, which I gave a positive review when it released to theaters this past July. Mostly, I think that of all the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) releases, this may well be the one that finds its fanbase on home video. The DVD & Blu-Ray release was on October 16, and if you haven’t picked it up yet — or at least Redboxed it — you should.
What you’ll find is a “lesser” Marvel film in that it has a singular focus that doesn’t involve saving a world, country or community. It’s about the plight of a single family of super-scientists trying to save one of their own. It’s the most distinctly “golden age” of the Marvel movies. It’s fun, kind of disposable, consistently entertaining from the first frame. It has a few quirks that I didn’t enjoy upon rewatch: I find Luis and his band of misfits kind of annoying. Small quibble. Like most of Marvel’s releases, the CGI is a little more noticeable at home than on the big screen. This is an issue for me with Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, too. Again, minor but worth noting.
Also like most of Marvel: The DVD special features aren’t a major reason to buy this release. Although Aly enjoyed the features included on Black Panther and Infinity War in her reviews of those releases, I found the offerings on AM&W kind of underwhelming. Director Peyton Reed’s commentary is fun but not especially revelatory. The smaller documentaries focus on individual characters and mostly feel like advertisements rather than process pieces; you can find most, if not all, of them online legally in various places. The gag reel and deleted scenes are about what you’d expect – short and not numerous. I’m sure cameras capture a lot of these movies as they’re made and I’m genuinely surprised we haven’t seen some kind of double-dip release for most of these movies that includes really interesting and in-depth making-of features. Maybe when Phase 3 concludes?
In any case, I’m hoping that with AM&W on Blu-ray and DVD, people who chose to skip out on its theatrical release will find the time to watch the movie. It’s minor Marvel but worthy of the franchise. This year has had a lot of all-time-great and all-time terrible blockbusters; this is much closer to the former, and I think it just got drowned out by everything else that was in theatres all summer.