- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The most obnoxious and profane comic book anti-hero in the history of the sequential-art galaxy starred in his own cinematic epic early this year that became the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.

The debut of Deadpool (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Rated R, $39.99, 108 minutes) on Blu-ray now means millions of adoring fans of Marvel Comics’ red-suited “Merc with a Mouth” can meticulously appreciate his brand of violent humor over and over again.

Actor Ryan Reynolds is the perfect fit as Deadpool in an origin story that finds retired wisecracking Special Forces operative Wade Wilson spending his days as a mercenary helping those in need until he falls for a female, but then he’s tragically diagnosed with terminal cancer.

As a last resort to find a cure, Mr. Wilson leaves his girlfriend and takes part in a secret research project that mutates his genetics and turns him into a horrible scarred powerhouse with accelerated healing abilities.

What follows is a story of revenge, lost love and chimichangas mixing bullet shots to the head, chunks of brain splattered on concrete, a pair of annoying X-Men, Green Lantern jokes, decapitations, Liam Neeson nightmares, compound fractures and a new appreciation of unicorns.

Comic book fans smitten with the “Deadpool” universe will find plenty to embrace in this adaptation with appearances by sequential-art characters such as his best buddy Weasel (T.J. Miiller), housemate Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), Copycat (Morena Baccarin), X-Men’s Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapcic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), and the villains Ajax (Ed Skrein) and Angel Dust (Gina Carano).

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An impeccable digital transfer (2.39:1 aspect ratio) completely exposes the fantastic work of first-time director Tim Miller and his production teams.

Specifically, the dynamic and acrobatic fight scenes explode from the screen while any moment with the metallic Colossus in action showcases some impeccable computer-generated artistry to bring his metallic form to life.

Additionally, watching the Deadpool character taking an enormous amount of damage throughout his journey allows viewers to focus on the fantastic detail of his very authentic, stretchy fabric and leather costume.

Suffice to report, “Deadpool” shines at all levels and you’ll need to watch the movie multiple times just to catch all of the comic book homages, pop culture allusions and absorb the quips coming as fast and as furious as the gunfire.

OK, so great movie, gush, gush, yeah, yeah, we get it, but do the extras match the might of the epic.

As far as mass quantity, you can bet your sweet bippy, Professor X breath.

Let’s start with a pair of optional commentary tracks, first starring Mr. Reynolds hanging out in his basement with writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The actor keeps it wonderfully light throughout as the trio spend time joking with one another, offering memories from the set, touching on the obscure dialogue references and talking minutia about the movie. It is well worth the time investment.

The second offers Mr. Miller and the co-creator of “Deadpool,” Rob Liefeld, who brought the comic book character to pulp art back in 1991. Mr. Miller carries the commentary throughout, which is always informative but disappointing since I wanted to know from Mr. Liefeld as much as possible about the character’s life in comics. Instead, the artist spends most of his time complimenting Mr. Miller and his team’s efforts.

Next, an 80-minute, 5-part documentary on the making of the movie is most interesting when we get interviews from the original comic book “Deadpool” team of Fabian Nicieza, Mr. Liefeld and writer Joe Kelly and when listening to Stan Lee’s endorsement of the project.

Also, I also enjoyed a look at the costume designs, motion capture special effects, the practical stunt work and the secret of making Deadpool’s mask with facial expressions.

Not so interesting was the production staff meticulously explaining the plot and characters, which is pretty obvious if you watched the movie multiple times.

I was really disappointed that zero comic book art is shown of the mighty Deadpool. I’m not sure how that omission is even possible considering how Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Miller worked so hard to mimic the comic book.

Extras conclude with a 6-minute gag reel (and it’s really funny); a 16-image gallery covering concept art, costumes, storyboards and effects; 10 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Mr. Miller; and a 24-minute compilation of the very amusing commercials and trailers for the film.

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