- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Marvel Comic’s famed mutant mercenary with a big mouth had his second live-action movie score big at the box office earlier this year and looks for further immersion into the lives of his adoring, ultra-high definition loving fans in Deadpool 2: Super Duper [email protected]%!#& Cut (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, unrated, 134 minutes, 2.39:1 aspect ratio, $44.99).

Ryan Reynolds draws deep into his limited thespian skills to reprise his role as the red-costumed, cancer-riddled, regenerating X-Men wannabe Wade Wilson in this four-disc package (two Blu-rays and two 4K platters). Owners not only get the theatrical version of the film, but an extended cut that adds 15 more minutes to the narrative.

Within either cut of the film, viewers enjoy a story about devoted love and the importance of family while exposing their peepers to incredible, R-rated, bloody, violent scenes featuring our hero literally (not really a spoiler for fans) being ripped in half and blown to pieces.

The aural assault is equally potent and arrives via the never-ending stream of profanity and subliminal quips delivered by the characters in the finest tradition of the franchise’s comic book roots and sure to peak the pleasure zones of pop culture aficionados.

Especially endearing is Deadpool’s chronic ability to break the fourth wall and talk to audience as he mocks Batman, DC Entertainment movies; delivers a brutal comedic assault on poor Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine; and reminds us about the film’s lazy scriptwriting and the importance of foreshadowing.

Between this dysfunctional lunacy, the plot focuses on Deadpool’s loss of his true love Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and a mission to save a pyrokinetic mutant teenager nicknamed Firefist (Julian Dennison) from an evil, mutant-hating organization fronted as an orphanage.

Sounds like a breeze, especially with help from X-Men Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and female ninja Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna) — until a time-traveling mutant named Cable (Josh Brolin, yes the same Josh Brolin playing Thanos in the “Avengers” movies) arrives to kill the teen and hopefully alter his grim future.

After things go very badly during the mission, Deadpool decides to form his own super team named X-Force, featuring the talents of mercenary mutant Domino (Zazie Beetz).

He also finds common ground with Cable and together they must now stop Firefist from going to the dark side. The mission will continue to be difficult, thanks to our fiery-tempered teen befriending the legendary X-Men villain Juggernaut (voiced by Mr. Reynolds).

Suffice it to report, comic book geeks will have lots to fawn over during the adventure and will clamor for repeated viewings.

Besides loving the mighty Cable and Juggernaut, they get an inside look at the X-Mansion with some surprise guests. Meet villains Black Tom Cassidy and Omega Red at the Ice Box prison, briefly encounter the acid-spitting hero Zeitgeist (a nod to X-Force No. 16) and even laugh at a deep cheap shot directed at Cable comic creator Rob Liefeld.

Specifically, Deadpool talks about a comic book artist who can’t draw feet, a complaint leveled against about Mr. Liefeld’s work during his career. That’s pretty geekified fans.

Now, both cuts are great, but the extended cut offers more violence, quips and entertainment for lovers of this costumed clown.

My favorite additions and extensions include a single shot of a bloody battle in a Japanese bathhouse, Wade’s obsession with using a new food tagging system while at the X-Mansion, and extra combat between Domino and Juggernaut.

Also worth noting are the numerous end credit scenes that now include the infamous “should I kill baby Hitler” bit. It’s as bizarre and oddly hilarious as it sounds.

I was a huge fan of the original “Deadpool” film and found the sequel an equally impressive translation of his comic book hijinks.

The inclusion of Thanos, dang it, I mean Cable, was a great and logical addition and gave plenty of added girth to the violent crescendo of action.

After watching, and rewatching numerous times, this premiere superhero-fueled, R-rated action comedy, I’m smelling a bombastic X-Force movie in the future. Fingers crossed.

4K in action: Viewers hoping for a pure 4K experience must settle for a 2160p upscale from the 2K master format, but the transfer still shines for its clarity and enhanced high dynamic range.

Essentially that means focusing one’s appreciation on the detailed costuming and makeup effects.

Viewers will scrutinize Deadpool’s leather-layered garb down to every piece of dimpled and often scuffed red leather; the cracked duct tape holding his tattered costume together; and every scab on his grotesque head (with his mask off).

Additionally, carefully check out Cable’s tech-organic metal arm that clearly reveals exposed tubing and human tendons, and the chrome metal man Colossus with his dented facial blemishes and metallic reflections of his surroundings.

As far as sharp colors, I’ll reference numerous explosions and fiery encounters with Firefist whipping flames nearly off the screen; Cable’s neon yellow, gridded force field shield; and the saturated yellow and red lights of his home in the future.

Best extras: The set’s voluminous collection of extras all reside on the theatrical cut’s Blu-ray disc with only the optional commentary track also available on the theatrical cut’s 4K disc.

Let’s start with that entertaining commentary tracking offering the wisdom and witticisms of Mr. Reynolds, director David Leitch and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Warnick.

As expected, it’s loaded with information as the obvious friends offer a session of some mocking and humor wedged between a serious discussion of the film’s production.

They mention a “Raiders of the Lost Ark” scene inspiration and Buster Keaton influences; offer some joke analysis; explain how the young X-Men stopped by the mansion; and discuss how they keep the mask-wearing Deadpool’s dialogue relevant by easily changing his lines in post-production right up to the movie’s release.

Next, 10 featurettes (roughly 75 minutes in total) cover most of the production down to stunts, action scenes, the actors going off script, the director’s vision and reminding viewers that Mr. Reynolds was the perfect choice as Deadpool.

They are loaded with interviews from Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Leitch, Mr. Brolin, Miss Beetz, Mr. Liefeld, the screenwriters and most of the key crew.

I’m sure fan-favorite featurettes will be a three-minute interview with Mr. Brolin in the makeup chair and a chance to briefly watch prisoner Omega Red play chess.

Perhaps most enjoyable of the extras is Deadpool’s “Fun Sack 2” offering 17 promotional teasers to the movie (35 minutes in total) that include: a look at Mr. Reynolds‘ butt cheeks in a phone booth; his music video with Celine Dion; a trailer paying homage to “The Golden Girls”; and a bunch of naughtier red band trailers.

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