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Deadpool 2 (2018)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
4K UHD Released: 8/21/2018

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Review by Mike Long, Posted on 8/27/2018

I worked in the comic book industry in the early 90s, a time with X-Men was flourishing and Marvel was spreading mutant universe very thin with new characters and titles. One such character was Deadpool, who barely registered on my radar. When I was drawn back into comics two decades later by the death of Peter Parker (which I knew, at the time, was a joke), I was shocked to see that Deadpool was literally everywhere. This seemingly second-tier character from the 90s had taken over the Marvel Universe. So, I guess that I shouldn't have been surprised when a Deadpool film was announced. What did catch me off-guard was how much I admired the bizarre, rebellious nature of the film. When the sequel arrived, the question was obvious -- Would Deadpool 2 be as irreverent.

Deadpool 2 picks up some time after the events of the first film. For the first time in his life, Wade Wilson AKA Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is happy. Not only is he traveling the globe taking care of baddies in his role as a mercenary assassin, but his relationship with his girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), is going strong. But, when tragedy strikes, Wade is thrown into a tailspin of despair. Following a suicide attempt, he gives in to the frequent request by Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and joins the X-Men (as a trainee). Their first mission involves a young mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison), who is having a violent outburst. Wade takes pity on this awkward youngster and ruins the mission. Meanwhile, a soldier from the future named Cable (Josh Brolin) has arrived and seems to have his sights set on killing Deadpool. How can Wade wallow in despair with so much happening?

At this point, a lot of things have been said about Deadpool 2 and an assortment of opinions have been formed, so I want to focus on two main things. First of all, this is a surprisingly emotional movie. There is more moving material in the first ten minutes of Deadpool 2 than there is in most Oscar nominated films. The finale also contains some touching moments. "How?", you ask. How can there be emotion amongst all of the crass silliness which goes in this movie? It's because this film, and its predecessor, make us care about the characters. If I were to simply describe Deadpool to you, he wouldn't sound very appealing. But, as written in the movies, and as played by Reynolds, we somehow relate to this man who is physically immortal, but so emotionally scarred. The kind of raw emotion which movies like Batman V. Superman try to conjure up, is created seemingly at will in Deadpool 2. This connection also helps out with the film's humor, as we are laughing with Deadpool, as opposed to at him.

The second point echoes the concern raised in the opening -- Will this sequel be as crazy as the original? If that's why you're here, you can rest easy, as this movie is completely cocoa bananas. It doesn't catch us off-guard like the first movie, but there are still scenes here that you won't see coming and that will have your jaw on the floor. They aren't shocking for the sake of being shocking, they simply take the story in directions that very few studio movies would and they show that Deadpool's laissez faire attitude has spread to the filmmakers. There are quite a few moments here where you will be laughing out loud while also shaking your head in disbelief, but two scenes in particular, and you'll know them when you see them, define the unpredictable nature of this series.

Deadpool is a very good movie, but it suffers from being an origin story, and when re-watching the film, you realize how tempted you are to fast-forward through the torture scenes. Deadpool 2 is free from this burden and feels like a wholly more satisfying experience. It does drag somewhat in the middle, but the broadening of Wade's character, the introduction of new faces, and the depth of the story show the amount of work and care which went into the movie. The action sequences are well-executed, but it's the laughs that you'll remember, and there are many quotable lines and hilarious moments here. And, let's not forget about the numerous cameos. Yes, the opening may have you dabbing away the tears, but the laughs and gasps of shock make this a fun ride which is well worth taking.

Deadpool 2 will ruin Frozen and Yentl for you on 4K UHD courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an HEVC 2160p transfer which runs at an average of 55 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no obvious grain and no defects from the source material. I use the Deadpool 4K UHD as a demo disc, and the sequel looks just as good. The image has a notable crispness to it, and bright scenes are almost blindingly so. The colors look fantastic, and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is great, as we can see every scratch on Deadpool's suit. The depth also works well, giving us a faux 3D look in some shots. The Disc carries a Dolby Atmos audio track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 5.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The action sequences deliver strong, wall-shaking subwoofer effects, and nicely detailed surround sound effects. These effects place us in the middle of the action, giving the track real presence. The stereo effects join in on the fun, bringing attention to sounds occurring off-screen.

The lone extra found on the Deadpool 2 4K UHD is an AUDIO COMMENTARY with Ryan Reynolds, Director David Leitch, and Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The remainder of the special features are found on the accompanying Blu-ray Disc. The Disc contains two DELETED/EXTENDED SCENES which run about 3 minutes. Both of these scenes contain some funny moments, but it's obvious why they were cut. We also get a 3-minute GAG REEL, which offers some laughs. "Deadpool Family Values: Cast of Characters" (15 minutes) examines how the irreverence of the film is balanced by a story with emotion and likeable characters through interviews with the creative team. "David Leitch Not Lynch: Directing DP2" (12 minutes) offers interviews with the director and looks at how his experiences as a stuntman has influenced his style. "Deadpool's Lips are Sealed: Secrets and Easter Eggs" (13 minutes) takes us on-set to see what the cast and crew had to go through to keep the film's specifics under-wraps, particularly as it refers to cameos. The ad-libbing which occurs during the shooting is the focus of "Until Your Face Hurts: Alt Takes" (9 minutes). "Roll with the Punches: Action and Stunts" (7 minutes) highlights the prep-work and planning which goes into the action sequences. "The Deadpool Prison Experiment" (11 minutes) invites us onto the prison set to see the production design and work which went into creating that world. "The Most Important X-Force Member" (2 minutes) profiles Rob Delaney who plays Peter. "Chess with Omega Red" (1 minutes) shows us that Wolverine's popular foe is in the background. "Swole and Sexy" (2 minutes) has the actors talking about the physical preparation involved. "3-Minute Monologue" (2 minutes) has Brolin rambling while in the make-up chair. "Deadpool's Fun Sack 2" offers 17 promotional videos which run 35 minutes, including trailers and a STILL GALLERY.

Review Copyright 2018 by Mike Long