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Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Deadpool 2

“Black Water” and “Show Dogs” are also new to Blu-Ray this week

There’s a fantastic montage that opens up “Deadpool 2” in which we see our wise-cracking anti-hero--once again played by Ryan Reynolds, relishing every subversive minute of screen time--hack, slash, and shoot bad guys around the world. One of his more brazen methods is to crash a mafia funeral by hiding in a casket, burst out, and open fire on the scum bags in attendance. While this may be a possible homage to the great 2004 video game “The Punisher” (another uber-violent Marvel anti-hero), it also works to set the stage for the movie: It’s brutal, bloody, violent, subversive, and surprising, while at the same time being wickedly funny and entertaining.

The opening credits get in on the gag. After a shocking event takes place that leaves Deadpool--or as his faithful companion Dopinder (Karan Soni) calls him, Mr. Pool—heartbroken, devastated, and literally in pieces, we’re treated to a sleek James Bond style animated opening. Much like in the 2016 original movie, instead of the actual names of the actors, writers, director, etc., we’re treated to questions and statements that the makers of “Deadpool 2” think are going through the audience’s head after seeing what we just saw. They’re right.

The music also works at this same level of subversion and humor. As the movie approaches its climax, there’s a big CGI fight between the armored Colossus (voice of Stefan Kapicic) and the powerful Juggernaut (voice of Ryan Reynolds). The scene is underscored by intense, heart-pounding, suspenseful music…until you start listening to the words being sung and start to chuckle. This is subversion at its finest: Being of something while at the same time completely transcending it. The fact that “Deadpool 2” is so funny while it’s transcending is the icing on the cake.

After Deadpool puts the pieces of his life—and himself—back together, he’s made a trainee of the X-Men. One of the best and funniest surprises in the movie answers the question as to why there are no other X-Men in the X-Mansion when Deadpool is there. It’s just Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand, who seemingly does not have enough middle fingers to give), and NTW’s girlfriend Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna). Thinking that Deadpool is ready for a mission, Colossus gives Deadpool a trainee shirt with an “X” on it, and off they go to an orphanage for mutants where a rotund, angry outcast who calls himself Firefist (Julian Dennison) is going on a rampage.

After things don’t go so well, Deadpool and Firefirst find themselves locked up together in the Ice Box, a prison for mutants. This is where time traveler Cable (Josh Brolin) tracks them down. But he’s not there for Deadpool—he’s there for Firefirst. Cable traveled back in time to stop Firefist before he kills the Headmaster of the Orphanage (Eddie Marsan) and starts down a path of killing that leads to Cable’s wife and daughter getting brutally murdered.

Cable is what was teased in the post credits of the first “Deadpool” movie: time traveler, flat top, robotic arm. He also has an artificial eye and multi-functional gun with various damage levels. Josh Brolin is well cast in the role, even if he is only 5’11”—something the movie delights in pointing out, since in the comics Cable is 6’8”. Fair enough. As I see it, Twentieth Century Fox has come full circle in its casting. Josh Brolin is too short to play Cable the same as the 6’3” Hugh Jackman is too tall to play Wolverine, who is 5’3” in the comics. The Fox version of the Marvel universe is now balanced.

Deadpool2 2

To assist in defeating Cable and protecting Firefist—who has not yet committed the murder that sends him spiraling into a life of killing—Deadpool and pal Weasel (T.J. Miller) recruit some more superhero companions. These include Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård), Domino (Zazie Beetz), and Peter (Rob Delaney), who Deadpool nicknames Sugar Bear. One more superhero, named Vanisher, gets recruited. Seeing the actor who plays him in a surprising and shocking (in more ways than one) moment is another one of the highlights of “Deadpool 2.”

It wouldn’t be a “Deadpool” movie without numerous pop culture references. No doubt many will have to follow the advice given at the end of the movie and look up dub step. I did not, as I was already familiar with dub step. I was not, however, familiar with what it means to “shirt-cock it,” but now I am the wiser. That is not one I had to look up though—it’s pretty self-explanatory from watching the movie, which I highly recommend. “Deadpool 2” is the rare sequel that continues the story of the first movie without even the slightest dip in quality. Buy it, and be sure to watch the credits. Some of the funniest moments in the movie are after the fade to black.

More New Releases: “Black Water,” in which a deep cover operative awakens to find himself imprisoned in a CIA black site on a submarine, starring Jean-Caude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren; “Show Dogs,” about a tough Rottweiler police dog forced to go undercover in a dog show, starring Will Arnett, Chris Bridges, Natasha Lyonne, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming, and Shaquille O'Neal; and “Pazucus: Island of Vomit and Despair,” which, surprisingly, is not about the current condition of down town San Francisco.

Andrew Hudak is a lifelong film lover. His column on Blu-Ray new releases appears every Tuesday. He lives in Connecticut.