“Extended cuts” of movies are a mixed bag. Sometimes they’re a mere marketing ploy to get fans to double-dip, as with a lot of comedies that include “jokes that couldn’t be shown in theaters” when it’s basically just the same movie with alternate lines mixed in. Sometimes you get a far different, and even far superior cut of the film as with Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. You never really know what to expect, so when 20th Century Fox announced the Deadpool 2 extended cut, packed with 15 minutes of new footage, fans were excited but also curious.
The Deadpool 2 extended cut, which is officially dubbed the “Super Duper $@%!#& Cut,” is available exclusively on Digital HD and Blu-ray, so we got a look at the new cut in stunning 4K to see what all the fuss was about. Is the movie all that different? Well, yes and no. It’s more, but not necessarily different. The most striking change is the addition of content relating to the Russell Collins (Juluan Dennison) character. In the theatrical cut of the film, we first meet Russell as he’s burning down the Mutant Reeducation Center, when Deadpool (currently an X-Men trainee) tries to calm the situation down.
But in the extended version, we actually see Russell’s introduction to the Mutant Reeducation Center, and get a bit more background on his relationship with Eddie Marsan’s character—including some pretty unsettling torture. These scenes are included in snippets in the theatrical edition as flashbacks, but in the extended edition appear in their entirety.
So does this change in Russell’s introduction help the film? Not necessarily. It doesn’t make the extended cut bad, but director David Leitch was right to introduce Russell as a bit of an enigma, rather than immediately telling the audience who this kid is and what he’s been through. It flows better in the theatrical version.
There’s also a smattering of additional footage scattered throughout. There are a couple more suicide attempts shown, an extended version of Deadpool’s death scene, and of course the infamous Baby Hitler post-credits scene that was too much for test audiences to handle is tacked onto the other post-credits scenes that were included in the theatrical release.
What does this all add up to? If you were lukewarm or so-so on Deadpool 2, the extended cut doesn’t really improve the film. Again, it’s not so much a structural change as it’s just more. As is, the Deadpool character is a lot to handle, so if you found yourself getting worn out by the motormouth, the extended cut is very extra. A few of the alternate jokes are funny, but not markedly funnier than what was included in the theatrical cut.
However, if you were a big fan of Deadpool 2, you’ll likely find the extended cut worth experiencing. Again, it’s really just more of the original film, so fans who can’t get enough of Deadpool’s shenanigans will no doubt enjoy hanging out in this world for even longer, or even just seeing a slightly different cut of the film—the Blu-ray release includes both the theatrical and extended versions, so you’ll have both to enjoy.
I’m in the “Deadpool 2 is fine” camp, personally. Ryan Reynolds is terrific, and the character is certainly unique, but he’s a lot. Deadpool 2 is at its best when it’s a story about a dysfunctional family, so when the X-Force comes into play—especially with the delightful Zazie Beets as Domino—things really kick into gear. There’s even an additional scene in the extended cut that finds Deadpool basically playing roommate to Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Colossus, and Yukio that’s a lot of fun—his dynamic with other characters is pretty delightful. Much of Deadpool 2 plays like a prequel to an X-Force movie, and Deadpool seems like one of those characters who might work better as a supporting player rather than a lead (see also: Jack Sparrow), so it’ll be interesting to see how this franchise evolves going forward.
For now, though, it appears most fans really dug with Leitch and Co. put together for Deadpool 2. If you’re in that camp, the Deadpool 2 extended cut is worth checking out. You get more of what you loved the first time, even if it’s not significantly different. If you didn’t love Deadpool 2, well it’s unlikely the extended cut is going to change your mind.