I was young when I first saw the trailer for The Punisher starring Thomas Jane. As a fan of the character since I first laid eyes on him in the old Spider-Man animated series back in the mid 90s, I was thrilled to see a live action version of this cool, relentless, gun-toting vigilante. And no, I had no knowledge of the original Dolph Lundgren film from 1989 at the time.
When I saw that the film was going to be rated ‘R’, I knew full well that this was going to be everything I could ever hope for. As long as my parents would allow me to see it. Which, they didn’t. So for me I had to do what most kids did. Wait till the movie hit the DVD shelf at their local store, and watch it at a friend’s house.
Recently it was announced that Deadpool 2 will be stripped of its excessive violence, language, and other hardcore material and re-released as a PG-13 flick this Christmas. I was instantly into the idea, though not every fan was on the same page as me. Many complained it wouldn’t fit the character and the editing process would ruin the film. Basically, it would be like watching Scarface on basic cable in the afternoon. But they miss the point entirely.
Yes, this can easily be seen as an easy cash grab for the studios. Put a popular film back in theaters, add in some extra scenes, and laugh themselves all the way to the bank. Anything to put asses in the seats.
Another important factor in this re-release that many might be considering as well, is that Disney is now acquiring Fox’s lineup including Deadpool. This might mean that this re-release will test the waters to see if the “Merc with a Mouth” can play nice with the non-violent properties that have boomed at the box office. Who wouldn’t want to see that?
And then there’s the matter of the quick still Ryan Reynolds tweeted out. If you have not had a chance to see it, the picture has Reynolds in full costume, sitting at the bedside of Fred Savage, strikingly similar to The Princess Bride. Right down to the Bears shirt.
So could one assume that the strange tale of Wade and Cable might be constructed as a frame narrative? Anything is possible I suppose. And it will for sure make it a fun experience for those previous and new viewers alike. But, at the end of the day, the best reason for re-releasing the film is the cheesiest, happy-go-lucky answer that would surely bring out a snarky comment from Wade himself… the kids, of course.
Somewhere I’m sure there is a kid who, like me, was unable to see one of his favorite characters pop from his candy colored panels and onto the big screen. Now, he could at least have a taste of the Ryan Reynolds bloodbath he had heard so much about from his chums on the playground. And then one day, when he is older, he will finally come of age and see the original version as it was meant to be seen. Or at least till his parents turn their backs.