Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Second Verse, with a Twist - Deadpool 2 Reviewed

Glory and I took in Deadpool 2 Saturday afternoon, and had a good time. Not a great time, and not a grand old time, but we were solidly entertained. It's not as clever as the first one, and wallows in its own pathos for a bit too long, but by the time the second act comes along, it begins to find its stride and even pulls a couple of surprises.

The fist Deadpool was nothing but surprising:an R-rated, foul-mouthed, amoral anti-hero with a penchant for breaking the 4th wall? Unheard of! So, in a lot of ways, the sequel has only themselves to blame for the high expectations fans were going to have. But that's okay, we can give a little latitude to a sequel, if it gives us a lot of what we came looking for, along with some twists.

The first twist, the aforementioned pathos, which I shall not spoil, does make it difficult to return to the manic action comedy side of things, but, you know, kudos for going there, I suppose? It's pretty hard to revisit the level of shock provoked by the first one, so this was one way to attempt doing so.

The second twist: integrating DP into a team, twice. After his time as an X-Man (trainee) goes about how you might expect, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) find himself at his lowest ebb. But in the second act, he and Weasel (T.J. Miller) hold auditions for a "super-duper team" and come up with an approximation of Marvel's X-Force, drawn (largely)from the comics in order to protect an adolescent mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison, from Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople).

The reason Russell needs protection is because time-travelling, mega-gun toting, cyber-armed badass Cable (Josh Brolin, in his second role as a big-budget comics heavy this month!) is after him because of terrible acts he commits in the future.

Now, this is where it gets clever: I don't know if I have ever read a single comic with Cable in it, despite being a massive X-Men fan, but even I know that these two end up going buddy-cop at some point, and have shared a few titles in their day. But they wisely discard a lot of Cable's more convoluted backstory, and make their seemingly inevitable team-up feel very tenuous for most of the movie, which was kind of cool.

Zazie Beetz is also a standout as Domino, a kick-ass, smart-ass mutant who can spar verbally with the star, and whose superpower revolves around being 'lucky'. This is portrayed very cleverly by new director David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde) despite Deadpool's audible contrariness stating this is not actually a power, and even if it is, it wouldn't be very cinematic (which: it is, and it is, respectively).

The marketing team at Fox should also be congratulated for bringing in a big X-Men villain as the surprising true villain of the piece, even if their animation seemed a little rough so soon after leaving us entranced by Thanos in Infinity War.

Probably most importantly though, is the fan service, and its not just for comics fans either. Movie buffs will get a kick out of Wilson's comparison to the second biggest February-opener (up until Black Panther) which is a deep cut. They run just as deep for comic nerds though, as when the titular character wagers that Domino's uneffective, non-cinematic power was probably invented by someone who can't draw feet, and you can almost feel Rob Liefield wincing. There are some A-level cameos as well, including a couple I missed.

And I think I can say without fear of contradiction that the post credits scene is one of the best in recent memory.

In short, if you liked the first one, you will like this one too.It is like the original, only even more so in some places. The shy, sensitive or profanity-offended should probably give this one a wide berth, which is like a red carpet being rolled out for fans like myself.

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to seeing this one...doesn't open here until June, so won't be long now. Thanks for the non-spoiler review :-)