Deadpool 2 (2018)

“Prepare for the second coming”

Directed by David Leitch
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Shioli Kutsuna and Jack Kesy

Wade Wilson (Reynolds) – aka Deadpool – is living the dream, killing bad guys for cash and living it up with his girlfriend Vanessa (Baccarin). Everything else is spoilers, so let’s put the breakline in here.

Deadpool is rapidly transitioned to rock bottom when Vanessa is fridged, to the horror of the audience and the opening credit animators, leading him to crave the death that his powers deny him. Colossus (Stefan Kapičić) takes him to the X-Mansion to become a trainee X-Man, but his first mission ends with him shooting an orderly at a children’s home when it emerges that he has been abusing the young mutant Russell (Dennison), and possibly others.

Russell and Deadpool are sent to the ‘Ice Box’, but he escapes when a time travelling mutant named Cable (Brolin) tries to assassinate Russell. Deadpool recruits a team of young supers for his new team, X-Force, of whom only the preternaturally lucky Domino (Beetz) survives their first parachute deployment, leaving only Deadpool and Domino – with a little help from Colossus, as well as Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Hildebrand) and her girlfriend Yukio (Kutsuna) – to prevent Cable killing Russell and Russell killing the headmaster of the children’s home and thus beginning the road which leads him to become a mass murderer and the killer of Cable’s family.

What’s wrong with it?

God damnit!

There are a lot of fridges in this film. Vanessa gets fridged early on, and Cable is avenging his fridged wife and daughter. It’s kind of a touching tale of two men and their politically unsound domestic appliances. The fact that they all end up unfridged at the end is no excuse for the fact that their horrible deaths and resurrection serve primarily as motivation for the male characters.

There is an extent to which Deadpool as a lead character is a one-shot joke, and this film is less fresh than the first.

What’s right with it?

This shot is actually in the film, as part of the faux Bond opening credits.

While the fridging is an issue, the film does have some good female characters, namely Domino and Negasonic. (Yukio isn’t really much of a character here, although congratulations to this film for beating either the MCU or the X-Men movies to actually featuring an openly gay couple.) I’m really looking forward to a film or films in which the stories are about them.

Domino is awesome, and her supernatural luck is brilliantly displayed through chances and environment kills. Deadpool is dead wrong; luck is both a superpower and very cinematic.

Ryan Reynolds has made Deadpool his own, and whatever certain corners of the world white web may have felt about a black Domino, Zazie Beetz puts in a brilliant performance. Dennison puts in a powerful performance as the enraged Russell, and Brolin makes Cable work by never once breaking his 90s grimdark persona.

There’s been a lot of speculation about which members of X-Force would die quickly, so props for basically killing all of them.

For what is on some level a one-joke movie, Deadpool 2 has superb production values, some excellent design choices, and hella feels.

When the Juggernaut appears – to fanboy squeezing from Deadpool – he isn’t voiced by Vinnie Jones.

How bad is it really?

So few of these characters matter a damn.

I don’t think that Deadpool 2 is as good a film as Deadpool, and it certainly isn’t as unadulteratedly funny film, but it is still highly enjoyable in its angry, iconoclastic fashion. The relationship between Russell and Deadpool is spiky and in many ways unhealthy, as a relationship between an abused, angry child and a mercenary with a death wish probably would be. I really enjoyed it, although it feels like a broader focus would benefit future films.

Best bit (if such there is)?

There were a lot of impressive set pieces, although I particularly liked a scene where Deadpool is reiterating his complaint from the first movie that the studio won’t spring for any more X-Men, only for the camera cut to an angle which shows the cast of the First Class-era X-Men quietly shutting a door before he can turn around and see them.

How often is anyone saving someone who looks like this?

Alternatively, the early scene where Deadpool is going about his hitman business and the music kicks in, and it plays for a few seconds under the action before you recognise that it’s Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5.

What’s up with…? 

  • Dopinder? I… Look, I seriously don’t know how much of this portrayal is racist writing, and how much is just how the actor talks. It’s pretty notable, although it could also be read as a satirical commentary, as Deadpool and Weasel (Miller) take on Peter – a powerless, talentless nobody, but a middle class white guy – while keeping Dopinder out of the team.

Ratings

Badass, and adorable.

Production values – For a parody, Deadpool does not stint on its design or effects. 5
Dialogue and performances – The cast in this bad boy is note perfect, although again the scattergun humour mixes superb gags, gross outs and bad puns. 5
Plot and execution – The bulk of the plot is slick and well-executed, but its reliance on dead women as a motivator weighs it down. I suppose we should be grateful that no-one mentioned Colossus’s sister. 9
Randomness – As with the original, there’s a lot of weirdness, but it’s kind of the point. Feature, not bug. 4
Waste of potential – Deadpool 2 basically came in with nothing but goodwill to squander. Despite its self-awareness about the death of Vanessa, it does lose a bit of traction early on, but overall makes an impressive fist of the sequel thing. 7

Overall 30%

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