Deadpool 2

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Geoff Harris

Wade Wilson, the merc with a mouth, is back for another round of meta-mayhem and I must confess that I liked this movie. It’s not Shakespeare, nor do I think it will win any Academy Awards, but it was a helluva fun ride nonetheless. It’s a wall-to-wall bang-a-thon of excessive violence, crude sexual references, and basically every inch an R-rated film. I couldn’t help but mist up a bit thinking back to how much it reminded me of the macho man flicks of the 80’s and 90’s.  This movie would have fit right in. Normally I’d be ranting about “heroes vs. villains” by now. Give me some room here, Frosty the Snowflake. I’ll get there.

The plot is pretty straight forward: Deadpool loses someone very close to him. This leads him to an encounter with The X-Men. He’s given a chance at joining the team, as a trainee, which quickly goes sideways and he ends up in a super prison with the young mutant he and The X-Men went to save. Enter Cable, a very powerful cyborg from “the future” who seems dead set on killing Firefist (a.k.a. Russell, a.k.a. the previously mentioned young mutant) and pretty much anyone who tries to stop him.  Deadpool is set free and Russell is left behind. Cable regroups and prepares to make another attempt. Deadpool assembles his own “team”, named X-Force, whose sole purpose is to free the young mutant while being transferred to a different prison. Things go very very sideways and Russell is set free. This is where we learn why Cable is here. (It’s pretty obvious if you’ve been following the story up to then.) While in prison, Russell makes friends with one of my favorite baddies, Juggernaut. He and Russell go on a rampage that ends with a fight so epic my inner child went into forced puberty. Needless to say, I am one very happy comic book nerd.

Tis time to chew some crow… I have made comments in other places wherein I bash Deadpool and have considered him more villain than hero. I hate the term “Anti-Hero.” If you’re not a hero then you’re a villain. Too black and white for ya’? It’s my necrosis. Deal with it. I have said that, to me, a hero is one who commits a noble act. Without going on and on about virtue and vice and generally getting schooled by those way smarter than I, let’s just go with what Colossus told Deadpool in the first movie: It only takes four or five moments to make someone a hero. A hero steps up and corrects an error in moral judgement. Russell faces such a choice and Mr. Pool goes all out to make sure the kid doesn’t step too far over the line. This wasn’t just a bullet ballet of blood and mayhem but also a character driven story about Wade Wilson learning something about himself through the eyes of those around him. I know….actual depth from a two dimensional killbot knock off? Hey, the times they are a-changin’. Deadpool is still a wise-ass shit-talking loon but he also has a heart too. <Gasp> Say it ain’t so?!?!

Chock full of comic book and pop culture references, Deadpool 2 is a thrill ride that I would be very eager to own in my collection. It could easily become a “Sunday Afternooner.” It’s a good balance between farce and drama without cheapening either side. I really sympathized for the guy and wanted to see him succeed. He became a hero, if only for a moment. I want more.

 

Drew's Hi-Res headshot
Drew Russom

“Donde Esta La Biblioteca”

Deadpool 2 is amazing; you should all go watch it as soon as possible. That is the conclusion of the review.

Alright, let us take it back to the beginning. When I watched Wolverine: Origins in 2009, it was my first introduction to the “merc with a mouth”, Wade Wilson. Later in that film was my first meeting with Deadpool, and I found out later how much of a complete screw up of a depiction 20th Century Fox made of this unique character. Enter stage left, the first Deadpool film in 2016, an R rated comic based film that never shied away from the gore or the crude, self-referential humor that is key to the character of the regenerating degenerate.

With the massive success of the first film, a sequel was expected, and here we are in 2018 with Deadpool 2. If you haven’t heard yet, it is amazing, and you all should go watch it as soon as possible, and that should conclude this review.

Okay, I know I have a word count that I have to hit, so I guess I should keep going with this review. I hope your happy, CineMasoCast. The sequel doesn’t rest on the success of the first movie but adds upon it with new characters, and even manages to make me somewhat emotional for the character.

I could talk about all of the jokes, satire, digs at the DC Cinematic Universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the comics of both brands, as well as the film that Deadpool occupies, but the movie never ceased to amaze me with how hard it hit my soft spot. Not that soft spot…the heart, genius. Family was a reoccurring theme within the film, and unlike the vocabulary of the author of this article, it is not a cheap facade meant to distract audiences, but enhance the humor. How is that for writing, Wayne? Ebert is rolling in his grave over films like this, but he did give a good review for “Beavis and Butthead Do America”, so go figure on that, but I digress to my original thought.

Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead make a welcome return to the sequel, and play just an integral role as they did in the first film. Yeah, I don’t think I could finish that with a straight face if I was looking at you in the eyes. They are barely in the film and only pop up here and there, and don’t actually help until the very end. Colossus is still the big, chrome domed, boy scout while Negasonic is still a pure pain to Wade. The introduction of Cable, played by Thano-, Josh Brolin, with his ultra serious tone and manner contrast with Wade’s constant humor.

Domino finally has made her introduction in a Deadpool film, while not her first outing in cinema, definitely the better version is in this film versus Kiera Knightleys’ take on her. Never mind…on Wikipedia, the 2005 film “Domino” has nothing to do with Domino from the comics. You’d think a movie reviewer would know what he is talking about before spouting his opinion to the technologically capable masses who know of things called Wikipedia, IMDB, or Google. Listen…I may review films and series, but it doesn’t mean I have seen every single film including the one that you think “OMG how have you not seen, fill in the blank, film!” Anyway, back to Deadpool 2.

Actually, Wayne, I really do not think I can make the 1,200 word count, so I will just conclude this review in this paragraph. Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin reprise their roles perfectly in the sequel. The opening credit sequence with James Bond style graphics with Celine Dion playing had me laughing hysterically until my sides hurt. The after credit sequences were absolute perfection, righting some wrongs that needed to be made for the sake of the franchise. So, I finally say that Deadpool 2 is amazing, you all should go watch it as soon as possible; this concludes the review.

 

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The Phantom of the Cineplex

It is not sufficient to just NOT attend a movie subject to a general boycott.  In order to really make one’s presence missed in absence, it is necessary to alternatively be present (the so-called “buycott”) in other venues for sake of contrast.  So I will do my little part to help make “Deadpool 2” outperform “Solo: Whatever”.  I have been reduced to this sort of bitter pettiness.
I went into the sequel to the 2016 original “Deadpool” expecting to see a continuation in the same vein, given the short turnaround from the first production to the following.  But I was somewhat surprised at the unevenness of the story’s pacing after an unnecessary time-jump from the conclusion of the previous installment.  The script seems to have endured some rewriting, probably with different writers with divergent ambitions for the movie.  The first half of the movie was tonally incoherent, inducing a humorless fugue state in which otherwise funny material was often rendered unfunny while simultaneously robbing the tragic drama of any heartfelt emotion.  Worse, in places the sequel tread dangerously close to working in the formula of the original film. Halfway into the second act, I was prepared to subtitle my review “How Ryan Reynolds learned to stop worrying about Nathan Fillion and love being cheap and derivative”.

But the movie turned around completely in the last half, becoming something entirely new while remaining consistent with the theme and mood of the original.  The humor resonated and the action thrilled.  The special effects and fight choreography improved in magnitude as the film played on.  The Colossus CGI overlay/actor elimination is much improved over the original and even Josh Brolin’s disproportionately sized head is greatly mitigated.  By the final act, the film had reversed my impression and was really entertaining me.  Even though, unfortunately, anyone could see exactly how the story would end from an hour away…I was, nevertheless, enthralled and found myself easily able to ignore the utter predictability of the climax. When the credits finally rolled off the screen and the lights came on, I was able to leave the theater fully satisfied that I had enjoyed the showing.

These films, however, are not so much concerned with the superficiality of plot and story narrative as they are with the fan-servicing metacommentary.  If the first Deadpool movie was really about Ryan Reynolds’ insecurity about being compared, unfavorably, to Nathan Fillion (it was), then Deadpool 2 is truly about Reynolds’ acceptance of his past career missteps and comic book movie misadventures and his willingness to move past them — by thoroughly murdering them.  No longer merely apologetic about “Origins Deadpool” and Green Lantern, RR redeems himself by resolving them with finality.  Selfish prick leaves Brolin on the hook for Jonah Hex, though.

The new characters are well developed and their respective actors do a fine job bringing them to life.  Russell (Firefist) is a fun, relatable, and easily understood troubled youth, even if his powers are generic and ill-defined.  Cable, while faithfully depicted as a one-dimensional comic book character, is portrayed with the drive and focus which makes shallowness palatable.  Contrary to her print inspiration, however, Reverse-Domino lives up to that name that I just gave her by inflicting bad luck on everyone else around her, despite her claims (no, really, she causes many bystanders to die in gruesome Rube Goldbergesque sequences).

Actually, now that I think on it, Not-My-Domino kills, or causes to be killed, more innocent people than anyone except, perhaps, Deadpool himself.  Truly, it is difficult to determine who the real villain of this show was; it was not Cable; it was not the guy Cable came back to kill; it was not even the mobster who throws Wilson’s life into a downward spiral.  Nope, it was the staff and administration of an orphanage — they all deserved to die, horribly, for the unforgivable modern sin of bigotry.

This is probably the most infuriating aspect (for me) of this movie; the moral ambiguity.  The whole show plays footsie with the social justice agenda, openly mocking it in light of the “comicsgate” controversy which erupted during the film’s production last year, while simultaneously peddling every ridiculous trope of the movement. Deadpool strikes at the appropriation of the word “Black” in Black Widow’s moniker but then calls his cabby “Brown Panther”.  He mockingly feigns surprise at Negasonic Forever-A-Teenage Warhead’s inevitable lesbianism, but then shrinks away from the suggested accusation.  He chides Colossus about the opulence of the Xavier mansion while destroying classical Western sculpture and denouncing the “old white men” on the walls, but one of the portraits is actually of Karl Marx.  He continually thwarts Cable’s attempts to stop a future catastrophe by killing a young murderer-to-be, but a deleted scene would have had hypocrite Deadpool kill a baby Hitler.

This movie was so politically bipolar that it mocked the diversity of its characters while shoving the diversity of its casting down our throats.  The amount of feature-swapping needed to achieve maximal appeasement is laughable; Firefist was depicted as quite physically fit in the comics, but was altered and cast to appeal to the body-positivity crowd; Rob Liefeld originally drew Domino as chalk white with a black eyespot, but NegaDomino (calm down, this is a passing reference to Disney intramural Negaduck, the mirrorverse opposite to Darkwing Duck, and besides, “Negasonic” blahblahblah broke the Negacherry) is cast black and given a white patch; Liefeld also originally depicted Cable as broad-shouldered with a comparatively small head, but Josh Brolin was cast to appeal to…hydrocephalics..or Christoph Waltz, I guess.

On the subject of casting, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the many surprising cameo appearances featured in this film: there are many surprising cameo appearances featured in this film.  There.  Well, they would not be very surprising if I told you who they were.

As with the first film, the opening credits contain a lot of humorous material and have to be watched carefully to catch even half the jokes.  The cards for the ending credits are nearly as funny and both will be subject to much scrutiny upon Blu-Ray release, I am sure.  There are no true end credit stingers, but a series of mid-credit scenes contains a good portion of the most interesting and funny material.  The lyrics of the Juggernaut song finale, with some experimentation, can be made to overlay with the instrumental themes of “Avengers:  Infinity War” nicely, supplying vocals for the orchestral piece.  See, Uncle Walt, Fox and Marvel Studios can play nice together (the words are dirty).

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