Filmgoer’s Flamethrower #21 – Deadpool 2

Posted: June 8, 2018 in Uncategorized

© 2018 G.N. Jacobs

The Merc with a Mouth is back. Hide your sense of propriety…and whatever preconceptions you might have about narrative clichés being bad for your story.

Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) has a good life wiping out bad guys and coming home to Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). Naturally, the latest scumbag attacks Deadpool at home and kills the girlfriend right after having a discussion about having a baby. The film chooses to introduce Cable (Josh Brolin) first as an antagonist and then as a gruff ally along with Domino (Zazie Beetz). The mission is to either kill a mutant name Firefist (Julian Dennison) or show him the way back to the Light Side of the Force.

Yes, everything happening in this movie straight up defines cliché for the next hundred years. Kill the girlfriend. The un-killable hero tries to kill himself. Gilgamesh (Deadpool) bonds with Enkidu (Cable) after a great battle because Cable’s wife and child had also been killed. The hero sacrifices himself to save the child from a time traveler bent on revenge. The presence of a time device fixes everything in the end. As promised by Deadpool’s narration, it’s a family film…with a body count and copious amounts of blood.

I should’ve hated this movie for its naked reliance on and wallowing in cliché, but quite frankly this is the one time where worrying about cliché and trite are absolutely irrelevant. Perhaps the movie moves too quickly to care about where you’ve seen these beats before. Certainly, cool set pieces abound rescuing people from a truck convoy or the useless attempt to HALO jump with a team of mutants comprising the comic book team of X-Force who were obviously picked for a level of expendability even greater than DC’s Suicide Squad. They all die splashed in strawberry jam (spoiler: time device).

The main character drives the movie through its paces with his usual need to break the Fourth Wall and drop in jokes of the generally most gruesome and inappropriate kind. However, even more so than the first installment the references in these monologue asides you’ll find a lot of inside baseball for the comic book world and the Marvel MCU films happening in parallel.

There are jokes referring to Cable as Thanos (both played by Josh Brolin). And lots of Frozen jokes. Deadpool says of Cable, “You’re so dark like maybe you’re from the DC Universe.” And my favorite joke was to refer to Cable’s creator, Rob Liefeld, for his infamous presumed inability to draw his various characters’ feet. Hopefully, any viewers to come will look these things up on Wikipedia before buying tickets.

The action also helps the movie into the realm of enjoyable with high-octane set pieces that lead to completely predictable character moments. Swords swing. Bullets fly. Vehicles blow up. Tuesday in Marvel-land. And I really enjoyed Ms. Beetz as Domino, a mutant with the ability to manipulate luck while wise-cracking with the best of them.

Now for the modest pill lurking under this funny movie. Mister Brolin didn’t quite get the same handle on Cable as he gloriously did for Thanos in the other movie. But, he helped things along as a capable straight man for Mr. Reynolds’ Deadpool and as the ally he didn’t need to be on his best game.

Another minor annoyance was that either the sound mix was slightly off or the crowd with whom I saw the show laughed too hard that I think I missed a few references and jokes. I guess these couple/three moments will be revealed when I buy the disk in a few months.

Usually, I don’t write directly about the mid-credits sequences in Marvel/X-Men films, as that would spoil the fun and surprise. But, there is no way I can avoid how hilarious these sequences were, especially the second big one where Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and her girlfriend, Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna), fix Cable’s time device and sneak it into Deadpool’s grubby mitts. Deadpool uses this device to save Vanessa and…

Shoot the original version of the Deadpool character from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Shoot Ryan Reynolds, himself, for even daring to consider the script for Green Lantern. And also save one of the throwaway characters dead in the HALO jump. I laughed hysterically.

Pretty much for a solid fun time watching goofy characters say filthy jokes and not care about cliché, you can’t go far wrong with Deadpool 2.

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