Thursday , 7 July 2022

Deadpool 2 is 2 die for – review

“You’re living the dream, DP.”

The latest family film has hit theaters, an anxiously awaited crowd-pleasing sequel that combines superheroes, action and comedy. Yes, the red spandex-clad, gun-toting, sword-wielding assassin, aka, the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool, has returned to slash, shoot and smash his way through the bad guys once again. (Oh, you thought we were talking about Incredibles 2?) And this time, maybe even save the soul of a kid along the way. Maybe, probably not. But still, maybe. But, probably not. Anyway, welcome to Deadpool 2

In February, 2016, Marvel took a gambit in resurrecting a previously failed attempt at bringing their dark antihero to life. First appearing on the big screen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009, 20th Century Fox made the incredulous decision then to take away one of the most notable attributes of both Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds, the ability to mercilessly wisecrack at a relentless, foul-mouthed pace by sewing the character’s mouth shut, while adding several abilities he never ever had in the comics. Fans were understandably appalled. That the script was co-written by David Benioff, who later brought Game of Thrones to life (along with his writing/producing partner, D.B. Weiss), is proof that people deserve second chances. And so do beloved comic book characters and the actors destined to play them. It all paid off handsomely for the hideously-scarred Wade Wilson, brought to life once again by Reynolds, as Deadpool had the biggest opening weekend ever for an R-rated movie. Everyone loved the movie, except for one or two d-bags (you know who you are), and a new Marvel hero was born again after almost dying. Which brings us to Deadpool 2.

“Come with me if you want to die.”

When we last left Deadpool, he had defeated the bad guy with the help of a couple of X-Men (Colossus, voiced by Stefan Kapicic, and the awesomely named Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played by Brianna Hildebrand), and his sidekick, fellow wisecracking pal, Weasel (T.J. Miller), and gotten back his girl, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). They all return in Deadpool 2. But, there is another. During the post-credits of the previous film, Mr. Pool informed the audience members who wisely stuck around that someone known as Cable would appear in the next one. Played by Josh Brolin, he has come from the future to take out a mutant kid (Julian Dennison) whose destructive powers will eventually lay waste to a whole lot of people, places and more. To protect the kid, Deadpool forms a new team of superheroes he dubs, X-Force, who possess a variety of superpowers, from the ability to spit acid to invisibility, with one, Domino (Zazie Beetz), wielding the seemingly unassuming power of having really good luck, and another, Peter (Rob Delaney), having no powers whatsoever. Together, can they save the kid from Cable and from himself, thus changing the forces of destiny?

Deadpool 2 is every bit as raunchy, blood-splatteringly gory and, thusly, enormously enjoyable as the first film. Ryan Reynolds was born to play the character, though he could have been created in a lab he is so perfectly fit for the role. In this film, he is akin to the Energizer bunny in that he is burned, blown up, smashed and cut in two, yet, thanks to his miraculous healing powers, keeps on coming. Repeatedly breaking the fourth wall, he’d no doubt break down any other walls that stood in his way. Once again keeping him in line as best he can, Colossus possesses a heart of gold within his frame of steel. And Warhead is as apparently detached and apathetic as ever, though now she has a new bestie, the enchantingly upbeat ninja, Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna). The newly formed superhero group is a lot of fun with their individual powers, or lack thereof, with the X-Force particularly strong in Beetz’ lady luck, Domino, a singular badass. Brolin has become Marvel’s big all-powerful baddie, having just portrayed Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and now the Terminator-like Cable. And as with Thanos, Brolin exudes a depth and pathos underneath all that latex and hardware. Amidst all the carnage, mayhem and destruction, there are a number of super, awesomely cool, blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em cameos sprinkled throughout the film. Really, if you blink at the right moments, you will miss them. So don’t blink, and definitely don’t check your phone – that’s the ultimate no-no in a theater. As with all Marvel films, the post-credits bring further delights, with Deadpool 2 bringing out all the stops like no other. If you leave early, you should be banned from ever attending a movie again.

Directed by David Leitch, who takes over from the previous film’s Tim Miller, who left due to creative differences, and co-written by the real villains, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who also co-wrote the first film, this time aided by Reynolds himself, Deadpool 2 is irreverent and irresistible. It has pretty much everything, like a taco, burrito and quesadilla all rolled into one (a quesaburraco, Bell?), with the jokes, meta-references and body parts flying at a frenetic pace. The team even manages to tackle some important issues, like child abuse, gender equality and racism. But it’s all done with tongue firmly in cheek, even if said cheek has been bashed in or ripped open. Deadpool 2 is as R-rated as you can get, and the enormous success of the two films, along with last year’s Wolverine-led Logan, proves there is a big audience for hard-core comic book films. Will there be a Deadpool 3? With a planned X-Force film in the works, the future of the Merc with a Mouth is unclear at this time. There’s also the Disney/Fox merger which would open up the endless possibilities between the Avengers and X-Men Universes. Where Deadpool might fit into any of that, only time will tell. Of course, the Infinity Gauntlet or Cable’s time-travelling device could always change things…..

— review by Brian de Castro