Thursday, August 9, 2018

Deadpool 2 review

    Ah, Deadpool, the character who totally didn't have anything to do with the creation of Gary Karkofsky a.ka. Merciless: The Supervillain without Mercy. I didn't remotely draw from him, Spiderman, and Harry Dresden to create the 4th wall breaking wise-cracker who is still one of my all time favorite supporting characters. Wait, supporting characters?

    Yes, you see Deadpool is something of an acquired taste for me as I like him but only if he has someone who he can bounce off of. My favorite run of his series remains Cable and Deadpool, which was where the former was ultra-serious and a global messiah (long story) while the latter was just Deadpool. So, the discovery Cable was going to be the villain of this movie made it all the better.

X-Force are...not X-Force.
    Cable (Josh Brolin) is a great character for being an antagonist because he's a heroic character who is willing to break the rules in order to get the job done. It makes him a perfect foil for Deadpool who isn't at all heroic but manages to occasionally do the right thing by accident. He's also someone who has a recognizable backstory (time traveling super-soldier coming back in time to do X) that can be a font of Terminator jokes.

    The premise of Deadpool 2 irritates me a little, though. Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) are going to have a baby when she's mercilessly gunned down. This isn't a spoiler since it happens in the first five minutes of the movie. This irritated a lot of fans because of the Stuffed in a Fridge trope that is based on the idea the most useful thing you can do with a love interest is kill them off to induce manpain.

    Honestly, the romance element of the original Deadpool was criticized a lot but I think those people missed that Wade needs something to ground him. As such, this is the absolute laziest and stupidest plot they could have chosen to go with. Weirdly, despite this being a common and well-mocked trope in comics, it is played utterly straight in the game. I also liked Morena Baccarin so watching her character killed off was problematic.

Cable is great in this movie.
    Deadpool spends the first half of the movie trying to figure out what to do after he bungles his suicide involving rocket fuel and explosives. He tries joining the X-men, gets himself sent to prison to be depowered with a Genoshan-style restraining collar, and eventually finds himself befriending Rusty Collins. Rusty is a troubled young man who was implied to be molested by his mutant home manager but was definitely abused. Cable arrives then with plans to kill Rusty and the rest of the story is Deadpool's misguided attempts to save the boy from being retroactively killed.

    This movie is really entertaining but it does lean a little heavily into making fun of X-men mythology, which is a dangerous thing to do when fans are so fanatical about it. For example, the team of X-Force soldiers Deadpool assembles is a bunch of cannon fodder rather than actual heroes. This includes cult-favorite Shatterstar and action star Terry Crews as Bedlam. I also was annoyed that Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio, two characters I really liked, had almost no screentime.

I absolutely loved Yukio and Negasonic Teenage Warhead.
    Despite these flaws, I really enjoyed the film. It has a lot of hilarious jokes and I laughed out loud several times, especially when Wade makes a fanboy joke like referencing the Goonies or My Little Pony. Josh Brolin does an excellent job as Cable and manages to be a great straight man to Deadpool. Zazie Beetz does an amazing job as Domino despite her not having much of a role other than looking awesome. Colossus also remains a character that needs his own movie, even if he is treated as a complete joke. Plus, we finally get a Juggernaut worth fighting even if the way he's dispatched is ridiculous.

    The movie is basically one long series of Marvel comics trivia and movie jokes interspersed with awesome fight scenes. Really, I didn't think they needed to up the stakes as much as they did because the film benefits from being lower key than the other X-men films. Still, I'm not going to complain about what we got because I like the plot is "just" about the fate of one child that Cable wants to murder and Deadpool wants to save. That's a more relatable and interesting level than Apocalypse trying to murder everyone.

    In conclusion, I really enjoyed Deadpool 2 but not as much as the first movie. I felt they jammed too much X-men Easter Eggs and relied on too much on a tired overused plot device. I'll definitely watch Deadpool 3 but I think they should dial down the cameos and get back to the relationships we care about. In other words, Deadpool already has a great supporting cast, use them instead of creating new ones.   


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