Review of Deadpool 2

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This Marvel superhero film is the second in the series, following Deadpool (2016). It’s directed by David Leitch and stars Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Julian Dennison and Morena Baccarin. It was released into theaters 18 May 2018. This review contains spoilers.

Since the events of the last film, Deadpool (a.k.a. Wade Wilson) has been touring the world, fighting ninjas, yakuza, and whoever else, looking for what meaning might be left in his life. He loses his girlfriend. He tries a stint as an X-man trainee, but it doesn’t work out. However, as a result of this, he ends up becoming the hero of a young boy with dangerous supernatural abilities. He tries to reject this role, but eventually brings together an X-Force team to rescue the boy from the evil, time-traveling cyborg Cable. Can he pull this off? Can he get his girlfriend back? Can he fix Ryan Reynolds’career mistakes?

We have to wait a while to get to the heart of this film, while Wade searches around for the theme. However, once he’s focused on doing the right thing, then we can get on with the plot. The remaining space is taken up with social commentary and jokes that make this pretty much a satire of superhero franchises. The gags go by fast, so pay attention.

The movie did get criticism for the “fridging” of Wade’s girlfriend Vanessa. For anyone who’s not familiar with the term, it refers to threatening, injuring or killing a superhero’s girlfriend to provide motive for the plot. That leaves the woman with a very limited role. Writers and producers agreed they had engaged in this gimmick, and suggested fridging Deadpool in a different movie. Turn about.

This film is all highly creative, of course, and the writing/directing crew doesn’t really care that they pierce the fourth wall and talk directly to the audience. They’re also testing a few boundaries as far as offensiveness goes. I see that Ryan Reynolds is listed on the writing team this time, so I’m wondering how much he has to do with the comedy and commentary. He’s certainly found his niche as the bad guy anti-superhero. Although this film isn’t as impressive as the first one, it carries on the tradition well enough. His X-Force team turns out to be surprisingly attractive, too, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of them.

One other thing that merits mention is the choreography and gymnastics stunts in these films. There was only one instance of the gymnastics here, but same as the last film, it was breathtaking air ballet from a real person. Well, okay—I just like gorgeous stunts.

Four stars.

Review of Deadpool

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I’ve been to the movies again. Let’s hear it for a winner!

Background: This is part of the X-Men franchise. Apparently their budget was low to begin with, and then cut again just before they started work on the film. So, no one was expecting very much from this character? It’s a box office smash. The result is highly creative, suggesting budget cuts might benefit lots of other overworked Hollywood projects. This is also an R-rated adult film, which means they’ve made about $300 million in the first weekend without the teen market.

Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein. Directed by Tim Miller.
Plot: Nothing outstanding here. Wade Wilson is a former special forces veteran who is now working as a mercenary. He meets escort Vanessa Carlysle and the two have hot sex, which blossoms into a serious relationship. They’re on the point of marriage when Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer. He’s approached by an organization that offers an experimental cure. This turns out to be a shady organization that creates dangerous mutants through torture to use as slaves for hire. Things don’t go as planned, leaving Vanessa in jeopardy. I’ll let you go see the film to get the rest.

What makes this such a success? Deadpool is an antihero. This allows the film to make fun of lots of different things, including itself. The opening credits tell us the film stars “God’s Perfect Idiot,” is produced by “Asshats,” directed by “An Overpaid Tool” and written by “The Real Heroes Here.” That pretty much sets the tone for the whole thing. Apparently the budget cuts reduced roles for characters that would have detracted from the stars and greatly cut the action sequences (thank God!).

One thing I’ve not seen mentioned anywhere else: This was a visually stunning film. The two leads are very easy on the eyes, and much of the action sequences are executed in a complex, slow motion ballet. The sword work is outstanding. I went so far as to look up some making-of videos. I thought it would all be done with wires, but I don’t see them. Instead, it looks like they just launched people into the air. Whew.

Of course, there’s not a lot of depth to the script, but you can’t have everything. I’m going to go all out and give this one five stars.

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