08
Jun
18

Deadpool 2 AKA Skull Poop L 2

Ryan Reynolds read my review of Logan, and agreed with me 100% that killing Wolverine was a mistake. After all, it’s referenced in the opening scene of Deadpool 2. How could Fox kill their most profitable superhero? What a bunch of morons! Anyway, it’s nice to know that Reynolds has good taste in blogs. Oh, and by the way Ryan, you still owe me $500; you can send it to me via Paypal.
Deadpool 2 is a classic superhero sequel movie. Classic, though, isn’t always a good thing. It excels and stumbles in all the usual ways a superhero sequel does. However, with Deadpool being a unique character, breaking the fourth wall and satirizing the idiocies of the genre, the film manages to keep itself afloat, and entertains throughout.

After a funny opening montage with Deadpool killing badguys to the tune of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, he returns home to witness the murder of his girlfriend. Afterwards, Deadpool loses all sense of direction in his life. He becomes suicidal, but thanks to his healing superpower, he is unable to successfully kill himself. This first half of the movie flails without purpose or direction, much like the main character. He botches a training job with the X-men, and lands himself in a mutant prison. There, he meets Firefist, the film’s central villain, and Cable, the co-star played brilliantly by a snarling Josh Brolin. It’s not until after their first battle that the film finds its footing as Deadpool resolves to do whatever he can to save Firefist before he becomes a dark lord of the Sith… or something.
The second half goes forward with a familiar “save my friend” plot, but it is executed with near perfection. Deadpool decides to form a team of superheroes to rescue Firefist. He interviews potential team members in a scene that hilariously spoofs all the other superhero team-up movies. Look, I’ve just about had it with team-up films from Justice League to the Avengers to the Fantastic Four. They all suck. Deadpool makes fun of them by recruiting anyone who interviews regardless of whether or not their superpowers are any good, or if they superpowers at all. The super-team angle is skewered further when, moments into their first outing, the entire teams, sans Deadpool and Domino, are instantly killed. This would never happen to the Justice League because they are all main characters and blah blah blah. By the way, is it sexist for me to mention that Domino is incredibly hot? Zazie Beetz, who plays her, is a great actress, and a welcome addition to the franchise… and she’s hot.
The film culimates in mutant superpower showdown that has too much CGI. At least they managed to keep things under control enough that there are no exploding buildings or nuclear warheads or any of that stuff. What makes the Deadpool films work is that they are low stakes. They fate of the universe is not at stake here. In the first movie, Deadpool was just trying to get revenge against Francis and save his girlfriend. In the second movie, Deadpool is trying to prevent the death of a kid. The problem with superhero movies is they have to keep upping the ante to keep the audience interested. But once the entire universe is on the line, where else is there to go? Everything past that will be a letdown. Besides, when you’ve seen too much of that, the audience becomes desensitized to it, and it becomes lackluster. That’s why the low-stakes plots of Deadpool work so well, because they keep the story small and engaging instead of focusing on bigger and bigger spectacles.
The action is just as good here as it was the first time around. The comedy is, too. Riffing off a popular joke from the first movie, the highlight of this film is Deadpool’s baby legs. The fourth wall-breaking humor nearly all works. But, with the exception of the baby legs, the callback jokes don’t really work. Jokes from the first film don’t need to come back again (e.g. his face look like an avocado that… joke). The “everything at the kitchen sink” nature of the humor may be grating to some viewers, but overall that’s what Deadpool is all about, and it works more often than not.
Strangely, though, there is a certain something about this movie that feels off. It is indescribable. The first time around, they had nothing to lose, there were no expectations from the studio or the audience, so they went all out. This time, though, they were following-up a massive critical and commercial success. So, they had something to lose. The sequel is missing that scrappy, can-do anything attitude. At times it feels like they are rehashing stuff that worked before (like many sequels). And at times it feels like they are holding back better ideas that must have been tossed around the writer’s room. At times, you get the sense that the studio was meddling, because this time around they had expectations of large profits, so they might have cut good jokes, or stifled some of the filmmaker’s creativity. It’s hard to know for sure, though. Like I said, it’s impossible to describe, but you just feel it while watching.
Overall, though, Deadpool 2 was a hell of a lot of fun. It was a worthy sequel to the original. It has all the right amounts of action and comedy to make this a fun film. And it expertly skewers all the bullshit we see with the other superhero films. It is well worth the price of admission/rental/whatever, and is highly recommended.
Verdict: Good
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