Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Deadpool 2


Right on the heels of a personal tragedy, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) hits rock bottom and decides to end his life, even though he is well-aware that it is never going to happen. Rescued by his X-Men friend Colossus (Stefan Kapičić) from his slumber, he gets to spend time recuperating at the X-Mansion until a new mission comes along, which turns him into an X-Men trainee. Russell (Julian Dennison), a young pyrokinetic mutant, decides to wreak havoc at the orphanage whose staff he claims to be torturing him. After the mission goes awry, the two are arrested and transferred to a high-security mutant prison where they are subsequently attacked by Cable (Josh Brolin), a cybernetic mutant who wants the kid dead for future crimes. Considering the teen as his new raison d'être, Wade resumes his life as Deadpool and recruits a group of gifted individuals to help him with his mission against the time-traveler, collectively branding themselves as the X-Force.

Deadpool's standalone film arrived at a time when superhero flicks have become a Juggernaut in the box-office arena, but along with this success came fatigue. In the end, Deadpool became both a feature and a parody of the genre it belongs to. The genre needed Wade Wilson, and Wade Wilson delivered. The self-awareness proved to be a hit, with everyone declaring the movie as a breath of fresh air. Grossing over $700 million in the international market, the movie became Fox's highest grossing Marvel property to date, topping all of the X-Men flicks that came before it. And then came the big question: How do you top such an act? Two years later we have an answer: You don't.

This will be just one of many reviews you will read which will tell you that, no, Deadpool 2 is not disappointing. For what it's worth, this sequel still packs a lot of punch in the comedy department, with neither Marvel nor DC given a free pass from the Merc-with-a-Mouth's lampooning galore. Hilarious as it may well be, it just feels as though something got lost in transition from Deadpool 1 to Deadpool 2.

Perhaps it is the element of surprise that caught us all unawares two years ago? Perhaps it is the change in direction? You never go wrong with someone like David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde) but the overall style somehow ended up not jiving well with the adrenaline-fueled fight and chase scenes. Or perhaps it is the contrived attempt to find an emotional core?

Russell seems like a great kid, confused and easily swayed alright, but has potential to be saved. The thing is, his relationship with Deadpool does not develop well as far as the plot is concerned. Even though we are willing to bank on suspension of disbelief for old times' sake, it's somehow difficult to believe that Wade will force himself to care for some random kid that he just met.

What made the first film fresh is how everything was thrown out of the window in favor of an all-out roaring rampage of revenge. You don't question his motives because the character is just like that. Maybe that is the reason why for a moment here we begin to doubt our protagonist as much as he starts to doubt himself. Eventually, the kid feels more like a plot device tossed in as an excuse to come up with an ensemble flick.

The addition of Domino (Zazie Beetz) was not met without intrigue, given the character being originally white in the comics but portrayed as African-American here. Forget those criticisms. Beetz steals every fight scene she is in, and that despite the observation that the manifestation of her character's power is not that easily film-friendly, those scenes even ending up among the most memorable audience favorites.

Brolin is sinister as Cable yet gets to crack a joke or two without totally disconnecting from the character's serious demeanor. Fresh from his turn as Thanos in Infinity War, you'd like to think that there will be an overlap of characterization here but it's just not the case. You can even put the two characters side by side in one frame and not notice that they are played by the same actor.

With meta jokes aplenty, you are still bound to enjoy Deadpool 2. The old team of Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), and even Dopinder (Karan Soni) continue to deliver their own brand of humor as expected while a handful of newbies, as already mentioned, manage to carve their own path as worthy additions to the cast.

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