Insanely violent… insanely funny.
It’s a pretty good bet that the cinema-going public will be pretty evenly divided between those that think films like “Deadpool“, “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” are enormous fun and those that think they are crass, puerile and appealing to all the basest instincts of human beings. I happen to fall into the first category, and “Deadpool 2” lives up to – and in some cases surpasses – the quality of the first film.
It’s a “family film” (LoL). Ryan Reynolds is back again as the eponymous superhero (aka Wade Wilson) and we start the film with him in a state of romantic bliss with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). But things quickly go south, and what follows is a convoluted plot involving a local gangster, an Arnie-type character from the future (Josh Brolin) and an potentially dark X-powered child Firefist (Julian Dennison, “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”). Deadpool has to use all his powers to restore order to the planet. Given that his “power” is the ability to rejuvenate himself after surviving the most catastrophic injuries, you can predict that things will get messy!
Yes guys, it’s violent… very, very violent! But it’s done in such a “Tom and Jerry” style that it always comes out as a “Bluuugggghhhhaaaaa!” (* that’s supposed to be the noise of a huge guffaw) rather than an “Ugggh” (retch).
A particular high point for me was the assembly of the ‘X-Men-Lite’ team called “X-force”. The ‘interviews’ for this are hilarious, but the first sortie of the team to intercept a convoy moving prisoners** is even better. It’s just snort-your-Ben-and-Jerry’s-out-of-the-nose funny. This scene also includes precisely 1.8 seconds of a splendid cameo in the part of “Vanisher”!
(** #why? Film critic breaks 4th wall to camera and says “Weak plotting”!)
There are many scenes, supported by numerous snide one-liners, that reference movie classics. A subliminal cameo(s) shot in the X-Men house is just brilliant. Equally brilliant but much more disturbing is a variant on that most famous scene from “Basic Instinct”…. this falls into the “can’t unsee” category of movie clips!
But the film rather over-eggs the comic asides, with a scattergun approach to the comedy that works 70% of the time but not for the other 30%. The best ones are Deadpool’s snide aside to camera. Where the script over-reaches is where the joke gets spread across the cast: one ensemble scene in particular in the flat of blind Al (Leslie Uggams) is: a) delivered so fast as to be practically unintelligible and b) falls as flat as a pancake as a result.
Josh Brolin must have signed a three-film baddie deal, since here he pops up again just weeks after his brilliant Thanos-turn in “Avengers: Infinity War“. And as for that performance, here he is superbly nuanced, with scenes that are truly touching (and with less CGI) .
Across the superhero ensemble, Zazie Beetz stands out as “Domino”. She really should be called “Lucky” though (and yes Andrea ‘Van Helsing’ Ware… I know you have the trademark on that character name! 🙂 ). Domino is my favourite character in the film… just so cool and stylish.
And credit where credit’s due, Ryan Reynolds (“Life“, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard“) is again outstanding as Deadpool. Given he is such a dish (not speaking personally here you understand) he is very brave to portray his character in such an self-deprecating and downbeat way. The final scene in the film (following some brilliant “tidying up the timeline” scenes) is so gloriously self-mocking that I LoLed myself all the way home. Outstanding.
As Marvel films go, it’s another corking comedy. But so close to the knuckle in places, I suspect this is not a character that will feature in the Infinity War sequel!
Fad Rating: FFFF.