And… it’s another Marvel Movie Review (albeit the previous one was from a different studio). What can we say, they hit cinemas about as often as westerns used to in the olden times, and when we add various TV series…
But it’s ok, ’cause it’s freakin DEADPOOL!
Deadpool 2, to be precise.
We attended a mini-marathon that featured both, and laughed pretty hard from the opening credits of Deadpool till the end of the last post-credits scene of Deadpool 2.
Piotrek: I’ll say again – Deadpool franchise is, for me, another proof superhero genre is mature enough to cover all the bases. We have your solid blockbusters, in the likes of Infinity War, light-hearted family comedies like Guardians, politically significant movies like Black Panther, really meaningful and moving Logan, and both Deadpools fill in the niche for smart, irreverent, fourth-wall breaking parodies. When we add TV, we have one of the best depictions of modern veterans in Punisher, very innovative Legion, and I’d even argue there are echoes of The Wire in Luke Cage.
Ola: …and Shaft 🙂
Piotrek: I have a feeling you really like Shaft. Maybe I should give it a second chance, I remember not being awed, but it was… about 20 years ago?
Ola: It’s not about this movie’s internal values as a piece of filmmaking – it’s about Shaft’s undeniable impact as a work of culture 😛 Majority of the new movies concerning African American, especially in the drama/thriller genre, consciously or subconsciously relate themselves to Shaft, because it was the first of such movies.
Piotrek: New Deadpool though… fun for everybody but the snobbiest critics! We’re so well entrenched the domination might last a while, and there are no significant threats on the horizon – although, to be honest, dinosaurs were certain of that too, right until the meteor hit.
Ola: It does seem the studios are exploiting this niche for all its worth. Your western analogy is very apt – movies based on comic books are similarly uniform in style and content, and as with westerns you can find magnificent movies right next to the epitomes of mediocrity. There was another movie genre in olden days that followed the same path of success and forgetfulness – movies based on the history and mythology of Roman Empire 😀 And there are some I wish I could unsee – like Jason and the Argonauts from 1963…
Piotrek: With Deadpool 2, even the marketing campaign was amazing. Trailers were superb, and promo videos included music video with Celine Dion, a Canada-appreciation clip, and Deadpool’s appearance in The Late Show with Stephen Colbert! So. Much. Win.
Ola: And don’t forget the lovely Bob Ross impersonation! That one made me laugh really hard.
Ola: Yeah, they know how to sell their product :). And I appreciate that they don’t pretend to be anything they aren’t: Deadpool 2 is a great entertainment and that’s all there is to it – provided you’re OK with profanities, gore and dirty jokes. A fair warning: you’ve got to prepare mentally for this movie and take yourself back to your teen years, with all it entails 🙂
Piotrek: I’m ready 😉 And now to the movie itself… do we want to get spoilery? Maybe not, it’s still fresh, I suggest leaving spoilers for the final part.
Ola: All right. After the unexpected and quite profitable success of Deadpool, a curveball of a movie loved by the audience and critics alike, 20th Century Fox gave the creative team a free hand in making the sequel. They wanted Cable? Here he is, fresh from his Thanos success. They wanted more mutants? There we go, from Juggernaut (and actually I believe the CGI on this character could have been done much better) to such well-known X-Force members as Domino or Shatterstar.
Piotrek: It’s not about the quality of CGI, it’s about the general awesomeness of the characters 😉 I actually really liked this Juggernaut.
Ola: There was something wrong with his face. His lips were the size of human head while his feet were the regular size. In the comics he’s supposed to be a very big guy, but under that pot of a helmet he should have a human head, not some monstrosity.
Piotrek: They had 1/3 of the budget of Infinity War (hmm, considering the fact they did not have that many superstars to pay… it’s actually quite a lot) and some roughness is part of the appeal.
Ola: Well, sure. But the rest of CGI looked quite decent (maybe except tearing a body in half, but that’s actually a good thing this particular scene didn’t look realistic… ;))
Piotrek: New mutants who, hopefully, won’t be limited to the Deadpool sub-franchise, cameos from the old ones, with the X-Men mansion finally having more than two inhabitants…
Ola: One point of contention we should mention is the diversity issue. While I have no qualms whatsoever about changing Domino’s background and I’m actually quite happy to see the comic book characters becoming more diversified on the big screen (big shout out to Idris Elba’s Heimdall!), I cannot help but sense a bit of hypocrisy, or cynicism, in this movie, where all the main characters (villains too!) remain uniformly male and white, and the racist jokes go hand in hand with an elaborate plan to meet the quota: a blind African American woman, check. An overweight Kiwi teenager, check. An Asian lesbian girl? Of course. Deadpool himself becomes disabled, for a while, so check too! Julian Dennison as Russel is simply great, and so is Leslie Uggams, reprising her role as Blind Al, but it’s actually the whole point – they are the guys who are great no matter their background. Their presence feels organic, which I cannot say about some of the other characters, whose entire reason of being in this movie was an excuse for the jokes. And yes, of course I’m picking holes in Deadpool 2 for the fun of it 😛 I simply fear that the consequences of #MeToo in the movie industry will go toward painting the grass green instead of dealing with the problem. Or it will swing the pendulum all the way to the other side. But that’s about it when it comes to the holes and grievances 😉
Piotrek: I’ve only read two story arcs worth of Deadpool, so I cannot judge, but isn’t he doing a bit better than average, on this front? Domino and Negasonic Teenage Warhead have great potential…
Ola: I’ve read that they were allowed to change Negasonic’s character in exchange for using Ego in the second Guardians movie. I’m cool with reimaging of her character, but Yukio’s new version (originally a character from Wolverine’s arcs) was in my opinion a slap-dash job and quite unnecessary.
Piotrek: Ok, the movie starts… strong. With a move that would make me angry at any other movie. Killing off Vanessa in a meaningless early fight, when their romance really worked, a rare thing in the genre, and going for a worn-out cliche of revenge… but no, here it works, really giving Wade motivation to get better, and the mid-credits sequence when Deadpool completely changes the outcome of this one and several other events (and prevents the Green Lantern from ever happening 😉 )
Ola: Call me callous, but I’d prefer the ending without Vanessa’s resurrection 😛 By then Deadpool was happy within his totally dysfunctional new family. Although I agree that we’d all be better people without Green Lantern… aaand that the whole credits scene was incredibly funny!
Piotrek: And I’m not really sure if we are to treat it all as canon… oh, yes, we are. Ok… well, why the hell not, isn’t it, after all, better than casually killing off the love interest? The romance works, let one superhero be in a happy relationship.
Ola: Hm. One can still hope… 😛
Piotrek: Deadpool 2 is a very cool movie, a great sequel, and a further proof what Ryan Reynolds is capable of. I wonder what now, though, I don’t think Deadpool 3 should be just more of the same. Something new is needed in an X-Force movie or the next Deadpool, but meanwhile I’d be happy to see Deadpool join guest-star in some of the other X-Men movies. This corner of the MCU is doing great, but I fear Dark Phoenix might break this streak.
Ola: Here we finally agree! 😀
Score: Piotrek: 8/10, Ola 7,5/10