Saturday, September 8, 2018

Movie Reviews: Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2
directed by David Leitch
If you loved the first movie, you'll probably like the sequel. Like the James Bond movies, there is a plot contrivance to ensure that the titular motormouth hero is single and free to mingle again. 

Unlike the hero from the Bond movies Deadpool is not necessarily 100% straight and/or solely interested in leggy, busty, or otherwise attractive women. YMMV on this. At this time in American culture it would actually be edgier and more rebellious if a hero was straight and full of faith instead of being sexually flexible and/or cynical. Deadpool and similar antiheroes have finally reached diminishing returns for me. Some jokes were funny but many of them weren't. Humor is a very flexible personal thing though so your enjoyment of this film may all depend on your mood. If a joke uses racial or sexual humor does it matter to you if it's coming from a good place or bad place as long as the joke is funny? I didn't think that the jokes were based in contempt or hate or anything like that. But I just didn't see them as hilarious. 

I think many jokes were aimed at people who are insecure about themselves. Other jokes were socio-political. My understanding is that the movie character is broadly similar to the comic. Whatever. The crude humor seems turned up from the first film. I just happen to have reached my limit with the constant stream of male anatomy references or homosexual/homoerotic jokes. 

Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) has suffered a tragedy. Depressed and unable to kill himself (he tries but when virtual immediate healing/regeneration is your superpower, it complicates things like suicide) Deadpool winds up at the X-Men mansion, being taken care of by Colossus (Stefan Kapicic).

Is there a gay subtext? You bet your behind there is! Colossus thinks there is good in Deadpool. Colossus wants to recruit Deadpool for the X-Men. Colossus usually overlooks or forgives Deadpool's violent, impulsive and vengeful nature. Deadpool may or may not be interested in joining the X-Men but he'll try anything once.  

Colossus takes Deadpool on an X-Men assignment that goes wrong. Deadpool is arrested and sent to a special mutant prison known as the Icebox. There he becomes an unwilling protector for a plus size teenage mutant boy named Russell (Julian Dennison). Deadpool's unwilling to put himself on the line because that's how he wound up in prison in the first place. Deadpool prefers to work alone; he doesn't want the responsibility of protecting any wide eyed fanboy. Deadpool's also unwilling because having been stripped of his abilities, he's dying of cancer. 

Before Deadpool can die from cancer or from a beatdown from other prisoners eager to make a rep, the prison is attacked by a man from the future, Cable (Josh Brolin), who "knows" that Russell will kill his family and commit other atrocities. Cable intends to eliminate Russell. Deadpool can be vicious but he doesn't kill kids. Deadpool will have to change Cable's mind or fight him. Deadpool must patch things up with Colossus, get help from his "normal" friends, and learn to work with Domino (Zazie Beetz), a friendly superhero whose supernatural luck is as obvious as her blithe dismissal of standard feminine grooming habits.

Deadpool 2 attempts to be as transgressive and ironic as possible in matters of sexuality, gender, and style while also hewing to a more traditional American theme of plucky underdogs coming together to make a "family" of their own. Outside of a few action scenes, which I grudgingly admit were very well done, I wasn't impressed. It felt like the writers, director and lead actor were just trying too hard. The film is well done in terms of its looks, sound and special effects. Needless to say, this is a violent film.
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