That Ryan Reynolds Movie Everyone is Talking About


Release: Friday, May 18, 2018

→Theater

Written by: Rhett Reese; Paul Wernick; Ryan Reynolds

Directed by: David Leitch

In Deadpool Deuce, Wade Wilson’s greatest enemy isn’t some psychotic surgeon, a mutant-hating criminal or even those gosh-darn regenerative powers of his, but rather the writers who are trying to keep things interesting. The highly-anticipated sequel takes all the R-rated, fourth-wall-breaking elements that made its predecessor a smash-hit and amplifies them. The formula certainly still works, even if all those steroids still can’t mask a fundamentally weak story. And besides, nothing is quite like a first encounter.

Digging deeper into its X-Men roots, the gleefully profane and gory sequel continues the murderous crime-thwarting exploits of cancer-riddled Wade Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool, as he assembles the X-Force in order to protect an unstable young mutant named Russell Collins, a.k.a. Firefist (Julian Dennison), from the time-traveling cyborg Cable, played by Josh Brolin in his second role as a Marvel villain in as many months. Considerably less devastation follows in his wake this time, though. Meanwhile, a more important subplot finds this reviewer finally reunited with the Maltesers he was looking for — but would they last him the length of the film?*

Spoiler alert: no, no they would not. (In my defense trailers these days are 5 hours long.)

David Leitch, the director of John Wick — less charitably referred to here as the guy who killed John Wick’s dog — takes over the reigns from Tim Miller. Whereas Miller was tasked with giving a fairly obscure Marvel character the right entrance, Leitch’s film aspires to add — dare I even say it? — emotional depth. Both are unenviable positions to be in and ultimately are equally thankless when you consider how their influence pales in comparison to that of their star actor. I mean, it’s undeniable now — Ryan Reynolds is the most influential super-personality since Robert Downey Jr. became Tony Stark. He is this franchise.

On the evening of their anniversary, Wade and his fiancée Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) start talking about the possibility of having a little family of Deadpools. But when work follows him home that night with tragic results, it leaves Wade utterly distraught . . . and global audiences watching him attempt to end his life in a rather buzz-killing montage of self-destruction. It’s all for naught, though, since he can’t die and his dear friend Colossus (Stefan Kapičić) comes to pick up the pieces of Humpty Dumpty, taking him back to the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters to recuperate and where Colossus hopes to recruit him into the X-Men. The problem is, Deadpool typically operates one way and the X-Men quite another. Add to that the fact that Wade isn’t exactly in a merciful mood at this point in time, and welp. You get the Escape Plan-esque Ice Box scene.

As was made abundantly clear in the first installment, the titular character is a Marvel (anti-)hero forged from immense physical suffering that has rendered him Johnny Knoxville in Bad Grandpa skin. That suffering continues here, except now that the threshold of physical pain has been reached the only thing Wade has left that can be broken is his spirit. To that, Deadpool 2 isn’t a sequel that “goes bigger,” but one that tries to cut deeper. It offers an emotional trial that goes for profound but instead comes across shallow and hard to trust in the face of all that unbridled cynicism. What kind of a father would Wade actually make? Will he ever not be a disappointment to his friend Colossus, who sees more in the mercenary? Does any of this really matter, given what one of the post-credits sequences suggests?

‘Emotional trial’ becomes this catch-all term for what pretty much everyone is going through in this movie. Suffering is true not only of our human-condom-looking hero, but as well the villains and the would-be villains. Firefist, the mutant to which the most significant action accrues, has suffered a terrible childhood at the hands of staff at the Mutant Reeducation Center, a dilapidated facility run by the mutant-hating, Bible-thumping Headmaster Daniel (Eddie Marsan). Marsan is a reliable actor, yet he is only allowed to carve out a very stock villain here, despite his fascinating and brutal backstory of mutant molestation and experimentation and such. Then there is Brolin’s cyborg dude, who has traveled back in time to pull a Minority Report on Firefist, who will in the future perpetrate a terrible act against Cable’s family.

Deadpool 2 fuses these journeys together in a way that, par the genre, defies logic in service of thematic convenience and always finds the most important people in the right location in time for the big showdown — “the big CGI fight,” as it were. The entire film is predictable, and it damn well knows it too — the screenplay even has a part installed where Reynolds points this out to us — but self-deprecation isn’t a great substitute for a truly compelling narrative. At least one with real consequences. This is a second chapter, but the stakes are actually lower than ever now because we have become accustomed to the blasé attitude. The movie may as well open with a title card declaring everything will be okay at the end. It is that shameless — and I love it for that — but holy burned teddy bears is it predictable.

Despite all of that there are some developments that are actually surprising. Like the one stowaway Malteser I found at my crotch when I shifted in my seat for the 80th time late in the film. Surprise candy stashes notwithstanding, new additions like Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Peter (Rob Delaney — famous overnight) help refresh the atmosphere, while stalwart vets like Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) and Dopinder (Karan Soni) enthusiastically await their turn to make another impression. These characters together succeed in forming a spirited, if insane camaraderie. They make a crazy but lovable family, and since a sense of family is usually enough to give emotional depth to a second installment, I can let slide a lot of what this sequel doesn’t do very well, or isn’t interested in doing, and laugh on anyway.

* For anyone out of the loop on this, I refer you back to this monthly round-up post

Recommendation: The Merc with a Mouth returns in fine form, contractually obligated to be even mouthier than he was in the first, delivering rapid-fire insults as casually as he delivers death to those standing in his way. Fans expecting more of the same intensity from Ryan Reynolds as he fends off against new opposition and audience expectation aren’t leaving this one disappointed. Then again, the acting has never been Deadpool’s weakness. He’s got great support from a lively cast but the story could really use some more oomph. 

Rated: the rating that is one tier above PG-13

Running Time: 7,199 secs. 

Quoted: “Dubstep’s for pussies!” 

“You’re so dark. Are you sure you’re not from the DC Universe?”

All content originally published the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.

Photo credits: http://www.impawards.com; http://www.imdb.com

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10 thoughts on “That Ryan Reynolds Movie Everyone is Talking About

  1. Good to see you back mate =] Seems we have almost timed it together, I’m starting to get back into it too. Have you seen Hereditary?? I’m really interested to read your thoughts on that, I bloody loved it.

    As for this one, you make solid points all the way through. Can’t argue with any of them, which is why I scored it lower even though it was a ton of fun. What I liked the most was that the humour was a bit darker at times, especially that line about stretching a dude’s skin to make a drum. I was cackling like an idiot. But no one else was laughing… I guess dark humour ain’t for everyone.

    I thought Brolin was awesome, and I loved the new character Domino. Though contrary to what you wrote, I thought the fourth wall stuff was toned down a bit, or at least used in a more specific and… appropriate way re- what is happening in the scene. But yeah the story was insanely predictable, and like you said, he even announces one of the tropes of the genre. And that’s my main problem. For all its self awareness, the action is just like any other superhero film, albeit just a tad gorier.

    Sorry for the essay, good to read your stuff man. You always get me thinking, give me a different perspective that most other reviews don’t do. I hope you keep it up mate, and I hope I keep it up so I can keep up with your blog!! =P

    Peace brother

    • Yeah I gotta admit my pace has been WAYY off these last few months. I kinda settled into that groove and accepted not weighing in on every. Single. Movie. It gets exhausting. I’m feeling more inspired these days, especially when movies like Hereditary are out there. Trailers for First Man and The Old Man and the Gun are getting me really amped up.

      As for Deadpool, in some ways it is a critic-proof . . . almost genre. The whole thing revolves around its self awareness, which also necessitates an awareness of its own formulaic-ness, but as with all sequels there is that strain of familiarity and DP2 couldn’t quite be fresh enough, in spite of some really jazzy supporting roles. Peter, oh dear sweet Peter. And like you I loved Domino — Luck isn’t a superpower?! that was great — and Josh Huge Chin Brolin fit in nicely as well. So yes I think we are pretty in sync with these films. They’re enjoyable, but its also like, whats the point in criticizing them too harshly, you know?

      Thank you once again for all the kind words. That lights a fire under my ass especially when the writing becomes a tedium.

      • We’re in the same boat totally. My pace was up there a few years ago but has dropped a lot over the last year – I had to get off a medication (suboxone) that was helping stay away from painkillers, and also helping re- bipolar and epilepsy, last June, as it was fucking with my long term memory. Since then I’ve been trying to rebuild my life basically and finish my book. I’ve finally done the latter so I think now I am able to focus on movies, cos I do love to write about them but having that and the novel was a bit too much I think.

        In saying all that I haven’t posted anything in over a week haha! I haven’t watched any movies though so there isn’t anything to write about. I do have a ton of foreign films from late last year/early this year to watch, but they are all on my hard drive. Need to stop being so lazy!

        Though, there is a sci-fi movie out called Upgrade that looks kinda interesting…

        Writing hasn’t become tedious for me, its more of that typical fear of failure, thoughts like ‘I can’t write for shit’ etc. So I don’t even end up opening the document. I certainly can’t write like you can, but I need to remind myself that I at least have a unique style. I like to break rules ;D I also need to read over previous stuff, and also look at old reviews from four years ago and realise how far I have come.

        /end ramble!

  2. I was definitely feeling the same – there was some lazy writing for sure. I guess I forgive Deadpool a little for the no consequences thing because it’s so upfront about not being serious, whereas Infinity War was begging us to treat it like a super serious, tear jerker drama. I didn’t really love this, it was just okay for me, but it definitely feels like it exists comfortably outside the universe.

    • Deadpool in a way is critic-proof. Bless my little heart, here I am trying anyway.

      Transparency has been key in making this franchise more critic-friendly. It knows it is lazy and that’s actually part of what we are paying for. I suppose I just found where my threshold is on these intensely cynical, self-referential/fourth-wall-breaking worlds. Deadpool 2 doesn’t go off-brand. It doubles-down on what made the first immediately identifiable. The fridging technique they employ here isn’t anything we haven’t seen before — it reminded me in fact of how unconvincingly it was done with James Bond circa Quantum of Solace — and much of the other dramatic material just pales in comparison to the personality who has made this all happen.

  3. Your post on the first Deadpool is a classic! Was wondering how you was going to top it lol.

    I highly enjoy this as a comedy. The reason I may go back again and even buy on Blu-Ray one day just to laugh harder. Unimpressed and disappointed with many of the other components, unfortunately. Guess it isn’t THAT much different from the first but I feel like the first had an actual emotional component to it, hell it was a love story first and foremost imo.

    • Sorry I forgot to respond dude!

      Thanks for the praise, I really was happy I did that review the way I did. That was fun. Fittingly, I didn’t have the same kind of enthusiasm writing this one. I enjoyed the sequel, but your argument was one I definitely agree with. There really is nothing distinguishing David Leitch’s unique style as a stunt coordinator-turned-director here. I remember the action being good, but nothing spectacular — OK maybe save for the scenes involving Domino. She was badass.

  4. I was wondering yesterday where you went? I miss reading your reviews. You are a graceful, interesting writer. The best out here, I believe. You must be very busy!
    I’ll wait to rent this.

    • Thanks a mill my friend, it feels good to be back (again). I took a month off at the start of this year but that was planned. Somewhere around the 27th of May I kinda realized I hadn’t posted anything. At that point, i started blaming my laziness on the incessant heat. 🤣

      I really appreciate the support. Readers like you make this all worth it.

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