Deadpool 2: Family is Not an F Word

Family may not be an F word, but there are plenty of other F words is Deadpool 2. It’s ironic that a movie so full of brutal violence, profane language, and raunchy humor can feel so refreshing, but such is the case with Deadpool 2, which, like its 2016 predecessor, does not give a damn about being politically correct. This may be a superhero movie based on a popular Marvel comics character, but this is not a movie to take the kids to.

Images: 20th Century Fox

Deadpool 2 presents the continued misadventures of Wade Wilson, the “Merc with a Mouth,” the self-aware, superpowered killing machine with an endless sarcastic streak and terminal cancer, although his advanced healing powers keep his cancer at bay and also make him basically unkillable.

Not that that prevents anyone from trying. Through the course of the movie, Wade is shot, stabbed, sliced, punched, thrown through walls and windows, blown up, eviscerated, and even literally ripped in half. He survives it all and always has a quip to spare.

The plot this time around doesn’t have the immediacy of the original film, but it still provides plenty of fuel for often hilarious hijinks. The antagonist is Cable, a time-traveling cyborg assassin from the future who comes back in time to kill a teenage boy named Russell, in order to prevent him from doing some bad stuff in the future. Wade takes it upon himself to protect Russell, and mayhem ensues. If that synopsis sounds familiar then you’ve probably seen Terminator 2. It’s exactly the same thing.

Deadpool 2 may not be quite as fresh as its predecessor, but its still quite a bit of fun. Cable is played by Josh Brolin, who you may remember played the infamous Thanos in Avengers Infinity War, which came out less than a month ago. He’s been busy, and he’s quite good in Deadpool 2 as well, although Cable doesn’t get as much character development as Thanos.

Wade of course calls Cable Thanos at one point, leading to confused looks from the other characters. Part of what makes Deadpool so popular is his self-awareness, which means that he knows he’s a character in a movie or comic book or what have you, and will frequently break the fourth wall and directly address the audience. The movie is very funny, and judging from the raucous laughter in the theater where I saw it last week, I’m not the only one who thinks so.

It is impossible to talk about Deadpool without talking about Ryan Reynolds, who was born to play Wade Wilson. He’s so perfect in the role that not only is it impossible to imagine anyone else playing the character, it almost seems like Deadpool and Reynolds are the same person sometimes. Seriously, it’s uncanny. If you haven’t seen it, you should watch Reynolds’ recent in-character appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It’s hilarious and takes the movie’s meta self-awareness to a whole new level. It’s been a joy to see the trailers and commercials for the movie, they’re all very funny and creative. It must be a dream job to think of ways to advertise this movie, since you’d be able to let your imagination run wild.

Reynolds also has a screenwriting credit, along with returning writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. There are several lines of dialogue that are different in the movie and in the trailers, which makes me think that there were so many good lines that they couldn’t cram them all in the movie, so they put the best ones in the movie and some of the leftovers in the trailers. The deleted scenes on the Blu-Ray should be hilarious.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Deadpool costume Reynolds wears in both movies is 100% perfect. Not only is it completely faithful to the character’s comic book appearance, it just looks fantastic on screen. It has a certain grimy quality to it, it’s not always bright and shiny. It has a lived-in feel, which subtly helps sell all the gruesome punishment that Wade endures. Wolverine’s classic yellow-and-blue costume may look good on a comics page, but there’s a reason Hugh Jackman never wore it in any of the more than half-dozen movies in which he played Wolverine. It wouldn’t look good on the big screen, whereas Deadpool’s red-and-black costume translates perfectly to cinema.

The movie was directed by David Leitch, who made Atomic Blonde and co-directed the first John Wick. He’s a veteran stunt coordinator who knows how to deliver kinetic, bone-crunching action. The action sequences in Deadpool 2 are white-knuckled and exciting, particularly a show-stopping truck chase that is one of the best vehicular action sequences I’ve seen since Mad Max: Fury Road. He’s also good at mixing the action with the humor, particularly in the lead-up to the big truck chase, where most of Deadpool’s newly-recruited team meets a variety of grisly ends, in one of the movie’s best and most gruesome gags.

As enjoyable as the movie is, it is of course not perfect. It’s a bit of a mess tonally, and can’t always seem to decide whether it wants to be serious or goofy, at times trying for both and ending up with neither. The plot is a bit formulaic and lacks the immediacy of the first film’s single-minded quest for revenge (MUST. KILL. FRANCIS.). There are more characters this time around, which makes the film a bit unwieldy, although many of the new characters are promptly offed in various creative and grisly ways.

Post-credits scenes in Marvel movies are nothing new, but Deadpool 2 has probably the best post-credits scene in any movie ever. It’s too good to spoil, so let’s just say that Wade takes it upon himself to correct some past mistakes, with hysterical results.

The Deadpool movies are violent and vulgar and most likely not to every viewer’s taste, but I’d be lying if I said the vulgarity wasn’t part of the appeal. If 20th Century Fox keeps making R-rated superhero movies this wildly entertaining, I’ll happily keep watching them.

Advertisements

2016: The Year in Villainy

So much quality villainy this year! Let’s get to it.

Ajax and Angel Dust in Deadpool

deadpool-movie-2016-deadpool-vs-ajax

Revenge is always a strong motivator, and few movie characters were as single-minded in their pursuit of it this year as Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool. Ajax (whose real name is Francis, what a dweeb) and Angel Dust both possess superhuman strength and Ajax feels no pain, which makes both villains quite the handful. They’re a potent villain/villainess duo who prove that being evil isn’t just for men anymore. Angel Dust deserves the Henchwoman of the Year award and I’m not just saying that because Gina Carano is a total badass and could easily kick my butt. Not saying that I wouldn’t be okay with that, mind you. Seriously Gina, call me.

deadpool-movie-2016-angel-dust-gina-carano

Akan in Hardcore Henry

hardcore-henry-2016-akan

You know how I said a second ago that few movie characters were as single-minded in their pursuit of revenge as Deadpool? Well, Henry the cyborg is right up there with him. Vengeance is literally the only thing that this mute tornado of death and destruction desires, and he will stop at nothing in his ultraviolent quest to reach the despicable Akan. Akan is a telepathic douchebag in charge of an army of henchmen, and in addition to his air of jackassery he has also captured Henry’s wife, and is awfully smug about it. Jeez, this guy is such a tool. Or should I say was such a tool, since he’s on the receiving end of one of the most hilariously brutal and over-the-top villain deaths of the year. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, though. Jerk.

Lex Luthor and Doomsday in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zemo in Captain America: Civil War

 jesse-eisenberg-lex-luthor-2016captain-america-civil-war-zemo-2016

The villain is usually the character the heroes spend the most time fighting, but in the case of the year’s two biggest superhero team-ups, that’s not quite the case. In both films, the heroes spend the majority of their time fighting each other because there’s a villainous figure secretly manipulating them. I wasn’t a huge fan of Jesse Eisenberg’s bizarre portrayal of Lex Luthor, but I did like Zemo, who was a more understandable character. Any time a villain can get the heroes to do the work for him, that counts as a win in the Big Book O’ Villainy, and for that, Zemo and Lex deserve some evil kudos.

batman-v-superman-doomsday

I was not overly fond of Doomsday, an ugly CGI beast who menaces Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. But I can give him credit for being strong enough to require three heroes to defeat him, and his resilience earns him (it?) a mention on this list. And when you’re tough enough to (spoiler alert) KILL THE MAN OF STEEL, then you kind of have to be a badass.

Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse

apocalypse-oscar-isaac-2016

Apocalypse is an ancient mutant, thousands of years old, who awakens in Cairo, Egypt in the 1980s and is not pleased with the way the world has developed during his several-thousand-years-long slumber. He promptly recruits some followers (because Apocalypse has to have his Horsemen, naturally), gaining their loyalty by enhancing their mutant powers and giving them a sense of belonging, while the rest of the world has cast them out. He then initiates a diabolical plot to destroy modern society and reshape the world the way he wants it to be. The previous X-film, Days of Future Past, was less black and white with its villains, but suffice to say the X-folks have their work cut out for them with Apocalypse.

The Alien Queen in Independence Day: Resurgence

independence-day-resurgence-2016-alien-queen

Resurgence was a mediocre film, but the Alien Queen was cool. Basically a roided-up version of the Independence Day aliens we’ve seen before, but massive and equipped with her own personal shield generator, which throws the film’s heroes for a loop. It takes a lot to bring her down, and she and her legions of alien henchmen (henchaliens?) cause untold mass destruction and millions of human casualties before she is defeated. The movie’s blatant sequel-bait ending strongly implies there are more of her kind in the universe, so we might be seeing more like her before too long, assuming the less-than-stellar reception Resurgence received didn’t put the kibosh on future installments.

Enchantress and the Joker in Suicide Squad

enchantress-suicide-squad-2016

Ironically, the movie that was all about the villains is probably the hardest movie to write about when it comes to said villains. The primary antagonist of the film’s ragtag bunch of miscreants was the Enchantress, basically an evil spirit possessing the body of a young doctor. She caused all kinds of trouble, although she was still pretty forgettable. Slightly more memorable was Jared Leto’s punk-rock Joker, who suffered from a similar lack of characterization but benefits from the weight of 75 years of comic-book history. He was relegated to the sidelines for most of the movie, but every time he showed up you knew some shit was about to go down, which is as it should be with the Joker.

suicide-squad-joker

Kaecilius in Doctor Strange

doctor-strange-kaecilius-2016-mads-mikkelsen

Mads Mikkelsen is one of my favorite actors, especially when he’s evil. The Danish actor brings the evil to Marvel’s latest franchise-starter, providing a compelling dark sorcerer to battle the Sorcerer Supreme played by Benedict Cumberbatch. The final showdown between the two is a sight to behold, as the opposing masters of magic square off against the backdrop of time moving backwards, and a destroyed city repairs itself. The only problem with Mikkelsen playing so many villains is that he tends to get killed off a lot, which means he won’t appear in the sequels. Oh, well. Beggars can’t be choosers.

Shere Khan in The Jungle Book

shere-khan-idris-elba-2016

It was a good year for Idris Elba playing villains. He provided the voice for Shere Khan, the evil tiger in Disney’s smash-hit live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book. Although it was more of an animated film since the entire movie was shot in front of green screens with only one live-action actor, but that’s beside the point. Despite being a special effect, Elba’s Shere Khan was sleek and scary, and may even have been a bit too scary for very young members of the audience. But scariness is one of the hallmarks of a great villain, and Shere Khan fits that description nicely.

The Shark in The Shallows

shark-shallows

It was also a good year for evil animals in the movies. A bloodthirsty Great White shark spends 86 minutes relentlessly trying to dine on the nubile flesh of Blake Lively in The Shallows. The film is a remarkably effective thriller, and although I have no idea if the movie’s portrayal of shark behavior is scientifically accurate, I don’t much care when it makes for such a watchable movie. The Shallows is similar to Alfonso Cuaron’s 2013 masterpiece Gravity in structure. It’s short, technically masterful, and mostly concerned with the trials and tribulations of a single female character. It’s an intense piece of work, and the toothy shark will be enough to make you afraid to go in the water all over again.

Krall in Star Trek Beyond

star-trek-beyond-krall-idris-elba-2016

Hey, it’s Idris Elba again! This time he’s playing Krall, a menacing alien creature who manages to completely trash the beloved starship Enterprise. He causes all kinds of trouble for Captain Kirk and his intrepid crew. Elba is mostly unrecognizable buried under layers of makeup and prosthetics, and his voice is sometimes hard to understand. Krall is basically an intergalactic version of Batman’s enemy Bane, and although Krall’s motivations turn out to not be anything unique (his motivations are quite similar to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness), but he remains a fun and intriguing villain.

John Boy in The Nice Guys

the-nice-guys-movie-poster-matt-bomer-john-boy

You mean like John Boy from The Waltons? No, not like John Boy from The Waltons. Shane Black’s third directorial feature may have been a comedy, but John Boy was a brutal mob assassin who took no prisoners. He gunned people down with no remorse and even tossed a thirteen-year-old girl through a window, so you knew he meant business. The Nice Guys is a fantastic movie that is chock-full of memorable characters, even though not all of them are as likable as the hapless heroes played by Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling.

The Asset in Jason Bourne

jason-bourne-3

Every Bourne movie features at least one CIA asset sent to dispatch Jason Bourne, but the Asset in Bourne’s latest adventure, played by French actor Vincent Cassel, is particularly troublesome. It turns out that this asset has a personal grudge against Bourne, and his and Bourne’s histories are inextricably intertwined. This leads to an absolutely brutal showdown in Las Vegas, featuring quite possibly the most brutal hand-to-hand fight scene in a series known for brutal hand-to-hand fight scenes. Jason Bourne was a movie with a lot of flaws, but it delivered on the action sequences.

Bartholomew Bogue in The Magnificent Seven

batrholomew-bogue-magnificent-7-2016

With a name like Bartholomew Bogue, you’re pretty much destined to be evil. Peter Sarsgaard plays the thoroughly ruthless and despicable industrialist who holds the town of Rose Creek hostage. This guy is one Grade-A son of a bitch, a character the viewer despises from the moment he sets foot onscreen. It’s an effective performance from Sarsgaard as an absolute bastard, and as is the case with many absolute bastards, he turns out to be a coward once his power is taken away from him. One of the most detestable villains of the year.

Orson Krennic in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) Ph: Jonathan Olley �Lucasfilm LFL 2016.

Rogue One was an action-packed thrill ride that I enjoyed the heck out of, but the main villain, played by Ben Mendelsohn, was a bit boring. There’s nothing really wrong with Mendelsohn’s performance, but his character is basically a bureaucrat and isn’t terribly interesting. Fortunately, another evil presence is waiting in the wings, and its name is…

rogue-one-darth-vader-2016

DARTH FREAKING VADER!! Holy crap, it was good to see Darth Vader on screen again. He doesn’t get a lot of screen time but he makes the most of his limited appearance in Rogue One, and gets the chance to kick some rebel ass in the process. It just makes me so happy that one of the most iconic villains in cinematic history is once again on movie screens, even if it is just briefly. The fact that he’s voiced by James Earl Jones is icing on the cake.

So there you have it, the best of the best of cinematic villainy. There’s another good slate of movies scheduled for release in 2017, so I’ll see you all again for another roundup before you know it.

Deadpool by Deadpool

Deadpool: a Review. By Deadpool.

Hey, you!

Yes, you. Trolling through the internet, looking for something to do because you’ve already consumed everything else the vast canyons of the interwebs have to offer (sicko).

Well, stop looking. You found it. And here’s why:

It’s all about me!

deadpool self portrait

Yes, me. Deadpool. Usually this blog is written by some guy named Colin, but when I realized that he was going to be writing about me, I figured I would give him a kick in the pants and write about me myself. Who knows me better than me, right?

Of course, I had to truss him up and chuck him in the closet, but who cares? It’s all for the sake of art, right?

Hey, shut up in there! Can’t you see I’m working over here?! The nerve of some people, seriously.

Anyway, the first thing you should know about me is that I’m awesome. The second thing you should know is that I’m self-aware. Think Skynet, but oh so much sexier.

The third thing you should know is that I have a new movie, and it kicks ass.

deadpool-promopic

It took dumbass movie executives a while to make a movie about me, don’t ask me why. It’s pretty clear they all had their heads up their butts if they thought that godawful version of me in that Wolverine movie a few years ago was a good idea. I’m the Merc with the Mouth okay, who thought it was a good idea to take the mouth away from me?! The less said about that nonsense, the better.

Well I’m happy to say that they got me right this time.

My story is fairly simple. I’m a badass, right, and I had an awesome girlfriend, but the problem was that I also had a severe case of terminal cancer in parts of my body you really don’t want to have cancer in (I suppose that would be all of them, but you get the idea). So I made a decision.

In retrospect, it was not the best decision, since my face now resembles ground walrus meat. Then again, maybe it was a good decision, since I’m alive and I have superpowers and a sweet outfit.

So basically, what I did was go to some really shady dudes who tortured the shit out of me until my latent mutant powers were activated and I now heal from everything.

At least I think that’s how it went. To be honest, the details are a bit hazy, but I guess that’s a side effect of taking one too many knives to the head, things tend to get kinda…fuzzy.

deadpool ass

What was I talking about again?

Oh, right. Badass origin story. So as you can probably imagine, having your face made to look like anchovy pizza forgotten in the back of the fridge for a month makes you a bit unhappy, so after making my escape I had one thing to live for: revenge! And also trying to work up the courage to talk to my girl again, which is sorta hard when you look like that one guy Steve Buscemi put through the woodchipper in that movie that one time.

And that’s about it, really. The plot of my movie isn’t terribly important, since the experience is really all about one thing: this guy.

deadpool1-gallery-image

Awww yeah, that’s right, take it in, take it all in. I’ll wait.

Done? Okay. As you may have figured out by now, I talk a lot. I talk when I’m angry, I talk when I’m sad, I talk when I’m happy, I talk when I’m turning hordes of henchmen into shish kebabs. I’m like Spider-man, only better looking and with more murder.

Fortunately, my brand-spanking new movie gets just about every aspect of my profoundly multifaceted personality right. The humor, the snark, the badassery, the handsomeness, it’s all there. My movie was directed by a guy named Tim Miller, it was his directorial debut and I have to say he nailed it. The action scenes in my movie are easy to follow and don’t fall back on that stupid shaky-cam thing that’s so popular in action movies these days. You get to see me in all my ass-kicking glory.

Ryan Reynolds plays me in my movie, and he completely redeems his previous ill-advised forays into comic-book movies. Gone are the bad memories of Green Lantern and that abominable portrayal of me in that Wolverine movie. And the less said about Blade Trinity, the better (the guy who usually writes this blog told me before I tied him up that he hasn’t even seen that movie, and he’s not missing anything).

My movie may not be perfect, but it is as good of a movie about me as it is possible to make. I look great, I sound great, I am great.

deadpool badass

My movie’s not for everybody. Don’t take the kids to see it, Mom and Dad. Just because it’s a comic-book movie doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for all ages. Comic books are all dark and sophisticated now, you know? We superheroes mean business these days. Although I guess I’m more of an antihero, since I don’t give much of a crap about saving the world and all that other do-gooder nonsense.

I’m not a total loner, mind you. I’ve got friends! Lots of friends! Two of them are in my movie. One is this short-haired punk chick who has flame powers or something. I’m not really sure who she is actually, but she comes in handy when it inevitably gets to be time to kill some fools. The other one is Colossus, a recognizable X-Man who is a Russian metal-skinned dude. He was in some of the earlier X-Men movies, although they forgot to make him Russian for some reason.

The guy who normally writes this blog would probably put a picture of Colossus here, but I’m not going to do that because I’m the star here, dammit. So instead you can look at me again.

deadpool_ver10

And yeah, Colossus is a CGI character and he looks a bit shonky, but my movie didn’t have the same CGI budget as the freaking Avengers or something, okay? I mean who do I look like, James Cameron? I’m not made of money! Sheesh.

Then again, maybe I am made of money, since my movie hauled in $135 million dollars its opening weekend. You know what that means: $equel$!

So if you haven’t already experienced the story of me, what are you waiting for? Stop what you’re doing and go to the damn theater.

All right, I’m all done! That wasn’t so hard. I guess I have to untie that dude now, though. C’mere you…