'Deadpool 2' review: Irreverent love and joy
For better or worse, the original Deadpool, directed by Tim Miller, has gained an inescapable reputation for its full embrace of its snarky irreverence.
The film, which centers on the potty-mouthed titular character, is hardly groundbreaking in its obnoxiousness but its being a buffet of how rules can be broken without necessarily endangering popular sensitivities is something of an eye-opener for producers. Turns out, a superhero with more mature preoccupations can still be profitable.
It seems that Deadpool was released at the right time, in an era when hilarity-fueled political incorrectness, clever self-deprecation, and pushing the envelope just enough to tickle but not too much to distort the status quo are fashionable.
The film is undoubtedly a hoot, but it is a hoot only amidst a sea of overly serious superheroes.
More of the same
David Leitch’s sequel is a film that makes most of it being more of the same.
The film opens with its protagonist Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), fully garbed in his crimson jumpsuit, purposely blowing himself up inside his apartment. In one of the many scenes where he breaks the fourth wall, his severed head explains his predicament, forcing a flashback which details how the happy ending from the previous ending led him to the sequel’s opening suicide.
As it turns out, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), a hooker with a heart of gold and Wade’s girlfriend, was just killed by one of the thugs Wade was paid to kill.
Wallowing in the loss of a beloved that has been unfortunately rendered shallow by an overly indulgent sputtering of raunchy witticisms, Wade gets entangled in a mission by time-traveling Cable (Josh Brolin) to exterminate a flame-fisting mutant boy (Julian Dennison) before he grows up and wreaks havoc upon the world. However, Wade, whose ambitions to become a father have been thwarted by tragedy, has more noble plans for the beleaguered and misunderstood boy.
Deadpool 2 again thrills with its ability to not take itself seriously. It delights with its well-researched currency. It plays like a stand-up comic’s well-rehearsed sketch, with each joke hinging on a collective cultural obsession.
At the same time, it burrows itself deeper within the superhero canon in the hopes of creating a series out of the surprise hit.
While the first film felt like a black sheep in the family, Deadpool 2 certainly feels like there is now an intention to grow the franchise. There is definitely more plot here to digest, and less a finiteness to what the film achieves.
There are more loose ends, more characters with interesting abilities and probably more interesting back stories to develop in future installments, and more opportunities to tickle its Avengers-trained audience to conjure connection and theories to fan the flames of towering expectations.
The downside of the trademark irreverence of Deadpool which is sustained in the sequel is that it doesn’t always gel with the endeavored emotional heights that the narrative proposes. Deadpool 2 never really establishes any palpable sense of love or joy or sadness because everything is punctuated with a punch line.
In fact, the hilarity often becomes a crutch for paltry imagination, as the film’s action scenes turn into lengthy displays of soulless CGI instead of inventive set-pieces that make most of the characters’ superpowers to deliver memorable stunts. When Wade again breaks the fourth wall to criticize the next scene for being another one of those CGI-laden brawl, it is momentarily funny. But it also feels like director Leitch is surrendering to crafting a more thought-out climax because nothing in the film is meant to be serious.
Fun and funny
Deadpool 2 is truly fun and endlessly funny. The film shows signs of weariness over the incessant irreverence but when it works, it works marvelously. – Rappler.com
Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas' Tirad Pass.
Since then, he's been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema.