Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Review: Deadpool 2 (first-pass)

Deadpool 2 (first-pass / SPOILER-FREE)
Cert: 15 / 119 mins / Dir. David Leitch / Trailer

Well, I don't know how Fox have done it, but they have. Against all expectation (cynical, hopeful or otherwise) David Leitch's new film is quintessential cinematic alchemy; a sequel which matches and then surpasses its originator without downplaying or dismissing that first movie in the slightest.

Deadpool 2 is even better than Deadpool.
There. I said it.

On this first and very broad pass, it's difficult pinpoint exactly what makes the movie better, since I absolutely loved all of it. Also, I admittedly missed sections by not being able to see the screen for crying (usually through laughter, but at a couple of points just through sheer exuberant joy).

The masterstroke (which is no doubt currently being over-analysed at various production studios) is that tonally, nothing is off the table here. Writers Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds play with the established X-Men universe (indeed the whole comic book genre) without being beholden to it. The film combines gut-busting humour, sincere warmth and affection, blistering action and the foulest of potty-mouths*1 all with equal vigour. That said, Deadpool 2 is above all else a comedy, and is better for it. When it goes full-on in one area, the whole thing is strengthened as a result.

Reynolds plays the title role to perfection as only he can, with returning appearances from Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), Weasel (TJ Miller), Dopinder (Karan Soni), Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) which bring familiarity without repetition. Meanwhile, the 'now featuring' list is headlined by Josh Brolin as Cable, and a tremendously angsty turn from Julian Dennison as Firefist.

Leitch's direction is as tight as the script and as loose as its cast, the eclectic pop/rock soundtrack interspersing Tyler Bates' score with similar fluidity. And while actions in this movie aren't free of consequence, the fourth-wall breaking sets the tone for the screenplay's regard for sticking to the rules. All of which you'd expect, but this is even better, somehow.

About five minutes into the feature it occurred to me that because of the parodic nature of the trailer campaign, I had pretty much no idea what was actually going to happen in the movie. Unless you've already been digging for details, I advise you go into the cinema with the same mindset. Deadpool 2 is a magnificently violent, funny, sweary rollercoaster. Enjoy the ride.

Oh, and there's nothing at the end. Plenty of mid-credits action, but once the names start rolling on the screen, you can make your way out to book your next screening…

So, what sort of thing is it similar to?
Well, Deadpool.

Is it worth paying cinema-prices to see?
It is.

Is it worth hunting out on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, though?
Your preferred format-of-choice, as soon as it's available.

Is this the best work of the cast or director?
Could well be.

Will we disagree about this film in a pub?
If you don't love it, yes.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There is.
One-and-a-half, in fact

Yeah but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 1: K-2SO is in this.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 There are even a couple of c-bombs, which is unusual for a 15 certificate. They don't necessarily match the flow of the script, but they're used in a way which doesn't de-rail it either. And I only mention this because if That Particular Language is going to be a problem for you, you should know in advance. But by the same token, anyone who's seen the first Deadpool know that this will be a top-end 15... [ BACK ]

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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