Deadpool 1 has got nothing on Deadpool 2, apart from setting the stage for arguably the best R-rated comedy/action/superhero flick that upsets the mind, the eyes and the soul – and it really does ‘go there’ in a lot of ways.
David Leitch takes over the reigns in the second ‘coming’, eleventh X-Men franchise installment, 20th Century Fox epic, that is blatantly stinging and direct in its delivery of comedy and crassness. We have consistently had a glimpse at the convention-breaking ethos of Ryan Reynold‘s Wade Wilson, a superhero who comes across as mentally disturbed, yet utterly grounded as being a ‘good guy’ who is really just out to bring the bad guys to justice, through the film’s advertising which has been difficult to miss. From an apologetic hangout with David Beckham, Bob Ross impersonations, Leonardo da Vinci-defying memes, special addresses, to a continued partnership with English Football club Manchester United, the advertisements displayed just how far the red-laced hero was willing to go to grab your attention.
I was privileged to watch the film last week courtesy of Century Pictures, the licensed film distribution company of 20th Century Fox in East Africa. Jotham Micah, the Marketing Manager, says that ‘Apart from driving ticket sales, we want to grow the audience who attend movie experiences, especially 18-35 year old men and women, as our primary target, and make [movie-going] part of their to-do list.’
‘Deadpool 2‘ kicks off in a rather casual, yet high stakes manner, with Wade Wilson questioning the rather ‘illogical’ end to the previous X-Men film ‘Logan‘, as he drew some questionable inspiration, and tries to end it all, at the beginning. We get a quick run through the past couple of days that leads him to a breaking point of throwing a lit match into 12 jerrycans of fuel, and the results are not pretty. In fact, none of the killing scenes are; they are grotesque, and they are crude, and they are just what you would expect from the hero who has endured 99% physical burn-scars and terminal cancer with some mutation-induced indestructible genes.
The stakes have never been higher than saving the soul of an under-18 pre-adolescent mutant whose powers threaten the fabric of the future, from eternal damnation, and present death. Cable, played by Josh Brolin (he’s also the Universe unbalancing ‘Thanos‘ in Avengers: Infinity War) is a soldier who comes back from the future to try and stop Firefist (played by the talented Julian Dennison) before he develops an insatiable thirst for blood, including that of his family. Young Firefist is a trigger-happy mutant bearing the brunt of an abusive headmaster mistreating his kind for years, all under the guise of protecting young gifted children in a world which has become increasingly intolerant of mutants. Captured by authorities for his wanton destructive tendencies, he makes friends with Jaggernaut while in the slammer and plots his escape to go and kill his teacher.
The antoganist tables are seamlessly turned in ‘Deadpool 2‘, as one moment you’re hating and fearing Cable, then the next, you’re actually rooting for him to succeed. This general conflict of emotions can be felt all through the film, because while at most points I was impressed with Wade’s resilience and resolve, there were others where his childish behaviour just needed a spanking – and spank his organic steel conscience, Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) he did in one of the many uncomfortable yet hilarious moments the two shared on screen as he grappled with being a better being.
Wade forms (more appropriately names) a team of heros, the X-Force, equipped with the signature Wakanda, and Wonder Woman, and Wolverine, pose of hands and arms crossed, to stop the young Firefist from his own destruction. X-Force consists of his cab driver, the extremely lucky Domino (played by Zazie Beetz), Colossus and Cable.
While ‘Deadpool 2‘ and its predecessor are part of a wider framework of the Marvel Universe, at least (for now) in the comic chronology, they seem more uniquely positioned to remain standalone and unique, an exclusive distance away from the family-friendly material of all other superhero films. It’s not hard to envision an X-Men and core Marvel characters onscreen collaboration later in our lifetime, which I imagine would be a headache for Brolin if his character ‘Thanos’ were to survive Avengers 4, but it would be difficult to tone down this red and black-laced hero and make him behave. Probably he may be told to remain in his corner for a long while.
| Deadpool 2′ is rated 18+ for its strong language and violence. The film is in IMAX 2D and all other standard formats across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia from May 18th 2018.