Not really a big comic book guy, but if you’d ask me who my favorite comic book characters are, top five would be, in no particular order: Spider-Man, Hulk, Punisher, Cable and Deadpool. That’s right, one from MCU’s Avengers team but not Iron Man, Thor or Cap and none from Fox’s X-Men. Wolverine? I like Wolverine, but not Hugh Jackman’s Pulverine.
Of course, I like comic book movies. And Deadpool 2, Deadpool 2 is a double whammy—because it has both Deadpool and Cable in it. Obviously, that’s like the coolest thing ever! But that’s not the only reason I prefer Deadpool 2 over Infinity War or any other superhero or comic-book movie released in 2018. There are a whole lot of other reasons—a plethora of reasons—13 to be exact. And though these reasons don’t necessarily make DP2 a perfect movie, they make it more memorable, more re-watchable, and less like a two and a half hour of fan service and teaser for the next Marvel movie—basically, Avengers: Infinity War, at its worst.
Okay. Here we go. The best and worst things in Deadpool 2. Yes, that’s right, worst, because as someone who isn’t paid to blog about stuff, I need to be objective and read Ayn Rand. So, I’ll start with the worst.
But before anything else: Donde esta la biblioteca, which means, this is a long read.
1. Let’s start with my biggest gripe about the movie: the fight scenes and the editing. There are just too many quick cutting during the fight scenes in this movie. Way more than one would expect from a movie directed by John Wick. And most of the fights were shot too close. Still, it’s better than, say, the fight scenes in The Winter Soldier—that movie, that movie is pure pornography.
While the stunts and fight choreography are good, it feels like they tried a little too hard to keep the movie under two hours. Like the action scenes could have have been more fluid–could have had more “zip”–if the movie was at least ten minutes longer and the cutting wasn’t overdone. (Edit: The Super Duper Cut negates this whole “poorly edited fight scenes” rant because the fight scenes are more complete in that cut of the movie.)
The jokes during the fights between Cable, Wade and Domino are funny but the punches and the punchlines were lacking emphasis. No wonder a lot complained about jokes falling flat. The first movie was actually better in this aspect. In Deadpool, the punches hit the nutsacks, and the quips just roll off the tongue.
2. CGI characters. Colossus was funny the first time around; here, he’s just predictable. And if there’s a perfect foil for the motor-mouthed Deadpool, that would be Cable. The two are funnier together. Also, there could have been more of Negasonic and Yukio instead of Colossus. Negasonic’s snarky exchange with Wade never fails to crack me up (“You’re X-People,” “You’re X-hausting”). And so does Wade saying “Hi” to Yukio, just—Holy Sunshine heartwarming, even when Wade was dying.
The big CGI fight between Colossus and Juggernaut has got nothing on Colossus vs. Angel Dust in the first movie where Colossus paused for a moment when Angel Dust accidentally exposed herself. Of course, some fans were delighted to finally see comics-sized Juggernaut on the bigscreen. But Juggernaut’s best part is when he ripped Deadpool in half. That’s it.
3. Before we go to fridging, I have one more minor complaint: less Dopinder is better. I’m not complaining he’s stereotyped as a non-white sidekick, or worse, a dummy (i.e., Weasel bullying Dopinder while running errands in his bar). But if you’re gonna stereotype Asians in your movie, make it really funny. All in all, Dopinder’s limited screen time in the first movie worked better.
Women in refrigerator. This is a neither. Let me explain. You probably heard or read about this trope. It was used in The Godfather, The Prestige, Daredevil, early Spider-Man comics, Ninja: Shadow of A Tear, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and many many other movies and comic books.
Of course, the first question is, was Vanessa really fridged in Deadpool 2? Arguably. Vanessa wasn’t a mere plot device, Deadpool 2 didn’t make her less of a character. That’s also considering that, according to some critics, the first movie did right by her character. But still, her character was sidelined only to drive Wade’s character arc. Which means, yes, that’s fridging, technically.
Some people took it out on the movie. Some even went as far as calling the writers hacks. Some even say they’re not watching the movie because of this. All in the guise of being the “good guys,” I guess, on the internet. But I’m not quite sure that’s the bottom line of Simone Gail’s Women in Refrigerator, putting X-mark on movies that used the trope.
The next question is, did I like the movie less because of it? Did it deter my appreciation of the movie? The answer is, NO and NO. First, I’m not the type who gets easily offended or upset by things like this in the movies. It’s a trope used to humanize the main character and whether it’s cliche, lazy, probably sexist or none of the above, it still humanizes the character.
[ More questions: Isn’t the bottom line of Women in Refrigerator recognizing that in movie and comic book industries, women are underrepresented? And that we should continually demand/fight for equality? Or at least, for the fan-boys and fan-girls, demand for a Black Widow movie? And Black Widow action figures?
Well, I’m not really sure the answer is yes to that last question. It’s tricky. And really confusing—like the X-Men movies timeline. It’s like one of those lines in the first movie when a Chinese woman attacks Deadpool. “Is it sexist to fight you or more sexist not to fight you?” Honestly, I don’t know.
Let’s get to the good parts.
1. Celine Dion. Deadpool making a James Bond spoof is something you more or less expect from a Deadpool movie. But getting Celine Dion for real? And having her in on the joke? I thought I could never ever listen to a song of hers again. Much less forgive her. For singing that song that had every cool kid in my class slow dance during the prom. Ms. Celine Dion strains her cords while me and a few losers and outsiders watch the others dancing with the fairest of them all. From a distance. Bette Midler, 1989. But Deadpool, it seems, with his super healing powers and with the proper timing, right words, or song, could heal almost anything. Just like that kid Russell.
2. We still have Bowie. 2015-2017 took some artist, musicians I grew up listening to (Scott Weiland, David Bowie, Chris Cornell). I have a soft spot for David Bowie’s “Starman” and “Space Oddity.” While Deadpool 2 was not able to make much of Wade’s grief, because he has to make funny quips every once in a while, that scene where he was comforted by the thought Bowie was still alive hit the right sad bastard notes in me simply because it’s sad when your heroes die. Then, he pisses himself.
3. The Proposition/Basic Instinct. Cable said something about making a proposition, then everyone, except Blind Al talks at the same time (probably some loose reference to Pretty Woman?), with Dopinder saying The Proposition, an Australian western, has a wonderful Guy Pearce performance. But what’s really funny is the moment Wade uncrosses and crosses his legs, like Sharon Stone. That’s Basic Instinct, Weasel said while still pointing a gun at Cable.
In Basic Instinct, you can see what’s between Sharon Stone’s legs. For a fraction of a second. And you’d second guess if she’s wearing underwear or not. In Deadpool 2, we already knew Wade isn’t wearing underwear, he doesn’t even wear pants, because a warrior has nothing to be ashamed of—hanging preposition. If we saw Ryan Reynolds butt in the first movie, Deadpool 2 ups the ante by showing us Ryan Reynold’s baby penis and it’s fuckin good time. Yes, I typed that just for Google search hits. Implying people actually Google-search using the string “Ryan+Reynold’s+penis.”
4. “So dark! Are you sure you’re not from the DC universe?” That’s one of funniest line in the movie. And the best jokes in the movie are mostly about Cable (i.e., You’re racist, I’m Batman, I love dubstep). Yes, that Cable guy, the grim fucker with the Winter Soldier arm. Cable going pelvis to pelvis with Wade was funnier than DP going all homo for Colossus. Cable applying lip balm? That’s funny too.
5. Vanessa Carlyle. Some geeks said Vanessa was probably the worse written comic book character ever realized on screen—that she’s a mere sex object. Maybe, they found the sex and nudity in Deadpool, unnecessary, even pandering to horny comic book fans. But I guess, context is key. Vanessa’s a sex worker (this article has nothing but praise for how well-written her character is in the first movie), Deadpool is an R-rated comedy. What did they expect? A love scene as chaste as Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor between the sheets? For me, Vanessa is more memorable than any other female characters in the MCU. Rachel McAdams was underused in Dr. Strange. Sharon Carter is barely there in Captain America movies. Black Widow? It depends which movie we’re talking about. Outside of Gamora and Nebula there’s hardly any female character in the MCU I wanted to see again in the sequels.
6. The Recruitment. Yes, RBG was there. The Vanisher? He was there as well. Bedlam? Zeitgeist? Shatterstar? Peter? Sure, they all had us expecting. Then…
7. Everyone dies. Every X-Force dies, except Domino. After that H.A.L.O. sequence. Probably the most shocking superhero death scenes ever. And definitely the most hilarious as well.
8. The Vanisher. Stan Lee is Stan Lee, I know. It was fun the first few times. Like in those Spider-Man movies. Now it’s become obligatory. Stan Lee’s Stan The Man. But he’s no Brad Pitt. Because every time Brad Pitt plays second banana in a movie, said movie becomes automatically good, sometimes great (e.g., Fight Club, Snatch, Burn After Reading). More so with Deadpool 2 because he only had a cameo.
9. Domino’s imaginary superpowers and Deadpool’s unintentional double entendres. Deadpool’s “He’s on top of you. He’s inside you,” funny. But it also helps a lot that Zazie Beets is a natural. A natural bad-ass. And I’ve never seen a female comic book character played so well on the big screen. In a long time. Wait, Wonder Woman? Okay, aside from Wonder Woman. Among other recent movies, Pepper Potts, Gamora and Hit-Girl comes to mind, but Black Black Widow is just really good. Maybe because she belongs to the Brie Larson school of acting. She can speak pages just with her eyes. You know who else can do that? Deadpool. Which is doubly more impressive because he does it with his whole face covered in his mask.
10. Character arcs, character drama. Maybe, by today’s standards, having a character learn, grow, or change in a superhero movies is already cliche. Because other than the first Iron-Man, The Avengers and GotG movies, none of these Marvel characters change or learn in their movies. In later movies, Tony Stark only learns to make more and more advance suits. That’s not character growth. In Captain America movies, Steve Rogers knows his right from the very start and only proves himself right in the end. He never grow or learn anything. Thor? Okay, he learned new things about Asgard and new neat tricks in Ragnarok, so there’s a… bit of character growth there. Spider-Man: Homecoming? Read what I said about Iron Man.
It took me a second viewing before I get the Cable-Russell-Deadpool tussle. While Deadpool’s motivation wasn’t clear at first, it was clear the he cares about Russell (see the sudden change in tone when DP learns that the Headmaster and Jared Kushner hurt the boy). And while Cable is pretty determined that killing Russell is the only way to change the future, he still gives DP a chance to save the boy, until the last minute when it seems that Russell will actually hurt Deadpool. Then, Cable learns something—that Deadpool was right.
In Deadpool 2, all three characters Deadpool, Russell, and Cable learn, grow and change. People can change. Kids can change. Deadpool finally finds his heart in the right place. Deadpool made a heroic sacrifice, Cable reciprocate it with another. If he only knew his time-sliding device could be fixed and rigged very easily by Negasonic and Yukio.
11. Tomorrow. I haven’t seen Annie but I like this song when I was a kid. And Deadpool uses this song in the movie’s climax, both sincerely and ironically, which is just great.
12. Deadpool’s lengthy death scene which see-saws between hilarious and somewhat surprisingly poignant moments. Death scenes in these movies always get me. Penguin in Batman Returns, Green Goblin in Spider-Man, Harry Osbourne in Spider-Man 3, Big Daddy in Kick-Ass, Agent Coulson in The Avengers, Loki in Thor: The Dark World, Quicksilver in AoU, Groot in GotG, Yondu in Vol. 2. They’re all really sad. But in Deadpool 2, it’s also very funny.
13. Cable smells his daughter’s teddy and uses his time machine’s last charge to save Deadpool. That’s sacrifice. That’s like worse than dying. Yeah, I know, that’s not how time travel—as we learn from Back To the Future—works. But he sacrificed seeing his wife and daughter again for Deadpool. Which also fucked up Wade and Vanessa’s reunion. It’s kind of stupid. And ironic. Kind of like that O. Henry story as well.