Review – Even Money On This Dead Pool (“Deadpool 2”)

He’s baaaaaaaaaaack! Yes, that ‘Merc with a Mouth’ is back, along with his fourth-wall breaking, R-rated, over-the-top antics in his second Marvel outing, as the only superhero that makes fun of other superheroes. Now, how cool is that?
*

*

Ryan Reynolds again plays Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, a motor-mouthed, red-suited, twin-samurai carrying superhero that, if you watched part one, you know he’s a guy unlike any of the other Marvel superheroes. Well, it’s been two years and he’s doing a world-wide vigilante killing spree with glee, but this time, it’s his doting love Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) that pays the price. Suicidal, he’s rescued by the X-Men’s huge   all-metal Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and made an X-Men trainee.

Good thing too, because his first assignment is to talk-down a tragically emotional 14-year-old kid with raging fire-powers named Russell Collins (Julian Dennison). Problem is, Deadpool (being Deadpool) gets carried away and winds up getting arrested, along with the kid, and they’re both taken away to a mutant-only “ice box” prison, where all their powers are squelched. But being in prison aren’t Wade’s and Russell’s biggest problem—it’s Cable! Nathan Summers (Josh Brolin), aka Cable, is a nasty time-traveling cybernetic soldier who’s come here to kill the kid because of what he’ll become in the future.

Things get out of hand, so Wade decides to help the kid out, but he’s gonna need help. Holding “auditions”, Wade recruits new team members to join his new “X-Force”;  superheroes like super-lucky Domino (Zazie Beetz), electric-force Bedlam (Terry Crews), egotistical alien Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), and ordinary guy Peter (Rob Delaney). But things, again, just don’t go according to plans, and Deadpool is forced to take on the lethal Cable who’ll stop at nothing to put a bullet in Russell. Ah, but that kid has an ace up his sleeve, and hooks up with a new deadly friend to help him out (I won’t give away who it is, but it’s a shocker!).

Will Russell’s fiery path of destruction be stopped? Will Cable carry out his deadly mission despite Deadpool’s constant joking and one-liners? And can you possibly help from Googling ‘dubstep’ when you get home like I did? Although the same writers (Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick) came back from the original 2016 Deadpool movie, the director (Tim Miller) was ousted “due to creative differences”. Also Reynolds, since he adds SO much to the character and the dialogue, now shares a screenwriter credit. Being a sequel, this movie does suffer “sequelitis”, where the second movie isn’t quite as good as the first one.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is one funny movie with Reynolds and the others providing some major laughs in the 2hour running time, but as compared to the first movie, it lacks the zippy, unbridled craziness it had. There are scenes I was laughing from the gut, but other times I was just chuckling along with the forced jokes and awkward set-ups. Aside from the many howling plot holes, there’s more of a scattershot story this time around, with Reynolds reaching for the jokes than before. Returning cast members like Leslie Uggams (as Blind Al) and Karan Soni as a new blood-thirsty Dupinder are great, as is New Zealand actor Dennison, who is terrific as the fire-wielding teenager.

Brolin sizzles as Cable, a Terminator-like killing machine, but with a genuine soul. Director David Leitch, hot off his Atomic Blonde film, does a wonderful job, but it’s obvious (check out his IMDB credits) he’s never done a comedy film before, and therefore misses many opportunities to mine those extra gags that made the first movie so enjoyable. Still, the movie does provide the funny and gives Deadpool fans exactly what they want… their irreverent superhero rattling-off one pop-culture reference after another with amazing speed. AND don’t forget to stay during the credits, the bonus stuff is worth the price of admission!

 
Looper (2012)

*

*
Time-traveler’s from the past coming to our present to kill a kid because he’ll do something bad in the future? While Deadpool stopping Cable from doing just that, this movie has a guy doing the same thing, but it’s his older time-traveling self that’s trying to stop him!

Beginning from a rather gimmicky starting point, the narration tells us we’re in 2074 where time travel was invented – then quickly outlawed – given its serious ramifications. But major crime lord, The Rainmaker, manages to steal a time machine and uses it to send his enemies back to the year 2044 to be killed by “loopers”, who then dispose of their bodies, because in the future they’re impossible to dispose of because their tracking devices. This crime lord, BTW, is impossibly evil and has dangerous telekinesis.

Anyway, a looper named Joe Simmons (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, with make-up that makes him look like a young Bruce Willis,) lives for killing, doing drugs, and partying. He  learns his best buddy Seth (Paul Dano) didn’t “close his loop”,  (i.e. he didn’t kill his mark, who was his own self from the future!) The mafia-like organization that runs the looping gig is run by Abe (Jeff Daniels), and he is none too happy that Joe is hiding Seth as a fugitive. Imagine Joe’s surprise when his next assignment is – surprise! – Joe (himself) from 2074!

But young Joe can’t kill older Joe (Bruce Willis) and the race is on in a complex story of (Bruce) Joe desperately trying to get his old life back by trying to locate and kill the year 2074 Rainmaker in the present. Meanwhile, young Joe, trying not to be killed by Abe and his trigger-happy mafia boys, hides out in a far way Kansas farm owned by a lonely woman named Sara (Emily Blunt) and her odd 10-year-old son, Cid (Pierce Gagnon.) Young Joe suddenly realizes that this young boy is one day going to be dreaded Rainmaker in the future, but can he (and his loving mother) stop him from taking that evil path of destruction?

Expertly written and directed by Rian Johnson, whose movie Brick (which also starred Gordon-Levitt), was just as entertaining and complex. Rich in story, I loved the fact that the complexity of the script was presented in a way that easy to follow. Not dumbed-down, but spelled out in a linear, straight-forward manner that only deviated to give you a glimpse into the future. Many time-travel movie mess with your head about time-paradoxes and alike, but this one doesn’t.

Bruce Willis was excellent, as always, as a man on the verge of hysteria trying to get his life back. Emily Blunt is effective as the confused mother and young Gagnon is just plain creepy as the telekinetic child who unleashes holy hell. Another thing that sets this time-travel movie apart from other sci-fiction movies is that Johnson doesn’t make this movie all about the “sci-fi” like the others, instead he carefully crafted this movie into a character study of the people, not the machinations. Also, it’s about as bloody and gruesome as a Tarantino film, so be prepared for that!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.