REVIEW: Deadpool 2
As I made clear with Deadpool, while I love the creators, I have always been lukewarm towards the Merc with a Mouth. I was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining the film adaptation was and that Ryan Reynolds was right to stick with the plan to make the character work on film.
Now we have Deadpool 2, out this week on disc from 20th Century Home Entertainment and it cleaned up at the box office, making in excess of $770 million worldwide. I think there’s a place for the character and the cheeky sendup of the oh-so-serious superhero fare. Frankly, better skewer yourself than let someone else do the honors. It’s certainly a proven success for Marvel the last decade.
The super-thin plot basically has a despondent Deadpool, in the wake of his sweet Vanessa’s (Morena Baccarin) death come to the aid of a young mutant, Russell Collins (Julian Dennison), hounded by an orphanage and its nasty headmaster (Eddie Marsan), that has been abusing mutants. This could have been subtitled How Deadpool got his Mojo Back.
Along the way, he gets a wakeup call from Colossus (voice by Stefan Kapicic), forms X-Force, and fights against or with Cable (Josh Brolin) as the prey becomes the prowler as the kid, pushed to the limit, fights back. Cable’s back from the future to kill the kid to protect his own family, creating the usual temporal headaches. X-Force features many familiar mutants including Domino (Zazie Beets), and you either love or hate how they’re used (abused?) in this film.
That’s pretty much it. Along the way, we get the overstuffed meta jokes and Easter Eggs, some of which are utterly brilliant and others are just so much filler. Brolin and Beets sell their new characters well although her Domino looks better in comics, here she looks generic.
Director David Leitch keeps things moving at a fine clip and makes certain the fun supporting players from the first outing, including Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) and Weasel (J.T. Miller) are there for good bits. Less useful was the superfluous use of Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), who is now playing kissy face with newcomer Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna), who smiles and waves a lot.
Really, it’s amusing but not the thrill a minute freshness the first film was. The action set pieces are prolonged, notably the X-Force chase/battle sequence. The climactic battle between everyone at Juggernaut (a CGI amalgam of multiple performers, voiced by Reynolds) was just so much destruction without humor. Better are the post-credits sequences that offer up some of the best meta humor in the entire film and well worth sticking around for.
The film most clearly sets the film and character in the Fox corner of the Marvel universe thanks to a brilliant blink-and-you-miss-it cameo. The question becomes, where do you go from here? The answer may reside more with Kevin Feige than anyone else and it’s still too early to tell.
The Blu-ray comes with two discs, one with the theatrical release and special features while the second disc has the fifteen minute longer Super Duper Cut. The best that can be said of the new cut is that it provides a fascinating study in editing considering line reads and sequences are edited differently as are the musical cues. Basically, the fifteen minutes is merely more. The 4K Ultra HD comes with the theatrical release as both 4K and Blu-ray plus the bonus Blu-ray disc. All versions come with a Digital HD code.
The AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.39:1 is just fine, with good color and detail (pointing out how cheap some of the CGI looks in comparison with other moments). The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix is excellent.
There are plenty of special features, some fun, some interesting, some utterly superfluous. We start with the Deleted/Extended Scenes (2:36) and Gag Reel (3:11) before we get to the film’s theme explored in Deadpool Family Values: Cast of Characters (15:09). Then we have David Leitch Not Lynch: Directing DP2 (11:39); Deadpool’s Lips Are Sealed: Secrets and Easter Eggs (12:52); Until Your Face Hurts: Alt Takes (9:25); Roll With the Punches: Action and Stunts (6:57); The Deadpool Prison Experiment (11:28); The Most Important X-Force Member (12:21); Chess With Omega Red (1:16); Swole and Sexy (2:12), which focuses on the red necks (Matt Damon and Alan Tudyck); and, “3 Minute Monologue” (2:14), Brolin riffs during makeup.
There’s an Audio Commentary by Ryan Reynolds, David Leitch, Rhett Reese and Paul Warnick that is occasionally interesting and revealing.
Deadpool’s Fun Sack 2: Videos (35:22) has an amalgam of bits filmed for the film including the hilarious first teaser and Stills (2:23).