Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Leitch/Reese/Wernick/Reynolds' DEADPOOL 2 proves every bit as much fun as you've hoped

So, is it as good -- funny, nasty, satirical, and ridiculous -- as the original? Yep. It is even better? Maybe. It depends. By the time you've reached the finale of DEADPOOL 2, which boasts, among other things, one of the funniest and lengthiest comedic death scenes on film (or digital), it you have not laughed yourself silly, TrustMovies will be very surprised. Manohla Dargis probably won't appreciate the sequel any more than she did the original, but that's OK. Many of us indeed will.

If you're old enough, or movie-fan enough, to recall those Mel Brooks comedies of a half-century ago, this is the experience of which Deadpool 2 may most remind you: joke after joke after joke, coming so fast and furious that even if half of them don't hit the mark, are too obvious/repetitive or simply deflate, the other half work. So you won't quite have finished laughing at one before the next bulls eye is hit.

As ably directed for pacing, action and fun by David Leitch (above, of Atomic Blond, which provided similar things, but not nearly to this level) and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (both of Zombieland and the under-rated Life), with some writing assistance from the film's star Ryan Reynold(below), the movie is scattershot, all right, but so filled with delight at how much fun there is to be made of super-hero movies, that both the many folk who love 'em and the less number (like me) who hate 'em, will be able to fully enjoy it.

As for the plot, don't worry: there will be no spoilers here. In fact, it would almost impossible to spoil this movie, plot-wise, since it practically has none. Oh, there's something about an angry kid with super-powers, and the bad guy from the future who comes to kill him, but all this is simply a bone tossed to mainstream audiences so that the movie can get on with its real purpose: to make fun of super-heroes and the movies about them, as well as about the kind of culture -- political, social and otherwise -- in which we reside today.

I doubt you will have heard so many "in" jokes about movies since, well, the original Deadpool. And while some of these jokes are already past their sell-by date, some of them still draw laughs. More important, the satire of and comic references to the times we live in are often on the nose. Simply for the jokes about Jared Kushner and Fox and Friends (and, yes, Green Lantern: do stick around through the end credits to savor every one), I'd be willing to watch the movie all over again.

In the large and very game cast, in addition to Mr. Reynolds, who keeps proving himself worthy over and over again, we also have Josh Brolin (above, looking both beefy and buoyant and having the time of his life), the delectable Zazie Beetz (below, who plays a character named Domino with more pizazz and pleasure than just about anyone in the entire recent Black Panther nonsense. This character, whose superpower is simply being excessively lucky, is a keeper, and so is the luscious and lively Ms Beetz.

That angry super-powered kid is played with nasty relish by Julian Dennison (below, from the over-rated Hunt for the Wilderpeople), and the rest of the cast is game and fun, while the movie itself is fun and games.

Do watch for a terrific new character call the Vanisher (shown below, just left of center), and then pay attention to the actor who plays him (listed in the end credits), giving certainly the greatest, most moving performance of his entire career. Oh -- and, yes, the film is very violent, but in such a jokey, silly manner that I know my grandkids will be more than up for it.

There's less sexual references this time around, because our hero's girl friend, played by Morena Baccarin (below), is sidelined early on. A shame.

The audience with whom I viewed the movie (scattered press but mostly a typically mainstream crowd) seemed to relish every last joke, character and situation, most of them staying through the very long end-credit roll. Can't blame them. We did, too. Who'd want to miss that final laugh?

From 20th Century Fox and running one minute short of two full hours, Deadpool 2 opens in theaters nationwide this Friday, May 18. Click here to find the probably many theaters near you.

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