Review for Deadpool 2
I loved Deadpool! It was a breath of fresh air in a conveyer belt world of depressingly similar superhero movies. It tore up the rule book and blatantly did its own thing, and quite deservedly its R-rated, comedic wise-cracking brilliance cleaned up at the box office. But when I reviewed it, I did have misgiving about the sequel, thinking that the pop-culture references and 4th wall shattering of the original would become tired the second time around, and that the studios would see the success of the first, and throw a bucket-load of money at the sequel, and in doing so diminish the small-scale specialness of the original. I am so glad to be proved wrong by Deadpool 2 (incidentally another film that suffered a change in director early on). Breaking the 4th wall still works in the film, and the extra money hasn’t compromised the vision, only tightened up the special effects work (the climax of Deadpool suffered a bit from ropy CGI). As always these days, I leave my movie viewing to the Blu-ray release, and this time I benefit from getting not one, but two cuts of the movie to watch for the first time, the theatrical cut and the Super Duper $@%!#& Cut.
The Theatrical Cut (119:20)
The Super Duper Cut (133:59)
A tragedy in his life leaves Wade Wilson suicidal, which would make for a short movie were it not for the fact that he can’t die. After one particularly explosive attempt, Colossus sweeps up the pieces and takes Deadpool back to the X-Mansion, where he believes the merc’ with a mouth can become a bona fide X-Man. That’s not going to happen when the trigger happy Deadpool starts wasting bystanders when trying to talk down a mutant teenager with rage issues who calls himself Firefist. Both he and Firefist wind up in mutant prison, their powers sealed away. And that’s when Cable arrives, a grieving and angry cyborg from the future looking for revenge for something that hasn’t even happened yet.
I can pretty much cut and paste what I wrote for the first film. Deadpool 2 gets a 2.39:1 widescreen 1080p transfer, with DTS-HD MA 7.1 Surround English, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround English Audio Descriptive, Spanish and French with subtitles in those languages. It’s a pristine transfer of a modern film, clear and sharp throughout with excellent colour and wonderful detail. The one flaw in the first film, that of some low budget effects work has been remedied in this film with the generous infusion of cash. The audio is explosive and immersive, and once again, a Deadpool movie, along with the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has me convinced that modern music sucks. There are some awesome tunes in this film, but also some dubstep. Note that the specs for both discs are nigh on identical, except the Super Duper Cut lacks for an English Audio Descriptive track.
You get two discs in a red BD Amaray with an o-card slipcover. One disc has the theatrical cut plus copious extra features; the other disc has just the super duper etc cut.
I love the animated menu, not only for the excellent use of A-ha’s Take on Me, but also for that one iteration of VHS quality menu loop that you get when you put the disc in.
The film gets just one audio commentary this time, from Ryan Reynolds, David Leitch, Rhett Reese and Paul Warnick.
There are just 2 deleted scenes, running to 2:36, while the Gag Reel is short at 3:11.
There are plenty of featurettes looking at the making of the film though.
Deadpool Family Values: Cast of Characters lasts 15:09.
David Leith Not Lynch: Directing DP2 lasts 11:39.
Deadpool’s Lips are Sealed: Secrets and Easter Eggs runs to 12:52.
Until Your Face Hurts: Alt Takes lasts 9:25.
Roll With the Punches: Action and Stunts lasts 6:57.
The Deadpool Prison Experiment runs 11:28.
I have to admit that Alt Takes and Secrets and Easter Eggs didn’t live up to the billing.
There is some disposable fun in The Most Important X-Force Member (2:21), Chess With Omega Red (1:16), Swole and Sexy (2:12), and 3-Minute Monologue (2:14).
Deadpool’s Fun Sack 2 offers stills and promo images in a slideshow gallery, and 35:22 of promotional video material, such as trailers and that Celine Dion music video, all in Deadpool’s irreverent style.
After watching the first Deadpool, I had reservations about any sequel that would come. First, I thought that given the original’s success, the sequel would have so much money thrown at it, that it would become a CGI neutered shadow of what it should be, the suits aiming for the largest audience demographic, gutting the film of all that made the original so original to begin with. The second thing was that I feared that the fourth-wall shattering style was a one-time only thing, that it wouldn’t work the second time around as the novelty would have worn off. Thankfully I was wrong in almost every respect.
Deadpool 2 is just as much fun as the original film, and the bigger budget has only served to add some shiny gloss to its profane surface, it hasn’t changed the DNA of the story or the characters. And the fourth-wall thing, it still works just fine. I really only had one complaint about Deadpool 2, about what motivates the hero’s quest in this film, but Deadpool 2 not only acknowledges that choice, it owns it in the only way it can, by parodying it. It’s the so called ‘fridging’ plot choice, the one that I saw coming a mile away when I watched the Bourne Supremacy, and so annoyed me that I totally missed what happened in the film afterwards. The end of the first film gives the hero his happily ever after, his little Eden of joy, and the sequel begins by brutally tearing that away, leaving him grief stricken and vengeful, setting up the film. But as I said, the opening credits of Deadpool 2 totally own that choice, and the character in question still plays an important role in the story.
Deadpool 2 is all about coming to terms with grief, loss and guilt, guilt at surviving. For Wade Wilson, suicide isn’t an option, especially when he has friends like Colossus there to pick up the pieces, and put them back together, so it becomes about trying to find a new direction in life. Trying to be an upstanding X-Man isn’t an option when his first impulse is to shoot the bad guys, and trying to mentor an angry kid with fire powers isn’t a good idea when being around him is liable to get the kid killed. But saving the kid from an angry cyborg from the future might work. Cable is the cyborg in question, grief stricken himself when his family is murdered, and who’s come up with the straightforward solution of travelling back in time to prevent that murder by killing the perpetrator before he has a chance to even become a criminal. But then Deadpool gets in the way...
The story is solid, and it has plenty of heart to it. You can invest in the characters, empathise with what they go through, despite the film’s comedic edge. As mentioned, the fourth wall is wafer thin in Deadpool 2, while the characters and script are delightfully funny. Allowing a superhero comic-book movie to be profane and full of bloody violence sets Deadpool apart from its contemporaries. This film also introduces some entertaining new characters into the mix, especially Cable and Domino. You certainly want to see more of them. The one thing that Deadpool 2 lacks is the novelty value of the first film. That came as a much needed breath of fresh air, rewriting the rules of the comic book movie. By its very nature a sequel can’t do that, and instead, Deadpool 2 is setting down its own rules instead. As long as not too many franchises ape its irreverent comic insanity, I’ll be happy to watch another few sequels featuring this particular character.
As for the Super Duper Cut that comes on the second disc, it adds a handful of extra scenes, a fair bit of back-story for the kid, Russell/Firefist, some different music, but more importantly, thanks to the convenience of a mouthy main character behind a mask, you get a whole heap of alternate dialogue as well, different wisecracks to enjoy. Deadpool 2 is a worthy addition to the Deadpool canon, and given excellent presentation on this Blu-ray release. I look forward to Deadpool 3, as long as no one goes in the fridge this time.