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dir David Leitch
scr Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds
prd Simon Kinberg, Ryan Reynolds, Lauren Shuler Donner
with Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, Karan Soni, TJ Miller, Leslie Uggams, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, Shioli Kutsuna, Eddie Marsan
release US/UK 18.May.18
18/US Fox 1h59
Ready for action: Beetz and Reynolds
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Handing this franchise to "the guy who killed John Wick's dog" was a stroke of genius, because he solves the first film's problems of: this sequel is snarky but never smug, playfully riffing on superhero cliches without falling back on them. And it never lets the effects overwhelm the action. Best of all, the emotional stakes are significantly deepened, creating complex characters who engage on unexpected levels.
As Wade (Reynolds) rids the city of organised crime, he feels the urge to settle down with girlfriend Vanessa (Baccarin). But a tragedy shakes him to the core, so he turns to his X-Men friend Colossus (Capicic) to find purpose. This draws him into a conflict involving Russell (Dennison), a young teen with flame-spewing hands. Not only do Wade and Russell end up in prison, but they're also targeted by Cable (Brolin), a cyber-soldier from the future who is determined to get revenge. And Wade will need to assemble a team to stop him.
The film opens with a few sequences that are deliberately shocking and also blackly hilarious. From here on, pretty much anything could happen, so Wade's continual breaking of the fourth wall keeps the audience on its toes, peppering the film with riotous gags, astute references and witty banter. Astonishingly, as dark as the film gets, which is very dark, the tone remains enjoyably buoyant, skilfully balancing real emotional resonance with gallows humour.
Reynolds is on peak form, finding nuance beneath both the Deadpool costume and Wade's mottled skin. Wade's narrative journey intensely involving, and the comedy swirls around it instead of interrupting it. As Cable, Brolin finds textures that make him much more than just a relentless villain. Dennison adds superb edges to his anarchic role, while Soni especially gets to shine among the returning supporting cast. And as Deadpool's new cohort Domino, whose superpower is luck, Beetz steals the show, which is no mean feat.
The filmmakers merrily skewer the genre from opening shot to an end-of-credits musical sting. The audition montage for Team Deadpool is hysterical, leading into an even more jaw-dropping first mission. Wade's various bromances are very nicely played indeed. And the script dares to subvert the formula in a couple of key areas, not just with its most irreverent moments but also in the way it approaches the notion of good and evil. Basically, this is the game-changer the first film didn't quite manage to be.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2018 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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