21 May 2018

This Franchise Is Bad For My Health

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Near the time when the first Deadpool movie came out I got ill to the point that I thought I was going to die. It was only a cold, but I get ill so infrequently that when some twatty bug is strong enough to get past my immune system, I can only conclude that it's probably cancer and my brain is going to start leaking out of my nose. Obviously I got better, and furthermore I remained in perfect health until the first trailer for Deadpool 2 came out ..when suddenly I found myself enduring a bad case of the shits.. or as I assumed at the time.. arsehole cancer. I started to notice the pattern and worry that perhaps I was allergic to Deadpool movies. The first film has really grown on me over the years and so I'd be disappointed if I was unable to enjoy its sequel simply because its existence might cause bits of my body to drop off. I hadn't been ill since the trailer but sure as shit the week that the film hit the cinema my throat began to hurt and I've developed white spots at the back of my mouth. Google says it's probably just a viral infection and that I shouldn't worry, but I know in my heart of heart that it's probably the throat AIDs. By the time I got to the cinema to watch the movie I was hoping to be able to enjoy it, but you can imagine my worry. If the build up to Deadpool 2 was enough to do this to me then what the fuck would happen during the actual screening? I don't want to seem like a hypochondriac.. but I was fully prepared to either catch the plague or somehow find one of those weird amazon-fish things living up my dick.

The film itself follows on from the first, with Deadpool fighting bad guys whilst enjoying his life with his partner Vanessa. Although the rest of us loved the original movie because of its flippant sense of humour, the makers of the franchise have decided that the real reason we liked it was because of the love story at its heart. I mean, it's not like we didn't enjoy that I suppose, it's just that it's a bit like assuming the reason most people enjoy The Big Bang Theory is because they like canned laughter, when the reality is that to watch that they must just subconsciously hate themselves. Presumably because of this assumption, the story of Deadpool 2 focuses on his desire to start a family which is only scuppered by the hordes of revenge-driven gangsters and a time-travelling mercenary known as Cable. Cable has made it his mission to kill a child for reasons that'll seem familiar if you've seen either Looper or were on the side of the original Terminator and can imagine Sarah Connor being played by a fat boy from New Zealand. Despite the promise of Keira Knightley at the end of the first movie, Cable is brilliantly played here by Josh Brolin who, after Avengers: Infinity War and Sicario: Day Of The Soldado, should probably expect his agent to ask for a pay rise before the end of the year. As such, Deadpool 2 seemingly references almost everything Brolin has touched in terms of pop-culture to the point that even a song by his step-mother Barbara Streisand haunts Deadpool throughout.

In many ways this sequel attempts to have its cake and eat it, in that it intends to be an anarchic comic book movie despite its generic sequel story, whilst at the same time being completely flippant and having a heart. I'm not entirely sure it works as well as the film makers intend it to but I'm also pretty sure that I couldn't give a shit. For me, the story only really exists as a skeleton to hang its coarse jokes and cool action on, and with both of those aspects I think Deadpool 2 is a complete success. In terms of most of its humour, they really could have called this sequel Meme: The Movie with the lead character essentially speaking in references. Unlike the the dirty pig's anus of comedy that is The Big Bang Theory though, this film does something creative with its references rather than just lazily stating the word “Thundercats” and expecting a laugh. There's a sky-diving sequence in this movie which is one of the funniest things I've seen in a film for some time whilst also being pretty cool in itself. The film is directed by David Leitch who, I guess after John Wick and Atomic Blonde, we'll have to agree that he seems to know his way around an action scene. In Deadpool 2 he understands that he's making an action-comedy and so infuses all of the stunts with a kind of slapstick humour that would make Buster Keaton proud. Assuming that Buster Keaton also likes jokes about cock-rings and the kind of cinematic violence that would make Sam Raimi proud. If you like comic book movies that could have been co-written by Mr Bean and Freddy Krueger but aren't as pedo-y as that probably sounds then you'll likely enjoy Deadpool 2.

The other reason that I liked the film is because it felt like its own thing, distinct from all of the other comic book movies. I do love the MCU and I do think that each of their movies does a great job of emphasising whatever makes that separate franchise unique, however there's no doubting that in order to fit into the same universe there's obviously going to be some similarities too. Kind of like how the Royal Family all have different haircuts to distinguish themselves whilst still only having a couple of faces between them and one single unifying whiff of incest. The DCEU is obviously attempting the same thing and yet Wonder Woman aside, all that series has managed is to show off how well Marvel are pulling it off. However I kind of miss the early days of this comic book boom in which each film really did have its own unique feel. Spider-Man 2, Blade 2, and Fantastic Four 2: Rise Of The Silver Surfer are all based on Marvel comics and yet feel about as different as a dildo does to a cheese grater. Obviously in that example it'd be Rise Of The Silver Surfer that is the cheese grater. I do think that what Marvel is doing with its shared universe is really interesting in that it's basically the cinematic equivalent of a Stretch Armstrong toy. We're all enjoying seeing how long they can pull it out for but we're also curious as to when its arm is going to rip off and its fucking insides will fall out. Deadpool 2 is obviously part of the X-Men world however despite being a supposedly shared universe, the complete lack of continuity between each film provides the unique feel of those early comic book franchises.

I won't give too much away, but if you've seen this film then you'll know that the villain that the young boy befriends whilst in prison in Deadpool 2 has appeared in a previous X-Men film. However here he looks and acts completely different and nobody gives a shit. In fact it's impressive that he acts at all now, with the 'actor' that previously played this part only able to pull off the 'massive helmet' aspect of the character. Obviously Disney are currently regaining the rights to this world and so I'm sure the X-Men will be pulled into the MCU at some point too. However when you look at the uniqueness of Logan, Deadpool, and the television show Legion, I think it's hard not to wonder if the X-Men world is actually going to be worse-off as a result. When a person says “there's too many comic book movies being made” what they're really saying is, “I don't know how many films are being made and only know about the ones advertised on the sides of buses”. In which case what they're really saying is, “I don't know what I'm fucking talking about so please ignore my desire for attention”. However it is still nice to have something like Deadpool 2, which is aware of comic book movies and therefore able to take the piss out of them. Despite the growths at the back of my throat that this movie is solely responsible for, I have to admit that I was still able to enjoy almost every second of it. It's teased here that a Deadpool starring X-Force movie might be on the way with presumably more Deadpool sequels following too. As a fan of this one I'm excited for them, but as somebody who is literally allergic to the franchise I'm genuinely worried that as it goes on my body will have fell out through my arse-hole or my bollocks will swell up to look like an over-inflated space-hopper that's made from the skin of an uncooked turkey. However... based on this sequel, I'm still excited to see more of Deadpool! Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.

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