Well, hello there, fellow Falcoholics and film lovers alike!
As the dog days of almost summer continue to wag their tails, we here at your favorite Falcons website continue to find new and interesting ways to keep your computer screen happy. Note: Matt Chambers’ collection of hummingbird-based visual poetry has been postponed until further notice.
After our deep dive into Avengers: Infinity War, we’re off to see what old Wade Wilson’s been up to with Deadpool 2 (hint: it’s meta!).
Deadpool was never quite as good as the hubbub that surrounded it. You appreciated the subversive, er, subversion it wanted to do for the superhero film — a genre that had grown too stuffy and legalistic for stories that involved grown men in capes going off and fighting bad people who deliver monologues like lovelorn Shakespeare characters — but like that kid in your dorm that just won’t stop popping his head into your room to tell you about that time he got that one girl’s number from biology class, the Merc with a Mouth just wouldn’t shut up, and people just wouldn’t shut up about the Merc with a Mouth.
The buzz around the film was excruciating, though the film itself was actually quite good. Just because you have a good birthday cake doesn’t mean Cousin Humphrey the booger muncher won’t be there to gross everyone out, and y’know, cakes get stale if you let them sit for too long in the open air. Thus was the case of Deadpool — it was delicious confection that just didn’t need that much exposure or attention. It’s my party, and I can critique if I want to.
For what Deadpool did well, Deadpool 2 does bigger, longer, louder and with more moneys. Deadpool 2 is a sugar rush caffeine bender roller coaster of sights, sounds and slapstick sentiment, so amped up to show you a million things, and a million violent acts with swear words and crotch jokes and other movie references and cameos and oh did you see Cable, he’s in this one, and unicorn farts and more swear words and hey look stylized violence and bawwwhahahahaha PIXIE STICK UP MY NOOOSE HOOLE and clever Batman vs. Superman joke and but y’all this is serious and nah just kidding and no srs and maybe and Eddie Marsan and META and BLAMMO MORE PIXIE STICK and subtle commentary on the nature of sequels and more serious and Ricky Baker and Van from Atlanta and CAMEOZ and SKRILLEX and set piece number 7 and I’m so happy for Ryan Reynolds, no, seriously, so happy for him and boom. (And end credit sequences.)
Deadpool 2 is somehow more exhausting, and somehow, still works pretty well.
The crux of the series is that Deadpool wants to have it both ways. It wants to sit on the perch and hurl cheeky insults at the superhero movie while slipping out the back door and scribbling together a script that, y’know, is pretty common for a superhero movie. Here, Deadpool continues to learn #lessons about #family, and makes friends along the way after a real sad opening scene that the entire opening credits really work hard to meta-commentary against. But, then those sad scenes come back and thread together the plot, and they’re legit sad for the movie, so you’re a bit confused with what exactly is supposed to be held sacred and what we’re supposed to laugh at. But, it, still, somehow, works.
Reynolds adores this role, and has worked hard to make these movies happen, and happen loudly. These films seem to be labors of love for all involved, and that’s what makes these movies click. Not that they’re sharp commentary on the state of the genre (they can be), not that they’re actually pretty fun superhero movies in and of themselves (they are), not because they’re chocked full of knowing winks and nudges to other films in their pasture (they’re there, and often funny), it’s that everyone gives such a dang to make this as good as it can be. For such a nonchalant hero to get such an effort-driven movie is kind of cute.
But, the seams are showing on the formula, and bigger isn’t necessarily better. With the money ole Deadpool brought in last weekend, this mouthy merc isn’t likely to hang it up anytime soon. Future films will benefit from not trying so hard to be everything everyone wants it to be, because when, like me, you begin to already forget about aspects of the movie you enjoyed by the closing credits because of a sensory overload, that’s a problem. The film feels like an eternity to get through, even though it’s never a chore or bore. It’s just like watching three movies at once, all hopped up on Mountain Dew, ready to fight you like a spider monkey and throw Grandpa Chip’s war medals off the bridge.
Your mileage will vary with every meta-joke, “can you believe we got away with this” gag and “look, it’s a big movie, we’ve gotta fill the empty space” side hustle, and no, not every laugh will reach you, just because there’s too much going on, and not everything’s funny. But, what works works exceptionally well, and we’re left with a lesser sequel that still manages to add up to something good. Not great, y’know, but pretty darn good for Deadpool.
So, what did you think? How did all those cameos work for you? Where do you want to see X-Force go next? Is it time for Deadpool to hang it up? How awesome is Zazie Beets?
Let’s get the cinematic conversation going below, and we’ll be back next week for a trip on the Millennium Falcon with Solo: A Star Wars Story (hint: it’s very good, and very Star Wars).