Saturday, June 23, 2018

It Came From The Cineplex: Deadpool 2

Yeah, I know, this review's late. I have a good excuse this time though, as I've been out of town on a much-needed vacation.

Deadpool 2 was written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds. It was directed by David Leitch.

Reese and Wernick previously wrote Zombieland, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Life, as well as the original Deadpool. Now THAT'S an uneven resume! This is Reynold's very first writing credit.

Leitch is primarily a stuntman and stunt coordinator, who's moved into directing. He previously directed John Wick and Atomic Blonde.

Full disclosure: I've never been a big Deadpool fan. He debuted shortly around the time I stopped buying comics, so I never formed any emotional attachment to the character.

That said, I enjoyed the first Deadpool movie quite a bit. It had an irreverent and subversive tone that poked fun at both comic books and superhero movies. It's outrageous, hard-R humor was also funny as hell.

Unfortunately all that got flushed down the crapper here in Deadpool 2. Virtually everything that worked in the first film misfires here in the sequel. 
Gone is the snarky tone that worked so well in Deadpool, replaced instead with an odd and bizarre sentimentality. This sappy, emotionally earnest tone felt cheap and manipulative, and was completely out of character for Deadpool.

Instead of being a sarcastic, anarchic asshole who cares only about himself, Deadpool suddenly risks everything to become a surrogate father to a troubled mutant teen named Russell. 

Well, sort of. The movie can't quite decide whether Deadpool's a hero or a jerk. One minute he defends Russell to the death, and the next he literally wants nothing to do with him. What the hell? Did anyone proofread this script before they filmed it?

At the beginning of the movie Deadpool even brags that this is a "family film." Amazingly, he's not wrong. When I saw the film, at least half the audience consisted of parents and their ten year old kids! And why not? There's very little objectionable content in Deadpool 2. There's plenty of violence of course, but it's all pretty cartoonish, and there's , none of the perverted sex that permeated the first film. Might as well bring the kids!

I appreciate the fact that they didn't just rehash the original and attempted to do something different in the sequel. Unfortunately this new direction was a mistake in my opinion.

Sadly, Deadpool's neutering means this installment's nowhere near as funny as the first. I laughed quite a bit during the first film, but few of Deadpool 2's jokes managed to stick their landing, thudding to the ground like bricks.

But hey, we finally got a live-action version of Cable, along with a lady who looks and acts absolutely nothing like Domino, so that's something, right?

I'm blaming this radical shift in tone on the fact that original Deadpool director Tim Story didn't return for the sequel. Supposedly Story left over a rift with star Ryan Reynolds. Story wanted actor Kyle Chandler (of Friday Night Lights fame) to play Cable in the sequel, a choice that Reynolds strongly disagreed with.

Story also wanted to make the sequel "a stylized action film," which would have cost at least three times what the original did. Reynolds and writers Reese and Wernick wanted to keep the size and scope similar to the first movie. Since Fox was bankrolling the picture, they sided with Team Reynolds, and Tim Story was either booted off the project or quit in disgust. 

Too bad. The movie definitely needed more of his touch.

The audience at my screening definitely enjoyed it though. They roared with uncontrollable laughter at virtually every syllable uttered by Deadpool, which made it tough to hear the dialogue. I honestly spent most of the film wondering just what they hell they were laughing at, as I thought it was nowhere near as funny as the first movie.

They even stood up and cheered while pumping their fists in the air during the mid-credit scenes! What the hell? What am I missing here?

So far Deadpool 2's grossed an impressive $693 million worldwide ($300 million of that in the States). Impressive, but still far below the original film's $783 million worldwide gross. At this point it seems unlikely it'll match or surpass the original.


The Plot:
The movie opens as Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool (played again by Ryan Reynolds) lies down on several drums of high-test fuel in his apartment. He lights a cigarette, takes a puff and flicks the butt into one of the drums. The resulting explosion blows him into several large, singed pieces. The End. That was quick!

No, wait. We have a mandatory flashback, in which we see Deadpool's been traveling the globe for the past two years, easily wiping out hundreds of criminals and underworld kingpins. 

Unfortunately his winning streak ends when he attacks the HQ of Sergei Valishnikov, a New York druglord. Valishnikov's goons chase after Deadpool, and he barely escapes with the help of his cab driving friend Dopinder. 

Deadpool returns to his apartment, just in time to celebrate his anniversary with his girlfriend Vanessa Carlysle (played by Monica Baccarin). He gives her a skeeball token from their first date (PLOT POINT ALERT!), and she tells him she's ready to start a family. Deadpool's elated at the prospect of starting a family, which is completely out of character, but whatever. 

Right on cue, Valishnikov and his men burst into the apartment. Caught without his trademark weapons, Deadpool improvises an assortment of kitchen implements to kill the goons. He then goes after Valishnikov, throwing a cream cheese spreader at him.

Unfortunately the spreader misses its target, and Valishnikov fires his gun. The bullet flies through the apartment in slow motion, hitting Vanessa in the shoulder. Despite this seemingly non-life-threatening injury, she falls to the ground like a sack of wet cement and promptly dies in Deadpool's arms.

Valishnikov gulps as he realizes he's in trouble, and beats it out of the apartment. He jumps in his car, takes off and promptly crashes into a van. An enraged Deadpool follows him into the street and yanks him out of the car. He holds onto Valishnikov as he steps in the path of a speeding truck, which obliterates them both.

Thanks to his regenerative powers, Deadpool recovers. He then spirals into depression, fingering the skeeball token as he blames himself for Vanessa's death. He visits his former roommate Blind Al (played by Leslie Uggams), who tells him life's hard and he needs to man up. He then inhales several pounds of cocaine (our hero, ladies and gents!), goes back to his apartment, lays on the fuel drums and blows himself up, bringing us back to the present.

Deadpool wakes up in the afterlife (I guess?), where he sees Vanessa relaxing in their apartment. He tries to go to her, but is stopped by an invisible barrier. She tells him "his heart's not in the right place yet," whatever the hell that means. He's then violently yanked back into the real world, as we see Colossus gather the pieces of Deadpool's body and drag them back to the X-Men's Mansion.

Deadpool regenerates and recovers in the mansion. He sees former student Negasonic Teenage Warhead (played by Brianna Hidebrand), who's now a full-fledged X-Man. She's accompanied by her girlfriend Yukio (played by Shioli Kutsuna), whose sunny disposition is a stark contrast to the sullen and moody Negasonic.

Colossus encourages Deadpool to join the X-Men, to give him something to do. He isn't interested at first, but when the team's called out on a mission, he decides to tag along for some reason.

Cut to sometime in the future, where a cyborg soldier named Cable (played by Josh Brolin) stares out at the post apocalyptic wasteland. He surveys the wreckage of his house, staring meaningfully at the incinerated bodies of a woman and a young girl. He picks up a bloody teddy bear and attaches it to his belt. He then slaps a blinking disk on his shoulder and travels back in time.

In the present, Colossus, Negasonic and Deadpool land the X-Jet at an orphanage run by the Essex Corporation, which houses young mutant runaways. As they arrive, they see a fourteen year old boy named Russell Collins (played by Julian Dennison) surrounded by hundreds of police and orphanage staff, including the Headmaster (played by Eddie Marsan). Russell, who calls himself Firefist (no, really), has the power to shoot flames from his hands, and warns everyone to stay away from him.

Colossus and Negasonic try to capture Russell, but he threatens to blast them. Deadpool manages to approach Russell, and notices he's been physically abused. When he asks if the Headmaster hurts him, Russell says he'd rather be sent to the "Icebox" rather than stay at the orphanage. This infuriates Deadpool, which again seems out of character.

Just then a creepy orderly grabs Russell and tries to drag him back inside. Deadpool shoots the orderly in the head, much to the horror of the X-Men and everyone else. Russell begins blasting the crowd with flames, but both he and Deadpool are overpowered by guards and fitted with power-dampening collars.

Deadpool and Russell are taken to the Icebox, an isolated, high tech prison which houses the country's worst mutant criminals. Apparently there's no juvie wing, as the adolescent Russell's tossed into a cell with the adult Deadpool. That just ain't right!

Russell wants to stick with Deadpool, saying they're a team. Unfortunately for him, Deadpool suddenly wants nothing to do with him, which is the exactly the opposite of how he acted just a couple of scenes ago (?). They're approached by a mutant named Black Tom Cassidy, who, despite his name, is a white man. Russell tries to fight Cassidy, but both he and Deadpool get their asses severely beaten. 

Cut to two rednecks (played by Alan Tudyk and an unrecognizable Matt Damon) sitting in the bed of a pickup truck. Cable materializes behind them and asks what year it is. They're naturally confused by his question, so he stuns them and steals their truck.

Back in the Icebox, the battered and bruised Deadpool is slowly dying. With the dampening collar suppressing his regenerative powers, his mutant cancer begins spreading and killing him. Just then the prison rumbles and shakes, and Russell asks what's happening. Deadpool says it's the "monster" housed in the basement of the Icebox (FORESHADOWING ALERT!), though just how he knows that is anyone's guess.

Just then Cable infiltrates the prison, killing dozens of guards and inmates alike as they attack him. Deadpool and Russell manage to escape their cell right before Cable obliterates it with his futuristic gun. He then chases them through the prison.

Deadpool assumes Cable's a hitman who's after him, and tells Russell to get as far away from his as possible (Hero Deadpool Mode here). Suddenly they're cornered, and Deadpool's gobsmacked when Cable growls, "Hello, Russell." Gasp! He's not looking for Deadpool at all!

Deadpool and Cable engage in an epic battle, as Russell looks on. Deadpool's collar is damaged in the brawl, and he instantly yanks it off. With the collar gone his powers return, and he takes on Cable with renewed strength. 

Unfortunately even with his powers, Deadpool's no match for the much stronger Cable. He gives Deadpool a massive beat down, punching him so hard the skeeball token flies out of his jumpsuit. For no good reason, Cable picks it up as "something to remember him by" and pockets it (ANOTHER FORESHADOWING ALERT!)

Cable asks why Deadpool why he's protecting Russell. He says he's not, as he couldn't possibly care less about him (Asshole Deadpool Mode). Russell overhears this and runs away. Just then Deadpool grabs one of Cable's explosive devices and detonates it. They're both blown through a wall and fall down the side of an icy mountain. 

Deapool lands in a frozen lake, breaks through the ice and sinks. He finds himself in the afterlife again, but still can't reach Vanessa. She tells him "kids give us a chance to be better than we used to be." He's pulled back into the real world again and crawls out of the water and onto the ice.

Cut to Deadpool drinking heavily at Sister Margaret's School For Wayward Girls, the mercenary dive bar he frequents. He realizes Vanessa was trying to tell him to save Russell. Unfortunately it won't be easy. His pal Weasel (played once again by the incredibly unfunny TJ Miller), somehow know the mutants are being transferred from the Icebox to an even MORE secure prison, eighty miles away. Deadpool realizes he'll need help to rescue Russell, and says they need to form a super team.

Meanwhile in the Icebox, Black Tom starts a prison riot. In the confusion, Russell sneaks into the basement cell, where he befriends the "monster" that's kept there.

Deadpool and Weasel hold auditions for their new team. They end up hiring Bedlam, a mutant who can manipulate electrical fields, Zeitgeist, who can vomit deadly acid, Shatterstar, an alien from the planet Mojoworld, Vanisher, a silent invisible man who may not actually exist and Peter, an ordinary guy with no powers whatsoever, who tried out because it "looked like fun." Peter's hiring pisses off the similarly un-powered Dopinder, who wants to become a superhero.

Lastly they interview Domino (played by Zazie Beetz), a mutant with the power of luck, who looks and acts nothing whatsoever like her comic book counterpart. Deadpool argues that luck isn't a power, but hires her anyway because it's in the script.

Deadpool dubs his new team "X-Force." Their plan is to parachute from a plane, land on the armored prison convoy, break into one of the trucks and rescue Russell. 

The team jumps out of the plane and opens their chutes. Unfortunately high winds in the area blow them off course. Deadpool gets stuck on a billboard and watches in horror as Bedlam crashes into a speeding truck, Shatterstar lands on top of a helicopter's spinning blades and Vanisher (played for a split second by Brad Pitt) gets tangled in high tension wires and electrocuted. 

Peter gets the hang of his chute and successfully lands. Unfortunately Zeitgeist falls into a wood chipper and vomits acid all over Peter, killing him instantly.

The only other X-Force member who survives is Domino, whose luck power causes her to land safely in the middle of a busy intersection. She then easily infiltrates the lead truck in the armored convoy and radios Deadpool that she's in. Deadpool steals a scooter and follows closely behind.

Suddenly Cable appears and leaps onto the convoy, searching the portable cells for Russell. Domino lets her luck steer while she has a shootout with Cable in the back of the truck. Deadpool leaps into the truck as well, and there's yet another big setpiece battle that goes on for way too long. 

In the confusion, Russell picks the lock to his cell and escapes. He enters the truck containing the "monster" from the prison and opens his cell. A massive figure steps out and punches though the floor of the truck, generating a shockwave that collapses an overpass and sends the vehicle flying.

Deadpool crawls from the wreckage and looks for Russell. He finds him standing next to the massive figure, who turns out to be Juggernaut. Deadpool gushes to him, but Juggernaut's not impressed. He grabs Deadpool, rips his body in half and tosses the pieces away. Russell says he no longer needs Deadpool, and he and Juggernaut head for the orphanage.

Domino arrives and carries Deadpool's top half back to his apartment. Once there, he hangs out with Blind Al, waiting for the lower half of his body to grow back. For some reasonWeasel, Dopinder and Domino show up at the apartment, and are all suitably horrified by Deadpool's tiny baby legs.

Just then Cable pops in as well, blaming Deadpool for unleashing Juggernaut. He says he can't take down the massive mutant alone, and as much as it pains him to admit it, he needs help.

Deadpool asks why Cable's trying to kill a fourteen year old boy. Cable finally decides to explain the film's plot: very soon, Russell will kill for the first time. He'll then decides he likes it and become a ruthless killing machine. At some point in the future, Russell will murder Cable's family. That's why he's come back in time— to eliminate Russell before any of that happens. So he's basically the Terminator.

Cable says his "time slider" has just two charges— one to get him to the past, and one to take him back to his own time once Russell's dead (ANOTHER FORESHADOWING ALERT!).

Deadpool says deep down he knows Russell's not evil, and asks for the chance to save him. For some reason, Cable throws away his motivation and says, sure, why not. 
Deadpool returns to the X-Mansion and begs Colossus for help. He refuses, neatly setting up a third act change of heart and triumphant entrance scene.

Russell and Juggernaut arrive at the orphanage, intending on killing the Headmaster. Just then Deadpool, Cable, Domino and Dopinder arrive and swagger toward the camera. For no reason other than lazy writing, Domino announces she used to live in the orphanage as well (?). Dopinder gets a good look at the enormous Juggernaut and decides to wait in his cab.

Juggernaut approaches, and Deadpool and the others attack. Unfortunately they're no match for the behemoth, and he easily mops the floor with them. Meanwhile, Russell— now in Firefist mode— goes after the Headmaster, burning the building as he goes.

As predicted, Colossus, Negasonic and Yukio arrive in the X-Jet at the perfect moment. Colossus attacks Juggernaut, but is severely beaten. Yukio binds Juggernaut's legs with an electrified chain (I guess?), immobilizing him. Colossus recovers long enough to jam a live electrical wire up Juggernaut's ass. Negasonic then blasts him into a pool, electrocuting him. 

Russell corners the Headmaster and is ready to deal the killing blow. Deadpool catches up to Russell and says killing his tormentor won't make him feel better. He apologizes and says he never should have left him in the Icebox. Russell says he overheard Deadpool saying he didn't care about him, and doesn't believe anything he says. He says he can never trust anyone again, and unleashes the full power of his blast on Deadpool. His costume is singed ash gray, causing all the comic book geeks in the audience to nudge one another and point at the screen.

Deadpool takes a power-dampening collar out of his belt (where the hell'd he get that?) and puts it on. He says if Russell's going to kill anyone today, then it'll have to be him. Russell begins powering up, as his hands glow bright red. Cable realizes Russell's a lost cause, pulls out his gun and shoots him.

At the last second, Deadpool leaps in front of Russell and takes the bullet for him. He collapses on the ground and begins dying. Russell's horrified by what his actions have caused, and has an immediate change of heart. He cradles Deadpool in his arms and tells him he's sorry. 

Cable looks down at the teddy bear attached to his belt, and marvels (heh) as the blood on it disappears. He realizes this means Russell's no longer a killer, and his wife and child are still alive in the future.

Deadpool's happy that he's finally going to die, and says goodbye to the entire cast in another scene that goes on way too long. He finally dies, and slips into the other realm again. This time he's able to reach Vanessa and they make out for a while. Suddenly she stops and says he can't stay, as it's not yet his time.

In the real world, Cable looks at his time slider disc. He twists the dial and slaps it, sliding back to the point where they first arrived at the orphanage. He pats Deadpool on the chest, seemingly for no good reason. 

Cut to the moment when Deadpool leaps in front of the bullet meant for Russell. He lands on the ground, but this time he doesn't die. He reaches under a strap and pulls out the skeeball token. He realized Cable went back in time and planted it there, knowing that's where Deadpool would take the bullet. Fortunately even though Deadpool doesn't die this time, Russell still has his change of heart.

Deadpool asks why Cable used his last time charge to save him. He says now that his family's safe in the future, he's gonna stick around a while to make sure humanity doesn't turn the Earth into a post apocalyptic wasteland. Groan! Now THAT'S bad writing!

Suddenly the Headmaster runs out of the orphanage, yelling about mutants and hell and whatnot. Dopinder then plows into him with his cab, killing him instantly. I guess that's the end of that subplot! Deadpool announces he's finally found a family. Groan!

In a mid-credit scene, Negasonic and Yukio recharge Cable's time travel disk and give it to Deadpool for some reason. He uses it to return to the moment of Vanessa's death. This time he's able to kill Valishnikov and save Vanessa's life! He then saves Peter from being killed as well.

He then travels back to 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where he kills the terrible, abortive version of Deadpool in that movie (who was also played by Ryan Reynolds). Cut to Ryan Reynold's apartment in 2011, as he reads the script for Green Lantern. Deadpool appears and shoots him in the head.

Deadpool 2 is a prime example of what I like to call a "Barnacle Movie." What the hell's that, you ask? Welp, it's when a film franchise begins accumulating characters the way barnacles build up on the hull of a ship.

Deadpool introduced the titular character of course, along with Weasel, Vanessa, Blind Al, Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Dopinder the cab driver. That's seven characters (not counting the villains), which is a lot for any movie to handle. 

Deadpool 2 brings back EVERY single one of these characters, plus it adds SIX more: Cable, Russell, Domino, Peter, Yukio and Juggernaut (I'm not counting the other members of X-Force, since they were only onscreen a few seconds). Hell, they even brought back Buck, the biker barfly at Sister Margaret's School For Wayward Girls! They'd have probably included Ajax and Angel Dust too if they hadn't been killed in the first movie.

That makes a whopping THIRTEEN characters the script needs to deal with! And when Deadpool 3 rolls around, I guarantee every one of these thirteen will be back, plus at least four or five more.

That's way, WAY too many speaking parts. Yeah, I get that the audience expects to see their favorite characters come back for each movie and all that. But at some point you've got to start scraping the barnacles off the ship, before it sinks under its own weight.

• One of the things I liked about the original film was its fidelity to the source material. Movie Deadpool spoke, acted, and best of all looked exactly like his comic book counterpart. His origin story and powers were even the same as in the comic (more or less).

Supposedly star Ryan Reynolds fought tooth and nail for this faithfulness to the comic, especially after the terrible and shameful version of Deadpool that appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Hats off to Reynolds for caring so much and demanding the character be done right.

Unfortunately, all that devotion to accuracy was flushed right down the sh*tter in Deadpool 2. Cable comes closest to matching the source material, but he's still quite different from the comic version. Domino and Firefist are the worst of the lot, and have absolutely nothing in common with their comic book inspirations save their names (more on each of these characters below).

So what the hell happened? Why'd the franchise suddenly stop giving a flying fark for authenticity? Did Ryan Reynolds work so hard bringing an accurate Deapool to the screen that he was too worn out to care any more? Did the director think the new characters were so obscure that it wouldn't matter if they resembled the source or not? Was it a case of studio interference? Who knows. Whatever the reason, it's a shame the quest for fidelity took a sudden back seat in this film.

• Brad Pitt, Dolph Lundgren, Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell, Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Sylverster Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ron Perlman, Pierce Brosnan (!), Stephen Lang and David Harbour (of Stranger Things fame) were all in the running for the role of Cable.

I have a feeling most of those names were never seriously considered, as many of them seem way too old for the part and would likely demand too much money. In fact I disagree with pretty much everyone on that list except for Stephen Lang and David Harbour. Either one of them would have made a fine Cable.

Ultimately the filmmakers cast Josh Brolin in the part. He makes a pretty good cable, as he has the look, the attitude and the gravelly voice.

There's just one major problem— Brolin's wayyyyy too small for the role. In fact he's actually a little shorter than Deadpool, which becomes painfully obvious any time they share the screen.

Props to Brolin for trying though, as he hired a personal trainer and got absolutely shredded for the part. Unfortunately no amount of weight lifting's gonna add inches to anyone's height.

Obviously the producers were never going to find a perfect live action match for the character, as Comic Book Cable's usually depicted as being seven feet tall and nearly that wide. But c'mon, guys! You already had to CGI Cable's glowing eye and bionic arm in every one of his scenes. Would it have been that much more work to digitally enlarge him by ten or fifteen percent, so he was at least slightly taller than Deadpool? The least you could have done was have him stand on a box!

The writers chose to deal with this issue by having Deadpool make a couple of jokes about Cable's slight frame during the film. Feh!

• One last thing about Cable before I mercifully move on. The character has one of the most convoluted and complicated backstories in all of comic-dom. Cable's real name is Nathan Summers, and he's the son of Cyclops (of the X-Men) and Madelyne Pryor (a clone of X-Men member Jean Grey). Baby Nate was captured by the evil villain Apocalypse and infected with the "techno-virus," whatever that is. 

A woman from the future named Mother Askani then appeared and offered to cure Baby Nate. Cyclops reluctantly agreed, and she took Nate two thousand years into the future, where she taught him how to keep the techno-virus at bay. Mother Askani later revealed she was actually Nate's time-displaced half sister Rachael (yeah, I know).

Rachael then pulled the minds of Cyclops and Jean Grey (NOT Madelyne Pryor) into the future, where they trained Nate in how to use his mutant abilities. When he reached adulthood, he decided to come back to the present day for some reason, where he became the leader of X-Force.

Note that this is an extremely truncated version of Cable's origin story. I could easily write another ten thousand words on the subject.

As soon as it was announced Cable would be in Deadpool 2, I told my movie going pal there was no way in hell they'd be able to include his comic book origin in the movie, and the filmmakers would have to drastically alter his backstory. 

Sure enough, I was right. Movie Cable has a very simplified history. Basically he's a cybernetic soldier who lives in a post apocalyptic future, and travels back in time to prevent his wife and daughter from being killed. That's it! That's all we ever find out about him. We never learn who he is or how he got his cybernetic implants and bionic limbs. We get no explanation as to what happened to his world, and no idea where he got his advanced weaponry and time travel technology.

It's like the filmmakers knew they couldn't shoehorn ALL of Cable's elaborate origin into the movie, so they solved the problem by not including ANY of it. 

• Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lizzy Caplan, Kerry Washington, Sienna Miller, Ruby Rose, Mackenzie Davis, Kelly Rohrbach, Eve Hewson, Sofia Boutella, Stephanie Sigman, Sylvia Hoeks, and Janelle MonĂ¡e were all considered for the part of Domino. Ultimately the role went to Zazie Beetz, who ever the hell that is.

OK, that was mean. Actually, Zazie Beetz is the beloved star of such highly popular films as James White, Applesauce, Wolves, Finding Her, Sollers Point, Dead Pigs and 2017's megahit Geostorm (cue falling slide whistle sound effect).

If the filmmakers went out of their way to give us a comic-accurate Deadpool, then they completely dropped the ball when it came to Domino. As you can see for yourself in the above image, this version has absolutely NOTHING to do with her comic book counterpart, and is different in nearly every measurable sense. The only thing Movie Domino has in common with her inspiration is her name and power.

In the comics, Domino was part of a government project to breed the perfect living weapon. Her mother broke her out of the lab, and hid her in a church in Chicago. Domino later left the church and became a mercenary, as one does.

She eventually met Cable and formed an intimate relationship with him (!). When Cable became the leader of X-Force, she joined the team as well.

Comic Book Domino is a skilled marksman and athlete, and has extensive training in armed combat, martial arts and explosives. Most notably she has the ability to affect the laws of probability in her favor. In other words, she's incredibly lucky.

On the flip side, Movie Domino shares the name and the luck power with her comic version, and that's pretty much it. 

Most egregious of all, Comic Domino is an albino. In fact she's about as albino as a person can be, as her skin is bright paper white. She has a distinctive black patch of skin around her left eye, which inspired her nickname.

Movie Domino is NOT an albino, and is in fact black. Instead of switching things up and giving her a white patch around her eye, she has a faintly flesh colored one, that's barely lighter than her surrounding skin. This makes it easy to miss in 90% of her scenes. 

Look, I get it. It's 2018, we're all "woke" and representation is in high gear. So it's inevitable they were going to include at least one black woman in this film. That's great, and I don't have a problem with it in theory. But why in the name of Stan Lee's toupee did they pick a goddamned ALBINO character to race swap? Now do you maybe see the problem with Beetz's casting? Jesus wept!

In addition to completely hosing her look, they also eliminated her mercenary background and weaponry skills. And they completely ignored the fact that Comic Domino was a longtime ally and sometime girlfriend of Cable, who absolutely hated Deadpool.

If you're going to fundamentally change everything about a character— her look, her race, her costume, her motivation and overall personality— then why the hell even bother? Why didn't they just create a brand new character who conformed to their parameters? They could have easily came up with a character named "Lady Luck." The general public wouldn't known known the difference, and they'd have been able to get their representation into the movie without giving me a stroke.

Naturally the internet is wild about Zazie Beetz, and fans are demanding she get her own Domino movie. Really? I must be taking my crazy pills again, because I thought her performance was flat and underwhelming. She barely had any screen presence at all. There's no way in hell she'd be able to carry her own movie.

• Poor Rusty doesn't fare much better in Deadpool 2. In the comics, Russell Collins was a tall, lanky sailor in the Navy. He met up with a prostitute while on shore leave, and unfortunately his mutant fire powers activated for the first time when he kissed her. Fearing he'd killed her, he went AWOL but was eventually captured by military police.

The mutant team known as X-Factor then sprung Rusty from jail, and made him part of the team.

Obviously none of that happens in the film. Movie Rusty is a much younger doughy teen who's from New Zealand for some reason.

• So they half-assed Cable by torpedoing his entire backstory, and totally botched both Domino and Firefist. But oddly enough, the producers managed to give us a reasonable live-action facsimile of extreme 90s icon Shatterstar, of all characters. 

Naturally they devoted all their time and energy to getting his look just right, since he has all of ninety seconds of screen time.

• Stuntwoman Joi Harris was killed in a motorcycle accident during the filming of Deadpool 2, which stopped production for two days. Hope it was worth it, producers!

• I have many questions about the mechanics of Deadpool's regenerative powers. They seem to function based on the needs of the script, rather than operating by any sort of logic (no surprise there).

At the beginning of the film, Deadpool attempts suicide by literally blowing himself to pieces. Afterward, it appears that Colossus gathers the chunks of Deadpool's body, throws 'em in a trash bag and drags it to the X-Mansion.

So what happened then? Did Deadpool's arms and legs wiggle over to his torso and reassemble themselves? Or did his head sprout a brand new body, like a giant planarian? Based on events of the first film in which he regrew a hand, I'd say it was most likely the latter.

Another question: Late in the second act, Juggernaut grabs Deadpool and tears him in half. Deadpool then has Domino tote him back home, where he regrows a new lower body.

So what happened to his original lower half? Did it grow a new top? Are there now two Deadpools running around? Or can only the half with the head regenerate?

By the way, I'm betting that Deadpool getting torn in half is a reference to the 2013 Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk comic book miniseries. In that story, Hulk rips Wolverine's body in two, and tosses the lower half on top of a mountain or something. Wolverine then has to crawl to the top, grab his bottom and reattach it with his healing power. Just like real life!

• Best Moment (and joke) In The Film: Deadpool complains to Colossus that he never sees anyone other than him and Negasonic Teenage Warhead inside the vast X-Mansion. As he says this, we catch a brief glimpse of the entire X-Men team behind him, as Beast discreetly closes the door (as seen in the blurry bootleg screencap above). HAW!

That really was the current X-Men lineup in that little cameo, including Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Beast (Nicholas Holt), Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and Professor X (James McAvoy).

When I first saw this shot I was impressed that they'd gathered the entire cast together for a five second scene. Alas, that wasn't the case. Supposedly the cast the cameo during filming of the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix movie. Pretty cool!

• Speaking of cameos, my second favorite joke in the entire film was the scene in which the Vanisher parachutes into some high tension wires. As he's electrocuted, we (very) briefly see he's played by Brad Pitt!

• One last cameo, before I stop talking about 'em. Stan Lee makes his obligatory appearance in Deadpool 2, as he does in every Marvel Studios, Fox and Sony movie.

Well, sort of... As Not Domino parachutes through the city, she floats past a building emblazoned with a large mural of Stan's smiling mug. Hey, at least he's in there somewhere!

I have a feeling this is how they'll probably handle his cameos when the sad but inevitable day comes that Stan shuffles off this mortal coil.

• Believe it or not, the X-Force team and most of its members have their roots in the comics. The X-Force comic debuted in 1991, and concerned a team of mutants led by Cable.

Bedlam (played by Terry Crews) first appeared in X-Factor #1, and like his movie counterpart, had the power to generate electromagnetic fields.

Shatterstar (played by Lewis Tan) first appeared in The New Mutants #99. He's an extradimensional alien from the planet Mojoworld, and had superhuman strength, speed and agility. He could also open portals or something. And he was from the future, sent back in time to prevent the downfall of his planet or some such. Amazingly, Movie Shatterstar is pretty darned close to the comic version.

Zeitgeist (played by Bill Skarsgard) debuted in X-Force #116. He had the ability to spew highly acidic bile, that could burn through almost anything, just like the film version. He was killed on one of his first missions, also like his movie counterpart.

There was a Vanisher in Marvel Comics, but he wasn't a member of X-Force. Instead he was a supervillain, who first appeared way back in 1963's The X-Men #2. He wasn't an invisible man though, as he had the ability to teleport himself and anything he was carrying.

As you might expect, Peter has no comic book analogue, and was created just for the movie.

• At one point Cable's holed up in a fleabag hotel, assessing and reassembling his weaponry. This scene is very reminiscent of the T-800 doing the same thing in The Terminator. In fact almost everything about Movie Cable— his look, his motive and his ability to time travel— is very Terminatoresque.

• During an epic setpiece brawl in the Icebox, Deadpool says my favorite line in the entire film. He tells Cable, "You're so dark! Are you sure you're not from the DC Universe?" HAW!

• In yet another setpiece battle, Deadpool tells Cable, "Bring it on, One-Eyed Willy!" This is of course a shoutout to the pirate character in The Goonies, which starred Josh Brolin (among others).

• After he escapes, Deadpool feels guilty for leaving Russell inside the Icebox. Weasel tells him he has intel that the entire mutant population of the Icebox is being moved to an even more secure "super max" prison, eighty miles away.

Jesus Christ! How much more secure could a prison possibly be? From what we see in the film, the Icebox is located on a remote mountaintop, accessible only by special train. So there's another facility that's even harder to get into?

Moving ALL the prisoners at the same time would be a huge undertaking, and would just invite trouble and escape attempts. Why not leave 'em where they are? Did Cable's attack spook the warden, and convince him the Icebox just wasn't secure enough?

• Late in the third act, Russell knocks Deadpool across the screen with a flame blast. This singes Deadpool's costume and covers it in a layer of grey ash.

I'm assuming this was an homage to the fact that Deadpool wore a grey variant of his costume when he briefly joined X-Force in the comics.

• To get through to Russell, Deadpool pulls out a working power-dampening collar and puts it around his neck. Where the hell did he get that? The one he wore in the Icebox was damaged and stopped working. I guess maybe he must have picked one up off a corpse after the prisoner transfer went South? But why?

• Writing time travel stories is hard! Like most of them, this one falls apart with only the slightest bit of scrutiny. At some point in the future, Russell kills Cable's family. Cable then comes back to the present to prevent that from happening. Deadpool manages to steer Russell away from his murderous path, thereby saving Cable's family.

Makes sense, until you start to think about it. If Cable's family is never killed, then there's no reason for him to go back in time. But if he doesn't go back, then they'll be murdered. And so on, and so on, in an infinite circle.

Also, right after Deadpool dies, Cable decides to save him by going back in time to the moment they arrived at the orphanage. But Cable was already at the orphanage then. Shouldn't there be TWO Cables there now?

Same goes for Deadpool. In the mid-credits scene (which I admit probably isn't meant to be taken too seriously), he goes back in time to prevent Vanessa from being killed. Again, Deadpool was already present at that event, so there should be two of him there as well. Obviously that's not the case, creating yet another nonsensical paradox.

• In a mid-credit scene, Deadpool uses Cable's time slider to prevent Vanessa's death. Doesn't it seem odd to resurrect a major character AFTER the film's over, rather than during the actual storyline? Why the hell would they do that? Now ninety percent of the audience has no idea that Vanessa's still alive.

On the other hand, that's kind of on the audience members for bolting out of the theater like track stars the second the credits appear onscreen. What the hell's your hurry? Are you all late for your meetings with the president, to discuss your solutions to the immigration crisis? Sit the hell down and relax!

Deadpool 2 is the antithesis of its predecessor. Everything that worked in the original film falls flat here, as the irreverent tone is replaced with a cheap, maniupulative and wildly out of place sentimentality. It's nowhere near as funny as the first either. I can't work up enough strength to say I hated it, but I sure didn't like it. Stick with the original, and maybe check out the sequel when it comes to home video.

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