This is a very strange time for movie mutants. With the Disney/FOX merger nearly complete, the X-franchises, which ushered in the modern age of superhero films with 2000’s X-Men, are in limbo. New Mutants and Dark Phoenix will likely wrap up the FOX-era X-Men films, and you could see Xavier and Co. in the MCU in the next three years. Where does that leave the insanely successful Deadpool franchise? That’s a really good question.
The MCU is traditionally PG-13, something that Deadpool never has been…until this Christmas. The release of Once Upon a Deadpool, essentially a PG-13 recut of Deadpool 2, may be an audition for a more family-friendly Merc With a Mouth…or it could just be a naked cash grab to squeeze just a little more money out of Deadpool 2‘s run.
One thing that is dead is the X-Force spinoff that Deadpool 2 sets up. That is a crying shame because for the problems I did have with the film (and I did like it very much overall), the introduction and execution (literally) of X-Force was the best thing about ‘Pool 2. Deadpool is at his best when he’s just allowed to be the unhinged, manic id of the Marvel Universe. It’s why the character is better off without PG-13 shackles. A huge part of Deadpool’s appeal is the anticipation that he may say or do absolutely anything at any given moment, and you lose that if you bring him down a rating level.
If you were a comic book fan in the 1990s, you could not avoid X-Force. Rob Liefeld’s supergroup of pouty-lipped, barely-footed mutants was a sales juggernaut. They could also be…well, I don’t currently have the mental bandwidth to get into Rob Liefeld, but suffice it to say that there are few things that made me as happy and laugh as hard as watching Shatterstar’s demise. The entire sequence, from Deadpool’s open casting call, to his inspirational plane speech, to the shortest outing in super-team history is sheer brilliance. Special recognition to Brad Pitt for one of the most unexpected cameos in recent memory and to Rob Delaney’s Peter. Oh, Peter. I miss you the most, too.
I was a little mixed on Deadpool 2 when it came out in May. If I had known the entire summer after it was about to do a group dive down the toilet I really would have cherished the experience more. A day after Fox announced that it would screen an uncut version of the film at San Diego Comic-Con, it announced the digital and home video release date for the film along with a slew of special features. The film will release digitally on August 7, 2018, and on 4K and Blu Ray August 21, 2018. More details below from Coming Soon. Continue reading Deadpool 2 Blu Ray Release Date and Special Features→
I think it’s fair to say that rarely has a film’s cast and crew been happier to make a sequel than Deadpool 2’s. Deadpool was a giant surprise in 2016. Surprising in that it ever happened period, and that what we got was so good. Deadpool2 gleefully jumps back into the Merc With a Mouth’s world, but the results this time are hit and miss. Overall, it hits a lot more than it misses, and if you liked the first film, you’ll like the sequel. It is, however, like a lot of sequels, a bag of diminishing returns. Going to get a bit spoilery below so warnings all around. Continue reading Movie Review: Deadpool 2 (2018) *Mixed Bag of Maximum Effort*→
Deadpool was a wildly successful surprise in 2016 because it gleefully embraced the character and gave comic book fans and movie fans in general a hysterically inventive impish bag of just plain wrong. Deadpool’s hyper violence and super embrace of its R-Rating isn’t an indication that all super hero films need to be R-Rated, but Deadpool is an R-Rated character and one that Ryan Reynolds gets to a disturbing degree. After seeing the character maligned in the regrettable X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Reynolds made it a personal crusade to get an unplugged Deadpool onscreen and was rewarded with huge box office and a Golden Globe nomination.
Deadpool doesn’t work because it’s hyper violent and contains possibly the most amazingly inventive bag of swearing I’ve ever beheld (and I-no joke-used to live on the docks). It works because THAT is who Deadpool is, and Reynolds manages to still make the sociopathic fourth-wall-breaking mutant relatable, sympathetic, and somehow endearing despite the mayhem he leaves in his wake. Picking a favorite example of that is tough, but I love the contrast between Colossus, occupying the opposite end of the moral spectrum in the X-Universe, and Wade. Watching Deadpool literally pulverize himself while trying to beat up Colossus may be the hardest I laughed in a film that consistently entertains start to finish. Deadpool 2 has a tough act to follow.
WatchMojo has a great idea for a list this week with the Top 10: Movie Villains With Justifiable Motives. The best villains believe they’re the hero of their own stories. The elite make the audience believe their actions, no matter how heinous, are justifiable. Think of the best screen villains, and you usually know why they’re doing the things they are. One of the MCU’s biggest problems until recently was a lack of motivation given to the villain. Most non-MCU comic book films focus on the villain almost to the detriment of the hero (most Batman films), but the MCU took the opposite route and poured all its character development time into the heroes. Phase 3 took a different approach and gave us more nuanced villains like Ego, Killmonger, Zemo, and even, yes, Thanos, were given a twisted logic for their crusades. WM went with The Vulture for their list, and that’s a good pick. I actually don’t have much of a problem with any of their picks: Silva from Skyfall, Syndrome from The Incredibles, Koba, Magneto, etc. I think the only flaw in the list is that it doesn’t go back any further than 1982’s Blade Runner for candidates, but I’m sure everyone can think of a few baddies who had motivation enough for some sympathy. Who would you have put on this list?