I finally have a kind-of review of Deadpool 2, but the review part is going to be smaller because I want to talk about its impact and significance.
The first Deadpool movie introduced us to the version closer to the comic books than what was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and it and DP2 rightly took potshots at the Origins version. It showed movie studios it was okay to be irreverent with a bloody, violent and profane superhero movie and you can have a non-traditional marketing campaign, as long as you don’t treat the audience like they’re stupid.
DP2 picks up two years later. Wade Wilson has been taking on organized crime, using at least one Dolly Parton song as accompaniment while taking them out. He’s successful enough at it that I’m guessing it’s what prompts one criminal to install a panic room. Wade doesn’t finish the job because it’s his anniversary. When he gets home, Vanessa gives him a present that signals a major change in their relationship.
Other changes quickly follow. Vanessa becomes his adviser and Wade takes a shot at being an X-Man, but during a mission to diffuse a situation involving a very angry teenage mutant (no half-shelled diapsids here) that he learns has been abused, he realizes just can’t play by Prof. Xavier’s rules and takes it out on the abusers. He and the teenager are carted off to a high-security mutant jail where their powers are neutralized by special collars. Remember why Wade volunteered for the special treatments that turned him into Deadpool? Yeah. The collars don’t do nothin’ about that.
Enter Cable, a soldier from the future who wants to right what once went wrong. He’s here to take out DP, and I don’t mean Dolly Parton. Or is he? Nope. Those teenage anger issues were just the beginning, leading to a very war-torn future.
Team-up time! DP needs a team to stop Cable. Enter X-Force, a derivative gender-neutral group that represents the best of those who applied from the LinkedIn ad, or at least the best for what DP and Weasel decide is needed. Though light in the number of female members, the one that made the cut can hold her own with a “not very cinematic” superpower.
Team-up time again! Cable puts aside his disgust regarding DP to work with him against an even bigger threat. Can they save the day? Will they get there in time? Will they learn whatever it is that snow does in summer? Sorry. Wrong movie.
Okay, so that’s not really a review as it is a recap. Just take the recap as an overall thumbs up for the movie. “But what about the impact and significance? You promised us they’d be covered,” I hear you cry. Cool your jets. Here they are.
The impact the movie had on me was two-fold. First was seeing amongst all the other previews for R-rated and horror movies was the one for Teen Titans Go! to the Movies in front of DP2. It became funnier if you know the history of Wade Wilson compared to Slade Wilson. Second, towards the end of DP2 is a big dramatic moment where the bigger threat is revealed. I’m watching and kind of listening to the background music. Hold it. Are they really singing what I think they’re singing? Uh huh. Indeedy they are. Another case where the movie was made right, with an assist from DC.
Impact #2, “Ashes”. Main song for the movie and a satire of other movie songs. Who can they get for it? Ryan Reynolds: “Let’s ask Celine Dion.” Celine: “Sure, why not? I get where you’re coming from with this.” Result: an emotional and funny music video.
Impact #3, Target’s exclusive home video release of the movie, Deadpool 2: Super-Duper $@%!#& Cut that includes a storybook subtitled “A (Not Suitable For) Children’s Book” made to look like a Little Golden Book. It’s still available if you haven’t bought the movie yet. This is also the version that was extended and re-scored so it works well as a separate version of the movie.
…and that leads to impact #4: Once Upon a Deadpool, the re-cut, PG-13 version that exchanged some of the R-rated portions for new footage of Deadpool reading the story of the movie to Fred Savage in a recreation of his bedroom in The Princess Bride, complete with Fred’s reactions to some of the more shocking events in the movie. There’s other alterations that you have to be paying attention to catch. This version is what allowed DP2 to be shown in China, a market that’s very restrictive in what the government allows.
As to significance, it comes in two parts. If you’re a fan of the character Weasel or just T.J. Miller’s work in general, this is going to be one of the last times you see him in a movie for a while. The Super-Duper version includes “alts” (more jokes that weren’t in the theatrical release). Miller has behaved poorly over the last two years. It’s already confirmed he won’t be in any future X-Force or Deadpool movies, and he was replaced in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. It may be a while before he’s in a movie again.
Part #2 is a major portion of Wade Wilson’s character isn’t exactly a heart of gold. It’s what he says in the movie. Doing what’s right is sometimes messy. He’ll stand up for those who have been mistreated when he knows it’s right.
This part is going to take some time because it involves Disney. Right after the announcement of Disney buying Fox, the question was immediately raised about how that would affect future Deadpool movies. How would the squeaky-clean House of Mouse handle a character that checks all the boxes of what they usually try to avoid, especially when they’re inheriting what has so far been a cash cow? How does a character that will do what’s right even when it’s messy impact the Disney company?
This is what you’ll have to wait to find out. There will be more on this later this year.