By Samuel Knight, Reporter
“Deadpool 2” hit theaters on May 10 and dominated the box office with its dark humor and gory violence driven by the main character Deadpool, played to perfection by Ryan Reynolds. Instead of a plot centered around heroes fighting villains, the storyline shows the dark side of every character, protagonist and antagonist alike, in order to illustrate a world where blame falls upon everyone.
Most of the content Marvel produces are family-friendly superhero classics like “Guardians of the Galaxy” or “Thor.” However, Marvel uses the character of Deadpool to break that image of innocence with humorous violence and politically incorrect jokes — enough to make it just one of a few Marvel movies to earn an R rating.
That’s not to say it doesn’t work — the first “Deadpool” movie in 2016 was, and still is, the top grossing R-rated film of all time.
Reynolds can claim much of the success for these films, as he takes on what may be the most enjoyable superhero role in cinematic history. Instead of playing the role of a goody-goody hero, Deadpool is portrayed as a self-absorbed, immature vigilante who takes the selfish persona of Tony Stark to the next level. He has little regard for superhero conventions and isn’t afraid to get dirty with decapitations, which makes for enjoyable death montages; the humor distracted my moral compass, allowing me to enjoy the violence guilt free.
“Deadpool 2” recognizes and channels the criticisms of other Marvel movies throughout the film; it has Easter eggs that slightly mock other Marvel films — like the joke that mocks Ryan Reynold’s decision to play Green Lantern. In a way, this makes the movie more enjoyable. While I have cringed at the dry wit other Marvel superheroes have displayed, “Deadpool 2” provides reassurance that Marvel recognizes the childishness of those jokes, and can laugh at themselves for it.
The film hosts a diverse set of characters, including a plus-size aspiring superhero, a badass villain with a soft side, and one of the first gay couples in a Marvel film. The lack of delineation between heroes and villains makes it possible to sympathize with each character, as opposed to most Marvel films, which essentially preclude impartiality by making it clear which characters are good and which are bad.
Deadpool mostly focuses on the dark side, but there is a part of him to sympathize with as well. Deadpool, like all people, has a heart, even if it is very small. He is a person who doesn’t really care about anything, but he also lives as Wade Wilson, the man under the mask. Part of the movie’s focus is on Wilson’s personal life and how the decisions he makes are driven by the love he has for his girlfriend. Through this leading factor, the film combines romance and action to supplement the immature comedic style, all of which blend together and push the plot forward.
However, the movie is, at its core, an action film. Scenes with blood and extreme violence are guided by perfectly matched slow-moving Cher anthems, like “If I Could Turn Back Time,” which reflect the dark side of Marvel that loves decapitation. Despite the fact that “Deadpool 2” is a Marvel-produced action film, do not go into the theater expecting to see a superhero movie that follows the rules, at all.
I was disappointed, however, with some of the antics that Marvel used to attract a younger audience. There were some unnecessarily sappy moments that didn’t flow with the style of the movie — which reminded me of the more cookie cutter Marvel movies. I was also shocked that, even with this film, Marvel attempted to produce a high-grossing blockbuster by resorting to several action movie clichés. Not that those tactics aren’t successful; they just clash with the character of Deadpool and the greater concepts of what he believes in. There were times where Deadpool suddenly started following his moral compass with a passion, especially in scenes where he was willing to sacrifice himself for the aspiring superhero “Firefist.” It was noticeably less cliché than other Marvel movies, but I felt that if it followed the image of the first movie, it would’ve been more successful.
Despite the use of a few Marvel-style clichés, I was impressed with the movie as a whole and the upgraded jokes appealed to my humor — that of a teenage boy. The movie is great for someone who’s not interested in an overly analytical plot and just wants to enjoy two hours of a quality action film.
4 out of 5 stars