Film Review: DEADPOOL 2 (USA 2018) ****

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Deadpool 2 Poster
Trailer

Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable.

Director:

David Leitch

 

DEADPOOL 2 arrives 2 years after the first DEADPOOL, the 11th film in the X-Men film series.  The important question on everyone’s lips is how this film fares with regards to the first DEADPOOL and the recent Marvel films like BLACK PANTHER and AVENGERS INFINITIY WAR.  Well, it is different and notably raucously hilarious. Co-written by star Ryan Reynolds himself who did a bit on his own character’s dialogue, there are lots of swearing, so be prepared to be hearing lots of vulgarities like “fuckshit”.

DEADPOOL (Reynolds reprising his original role) is the wisecracking Marvel Comics mercenary with accelerated healing but severe scarring over his body after undergoing an experimental regenerative mutation.   He forms the X-Force, a team of mutants, most of which hilariously die while unsuccessfully parachute landing in an attempt on the job to rescue Russell (Julian Dennison), a boy Deadpool befriended while in prison.  Foremost in the story is the character of Cable (Josh Brolin) a time travelling cybernetic mutant soldier who wishes to kill Russell.  It should be noted that DEADPOOL 2’s humour is in the extreme, from fake opening credits to ridiculous subplots to senseless dialogue.  To the credit of everyone making this movie, it actually works.  It took me a while to get into the film’s groove, admittedly a full 15 minutes or so (I initially hated it, thinking it all too silly, but the tactic grows into you quickly and the effort is soon appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed.)  The laugh-out loud jokes are too many to innumerate but there are prize one like the inside joke on Disney’s Frozen (since Disney has recently bought over Fox) and a running joke that makes no sense on the progress of dubstep.  The soundtrack that includes two new songs: “Ashes” by Céline Dion and “Welcome to the Party” by Diplo, French Montana and Lil Pump are especially inventive.  Those who have seen/heard “Ashes”, released as the lead single on May 3, 2018, along with a music video of the vocalist singing the song will still be laughing.

Star Ryan Reynolds is perfect as the hilarious Deadpool.  He makes the character including the dialogue he wrote.  He was given large creative control over this film after the success of the first one that resulted in the leaving of the original’s director Tim Miller due to artistic differences.  Josh Brolin plays Cable marvellously, as Brolin does in all his roles.  Brolin was also in the last recent Marvel film AVENGERS INFINITY WAR playing the main villain Thanos.  Fortunately, the makeup of Thanos results in Brolin hardly recognizable or that would have been a problem with Brolin being in two Marvel stories.  Familiar characters from the first DEADPOOL like Morena Baccarin as Vanessa, Karan Soni as Dopinder, the taxi driver, Leslie Uggams as Blind Al (the fake opening credits has her listed as the film’s cinematographer) and T.J. Miller as Weasel, Daedpool’s best buddy bartender who has absolutely no loyalties are in the sequel.  Miller is good in this movie but was almost removed from the film due to alleged sexual misconduct and calling in a fake bomb threat during the movie filming.

DEADPOOL 2’s looks very expensive with great CGI and special effects.  The fight scenes are particularly stunning with humour always present.  Action and hilarity mix well in the funniest of the Marvel franchise.

Make sure to stay for the closing credits as they include a few extra scenes including surprises such as who is listed playing “Vanishing Man.”  The film also sets up for the next continuing film X-FORCE which may or may not be a direct sequel to DEADPOOL 2.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D86RtevtfrA

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Film Review: ATOMIC BLONDE (USA 2017) ***

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atomic blonde.jpgAn undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.

Director: David Leitch
Writers: Kurt Johnstad (screenplay), Antony Johnston (based on the Oni Press graphic novel series “The Coldest City” written by)
Stars: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman

Review by Gilbert Seah

 Advertised as a female James Bond film with Charlize Theron as a top ass-kicking M16 spy, ATOMIC BLONDE tries its best to assume a British setting though Theron and most of the cast speak with an unchanged American accent. Who really cares, as the film delivers senseless action with dazzling visual and choreographed fight scenes courtesy of director David Leitch in his first solo directorial debut, himself a stunt coordinator and stuntman for stars like Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.

The film is written by Kurt Johnstad, based on Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City, published by Oni Press. The film opens with a commentary of how the cold war has ended in 1989 flowing the collapse of the Berlin Wall and then goes on to say that the film is not about this subject. The film is about the cold war revolving the good guys, the British M16 and the Americans in this case trying to retrieve a list of double agents that if fallen into the wrong hands would…..It does not really matter as Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock says. The point is that top level female spy, Lorraine Broughton (Theron) has been assigned to aid fellow spy and wild card David Percival (James McAvoy) with this mission. As it turns out Percival has supposedly got the list from Spyglass, a Starsi agent (Eddie Marsan) and he is to be escorted out of Berlin. Not so easy, as every Russian and German spy is also out to get the list.

With the film setting in the 80’s, one can expect a solid 80’s soundtrack. And the film has a great one at that, and not surprising as the music is by Tyler Bates who has put together similar memorable soundtracks for films like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 1 and 2 and the two John Wick Films. The song are also appropriately chosen to fit the plot for example with Depeche Mode’s ‘Behind the Wheel’ during the defection segment and Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’ at the film’s climax.

The film’s excellent cast includes McAvoy (SPLIT), always good in portraying crazies. Eddie Marsan who plays Spyglass steals the show with a dead serious performance amidst the over-the-top action. German veteran actress Barbara Sukowa has a cameo as the coroner who delivers a key line: “In Germany, we do not make little mistakes.”

The film’s best action sequence lasts a full 10 minutes as Lorraine fights off multiple attackers in ultra-violent hand-to-hand combat on a staircase while protecting Spyglass. If this is not enough, an exciting car chase follows right after where villains in cars appear out of nowhere to chse the two. Director Leitch dishes sexiness to the limit with same sex scenes between Lorraine and a French spy (Sofia Boutella).

The plot of ATOMIC BLONDE is quite difficult to follow and there is no use trying as the plot is pointless. The story’s twist in the end of who is the double agent makes little sense either. But cold war spy films in the 70’s were often difficult to follow. ATOMIC BLONDE delivers dazzling senseless action, that is the point of the film and that it succeeds.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI7HVnZlleo

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