Film: “Deadpool 2”; Director: “David M. Leich”; Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin; Rating: **1/2
AIf we can overlook the excessive gore ,including a scene of violence where the subversive superheroic hero is ripped into two halves, “Deadpool 2” provides more fun zones in its speedened narrative ambit, for the uninitiated and the initiated, than any other superhero film in recent times except Logan which was a different beast altogether.
“Deadpool 2” like its game-changing prequel in 2016 plays havoc with our notions of super-heroism. It chooses to cut our hero down to size — literally, when he loses his legs.And then enjoys watching him squirm.
Ryan Reynolds enjoys being in squirmy situations. Anyone who can go through Green Lantern has to be super-hero of the squirmy stratosphere.
It wouldn’t be way off the mark to call Reynolds’ character the King Of Squirm.
“Deadpool 2” is high on irony, the biggest irony being a star of Ryan Reynolds’ stature and charisma going masked, hooded and unrecognizable to the naked eye for most of the film. But here is the thing: Reynolds makes the character’s squalid anonymity an occasion for jibes and pokes at everything that we hold sacred in the realm of the super-hero cinema.
This is the super-hero film that dares to subvert the genre without making the act of subversion seem like a super-heroic feat. The second Deadpool film is sassier, and yes, sadder than the first. It is not as ballsy as the first film. The daredevilry of the original occasionally seems simulated in the second film.
While making seemingly facetious middlefinger jokes on circumventing the super-hero’s super-ego, the script — handsome and hectic as it happens to be — also takes time off to mediate on love loss and, yes, child abuse.
The theme theme of paedophilia runs dangerously close to a satirical mood. I think that’s a really risky path for “Deadpool” to take. Yet the plot manages to steer the angry abused character of the mutant boy Russell (played by Julian Dennison) into the restricted area without forsaking the mood of farcical heroics that runs insouciantly through the narrative.
Coursing through the veins of this vigorous anti-superhero drama are elements of deep disenchantment with the repetitive valour of the super-hero genre. The team-squad that our hero sets up to combat the villain Cable (Josh Brolin)’s might, is almost like a joke, a mad sad tattered version of the super-hero lineup in “The Avengers”, and more fun for this reason only.
Because “Deadpool” doesn’t take itself seriously, I found myself more involved with its crushing blows aimed at the genre. The solemnity of super-heroism is ripped away, not always very effectively or smoothly. But this rough ride is well worth our time, specially the ‘Bollywood’ references, like Deadpool’s Indian sidekick Dopinder (played by Karan Soni) and the pure-lead coin gifted to the hero by his dead wife which saves his life. Pure Bollywood cornball served up with unapologetic cheekiness.
Then there is Ranveer Singh, dipping and dubbing Ryan Reynolds’ smartass lines with so much colloquial colour .
Yup, Manmohan Desai would have loved “Deadpool 2” which by the way, is far more engaging than the first “Deadpool” movie. And it makes more sense out of the chaos of the Marvel universe than “The Avengers”.