Deadpool 2

Year: 2018
Directed by: David Leitch
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, Morena Baccarin

Written by Rhys Bowen Jones

The runaway smash-hit of 2016 ‘Deadpool’ saw the debut (yes, debut) of a fan favourite character known for breaking the fourth wall and being supremely foul-mouthed, as played by Ryan Reynolds in a passion project in the works for years. 2 years on, Deadpool is a household name thanks to Reynolds being widely considered the perfect man for the role and the film being supremely entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny from its opening credits right to its post-credits scene. 2 years on, we have been given the inevitable sequel a record breaking film was destined to have, and I’m happy to report that Deadpool hasn’t changed one bit.

‘Deadpool 2’ sees Deadpool fully invested in his saving-the-world-as-unethically-as-possible shtick as we are shown in the opening sequences. When tragedy strikes, Deadpool finds himself in a rut and it’s up to Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapcic) to pick him back up and continue his attempts at turning him into a true member of the X-Men. Meanwhile, mutants are popping up left and right, namely young Russell Collins, a teenager who can control fire, and Cable, a time-travelling cybernetic soldier who arrives, Terminator style, to complete a personal revenge mission.

What immediately comes across as you watch is ‘Deadpool 2′ has a far wider scope than the original. Where Deadpool spent the majority of its runtime on one section of a motorway, Deadpool 2 zips around the world in a montage sequence catching us up on what Deadpool has been up to since we last saw him. This sequence showcases impressive choreography thanks largely to its new director, David Leitch, fresh off his impressive work on ‘John Wick’ and ‘Atomic Blonde’, while also informing us that the jokes will fly at you faster than you can process them.

The wider scope isn’t only evident visually either, as the dialogue very heavily references other Marvel films, from the X-Men franchise (which Deadpool is very much a part of) to the MCU (which Deadpool isn’t a part of…yet). Some jokes come obviously (Josh Brolin’s Cable is the target of multiple MCU jokes for obvious reasons), while others are far more subtle. It also does very well at referencing lines from the first Deadpool that, granted, not many in my screening caught, but I did, and I appreciated the commitment to writing jokes to include everyone in the audience, from the casual viewers to the hardcore fans.

The quality of filmmaking itself is evident as Leitch brings his stunt related past to the film, showcasing the talent we have clearly seen in his previous work in genuinely impressive sequences like a slow-motion one-take sequence that Deadpool narrates over near the beginning of the film, as well as the fight choreography on the truck in the climax of Act 2. There are no annoyingly fast cuts to be found as the punches are given time to land and take effect; one of the biggest factors in well-shot action is the geography, and it was always clear where each character was after every hit. David Leitch is an exciting director that I hope continues this impressive form throughout his inevitably successful career.

‘Deadpool 2’ continues the trend from the first by being very funny and very entertaining on every level. The jokes do come at you at a supreme pace that you will not catch all of them even after multiple viewings, but ‘Deadpool 2’ is definitely going for re-watchability, which it most definitely is. And yet, while the film is consistently very funny, it doesn’t quite manage to tip over into hilarious territory. A few sequences come very close – Basic Instinct, X-Force for reference – but it doesn’t quite get there as well as ‘Deadpool’ does. “A fourth wall break inside a fourth wall break? That’s like…16 walls” from the first film is an all-time favourite quote of mine, there isn’t a line in ‘Deadpool 2′ that matches this one.

‘Deadpool 2’ does a lot of things very well, not least the cast. Everyone on screen is evidently having a blast with the film, and so many of them are perfect for the role. As aforementioned, Reynolds is Deadpool, Zazie Beetz almost steals the show as Domino, the endlessly cool and very lucky (it’s definitely a superpower and definitely cinematic) member of the X-Force, and Josh Brolin for the second time this year knocks a major Marvel character out of the park with a terrific performance as the time-travelling badass, Cable.

The true MVP of the film though is Julian Dennison as Russell Collins. Fresh off his hilarious turn in Taika Waititi’s ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’, Dennison has charm for days and has the ability to make any line, any look, any body movement funny. On top of being funny, Dennison genuinely makes Russell (or Fire Fist as he hilariously named himself) a character you empathise with, even as he descends into pyromania in the final act.

While there are a lot of positives to take from ‘Deadpool 2′, the film does have its flaws that teeter on the edge of having a significant effect on the film. Given the nature of firing jokes at you at an alarming rate, it falls occasionally on the side of jokes not landing. When they land, they’re great, but when they don’t land, you can feel the awkward silence in the room waiting for the next one. There are several of these moments, and they all add up into stretches of the film feeling like dead air. This wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but the film is 2 hours long, and these long stretches of jokelessness, or unfunny jokes, stay with you.

Secondly, I have praised the film’s wider scope already in this review, but this proves to be the film’s double-edged sword. At several points, the film tries to do things that are just too much for its budget. There’s a very fun sequence that’s effectively a truck chase sequence and the truck, at multiple points, looks like it belongs in a PS2 racing game. In the final act, there’s a self-aware CGI fight (Deadpool literally shouts “CGI fight!” at the screen to set it up) that feels weightless when it really shouldn’t given the characters involved because of how blatantly CGI it is.

Finally, ‘Deadpool 2′ suffers from the same problem as the first film. ‘Deadpool’ very clearly set itself up as the antithesis to the MCU, a superhero film that breaks all the rules and refuses to follow convention, and yet follows all the rules and the convention. The act of acknowledging the conventions before they happen doesn’t excuse the fact that they remain followed. I enjoyed the self-referential nature of the film because it’s something that’s so rarely seen, but it frustrated me to see the trends followed and see missed opportunities to do change things up.

All told, I did really enjoy ‘Deadpool 2′. I thought it was funny throughout, the cast were all excellent, and it has, without a doubt, the best mid-credits scene of all-time. There are problems abound that come with trying to exceed the expectations set by a great first outing, but I honestly feel ‘Deadpool 2′ has more re-watchability than the original because of its attempts to go bigger than the first. Oh, and keep an eye out for some excellent cameos!

Rhys’ Rating:

3.5

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Wade Assembles the X-Force In Brand New ‘Deadpool 2’ Trailer

“After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.”

Directed by: David Leitch

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Zazie Beetz, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Terry Crews, Julian Dennison

Release Date: May 16th, 2018

New ‘Deadpool 2’ Teaser Includes Our First Look At Film Footage!

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.”

Directed by: David Leitch
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, T.J Miller, Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Julian Dennison
Release Date: 1st June 2018

Atomic Blonde

Year: 2017
Director: David Leitch
Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Sofia Boutella, Toby Jones

Written by Abbie Eales

Former stuntman David Leitch’s first solo directorial outing is somewhat of a mixed bag. Set in November 1989, the just-at-the-end-of-the-cold-war spy thriller takes place against the backdrop of the fall of the Berlin wall.

The opening scene sees  a mustachioed man being chased through Berlin’s snowy graffiti-festooned backstreets (complete with posters of smiley faces and CND symbols) to a soundtrack of New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ – “IT’S 1989!” in case you missed the opening credits. Eventually we see him being run over twice and then shot, in a less than glamourous KGB hit. So the tone is set for ‘Atomic Blonde’. Or at least for part of the film, because tonally, it’s all over the shop.

Charlize Theron plays Lorraine Broughton, an MI6 agent, who is sent to Berlin to retrieve a list of assets, uncover a double agent and perhaps bring some justice for the murder of our mustachioed man, her former lover. So far, so John Le Carre. Aiding Broughton on her mission is David Percival (the ever charismatic James McAvoy on best ‘Filth’ form), who may or may not be the double agent, but he definitely has ‘The Prince’ by Machiavelli on his book shelf, *wink to camera*.

What follows for the next hundred minutes is largely nonsense. Some very stylish nonsense, then some confusing nonsense, with a few moments of goddamn brilliance just to confuse matters.

The first half hour is largely a neon-lit music video, with lingering shots of Theron letting smoke spill from her perfect pout, while the plot is occasionally alluded to in heavy-handed globs of dialogue, all the while glorious ‘80’s music plays on a constant “Jeez, wasn’t ‘89 a vintage year for music?” loop. It looks beautiful, sounds beautiful and being a shallow short of person, I would probably have enjoyed it if it continued in the same vein.

However the narrative meanders about for so long while Theron smokes in various Berlin bars and restaurants, that you forget why she’s out there. We start to wonder where has McAvoy gone? Who is this French woman? Who is Satchel? Do we even care anymore? ‘Atomic Blonde’s’ questions don’t arise as a result of a clever plot however, but just sheer confusion.

Thankfully the latter half of the film sees a SUPERB fight scene, all filmed in one take, which shows off not only Theron’s action chops, but also David Leich’s potential as a director. The music stops, the neon is nowhere to be seen and things get brutal, bloody and far more interesting than the previous 60+ minutes. THAT’S the film I really would have wanted to see. Dispense with the smoke-ringed glamour and get Theron really kicking ass.

Theron is magnetic as Broughton, (although Lorraine is not a super sexy spy name, let’s face it), all effortless physicality and sideways glances. Her wardrobe throughout made me want to burn all my clothes on my return home, as she is stylish as hell and I am fully subscribed to the ‘Atomic Blonde’ autumn/winter collection. However, she is also pretty one dimensional. A 40+ year old woman playing a kickass, bisexual, cold war era spy should be exciting and lead to a different feel to the spy genre, but somehow that is all fairly cosmetic. We never really engage with Broughton as a character, she is all veneer and could just as well be Jason Bourne in Louboutins.

While ‘Atomic Blonde’ is a confused affair, there are enough visual thrills to make up for the uneven plot, with some terrific performances managing to raise it to the status of entertaining diversion rather than all out car-wreck.

Abbie’s rating: 6.5 out of 10

Charlize Theron Kicks All Kinds Of Ass In The New Trailer For Atomic Blonde

A brand new kick ass trailer for David Leitch’s ‘Atomic Blonde’ has arrived and Charlize Theron is once again proving she isn’t taking shit from anyone. Starring alongside Theron  in this “blistering blend of sleek action, gritty sexuality and dazzling style” are the super talented likes of James McAvoy, John Goodman, Sofia Boutella, and Toby Jones. 

I thought the first trailer was superb and really showcased what to expect from the film. This new trailer was somehow even better and secures ‘Atomic Blondes’ place on my ever growing  list of films that I’m excited to see this year. 

The synopsis for the film is:

“Oscar® winner Charlize Theron explodes into summer in Atomic Blonde, a breakneck action-thriller that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors.

The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.”

‘Atomic Blonde’ arrives in UK cinemas 11th August 2017

Written by Tom Sheffield

The First Red Band Trailer For Atomic Blonde Is Here!

David Leitch, who co-directed the insanely brilliant bullet-frenzy that was John Wick and is currently working on Deadpool 2, is in the directors chair  for ‘Atomic Blonde, which is being called a “blistering blend of sleek action, gritty sexuality and dazzling style”.  

The synopsis is:

“Oscar® winner Charlize Theron explodes into summer in Atomic Blonde, a breakneck action-thriller that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors.

The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.”

The film boasts a fantastic cast with the likes of, Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Sofia Boutella, and Toby Jones.  I’ve been waiting for this trailer since I heard about the film and who was involved and I’ve got to say, this trailer really didn’t disappoint! It’s already being hailed as the female John Wick, which I can definitely see will catch on quickly. 

‘Atomic Blonde’ arrives in UK cinemas 11th August 2017

Written by Tom Sheffield

Deadpool 2 Has Found A New Director

After Tim Miller’s shock exit from the director’s chair of Deadpool 2 the other week over “creative differences” with Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds, there’s been speculation after speculation regarding who 20th Century Fox would hire to replace him. Well speculate no more!

David Leitch has been named as Miller’s replacement for the highly anticipated Deadpool sequel. Leitch boasts an impressive CV, which includes co-directing the 2014 action packed hit, ‘John Wick’, with Chad Stahelski. His experience mainly lies in stunt and action coordinating, and on numerous occasions stunt doubling for the likes of Brad Pitt and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Leitch has worked on such films as ‘V for Vendetta’, ‘300’, and even the Bourne and Matrix films, so it looks like ‘Deadpool 2’ is in very safe and capable hands. Personally, I’m even more excited now for the Merc with a mouth’s next on-screen outing following this news.

Do you think Leitch is the man for the job? Who would you liked to have seen helm the sequel?

‘Deadpool 2’ is currently set to release in early 2018

Written by Tom Sheffield