With Great Power, Comes Great Irresponsibility – Deadpool

16 03 2016

Deadpool (20th Century Fox - 2016)

Bloke: If only there was a super hero movie that combines the fantastic action and martial arts attributes of The Raid and The Raid 2 with the hilarity and outrageous comedy of Tropic Thunder and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa?

Me: There is.

Bloke: No!

Me: Yes, it’s called Deadpool.

Bloke: Oh, is it any good?

Me: Yes.

Bloke: Cool.

Deadpool

Me: Released in 2016 by 20th Century Fox, Directed by Tim Miller and Produced by Lauren Shuler Donner; Deadpool is a super hero comic book movie (of sorts) starring everyone’s favourite comic anti-hero (at least by the time they have watched it) Deadpool. For those of you who are not fully aware as to whom this Deadpool is; here is some brief info:

“Deadpool is a fictional antihero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.” – Wikipedia

Me: Understand?

Bloke: NO!

Me: Too Bad. Anyway, Deadpool is a comic book character belonging to Marvel Comics, and is mostly associated with the X-Men comics in particular. Deadpool is the latest spin-off in the X-Men film series and sets out as well as hopes to do something no other comic superhero film has done to date, which mostly involves being as outrageous and as funny as possible while also being incredibly profane and violent at the same time.

Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a mercenary who stands up for the little guy. One evening at the mercenary bar attended by bar man Weasel (T.J. Miller), Wade meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), and the two very quickly get into a relationship, one which gets off the ground quite quickly. But as soon as things start going well, Wade gets a very late stage form of Cancer. One night at the bar, he is approached by a recruiter (Jed Rees) for a secret organization who says that they can cure his cancer. Initially turning down the offer, Wade eventually agrees, fearing more for losing Vanessa. Wade however soon discovers that the organization he has joined is seeking mutants to experiment on. The project is led by mutant AJAX (Ed Skrein) and his assistant Angel (Gina Carano) who torture Wade and those around him. Eventually Wade’s mutant genes explode and cause his skin to deform, instantly curing him of his cancer, but Wade discovers that what is really going to happen is that he is to become a slave of Ajax. Wade causes an explosion in the labs and brings down the building, escaping the wreckage.

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Upon escaping, he means to return home to Vanessa, but upon seeing how people see his disfigured face, Wade believes Vanessa will feel the same about him, so he decides not to return. Wade moves into the house of elderly blind lady Al (Leslie Uggams), and with help from his best friend, goes in search of Ajax, real name Francis, in the hope of curing his disfigurement. He creates a costume and calls himself Deadpool, before going round the area, killing anyone who does not give him the information he needs on the location of Francis. After a year or so of searching, and making a new friend in cab driver Dopinder (Karan Soni), Deadpool intercepts a convoy of bad guys, kills most of them in some really horrific ways before finally getting his hands on Francis. Unfortunately, his antics grab the attention of X-Men team members Colossus (Greg LaSelle and Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) who are desperate for him to join them. After their arrival however, the distraction allows Francis to vanish, and Deadpool escapes the clutches of the X-Men by cutting off one of his own limbs.

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With a threat on Vanessa being made, Weasel and Wade go to the strip club she works at, but before they can get to her, Francis and Angel take her away. With the help of Al, Weasel, Dopinder, and extra help from the X-Men team, Deadpool goes to the scrapyard (where a near-familiar looking aircraft carrier is being wrecked) where Francis and Angel are keeping Vanessa. Immediately Deadpool and the team of Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus get into a fight with soldiers and Angel. While Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus deal with Angel, Deadpool climbs the aircraft carrier to where Ajax is preparing to torture Vanessa in a similar way to how he tortured Wade. Deadpool and Ajax fight in hand to hand combat, until Negasonic Teenage Warhead destroys the carrier from the inside. Once rescuing Vanessa from the collapsing ship, Deadpool has one more fight with Ajax, quickly gaining the upper hand. Ajax then informs Wade that he cannot be cured. Despite urging from Colossus not to, Deadpool kills Ajax. Wade then reveals himself to Vanessa, who says she is ok with how and who he is now, and they rekindle their relationship.

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Bloke: Does this mean I don’t need to see it now.

Me: Are you still here?

Bloke: Apparently?

Me: Well in that case; yes, you should.

Bloke: I thought this was a review?

Me: Yes it is, but more in the form of an analysis.

Anyway; Deadpool is a very interesting film. It’s one that is hard to spring up what exactly it’s about. Ok, plot wise it’s about a guy who becomes a super hero to save himself from his illness but who then has to save his girlfriend (which is far easier to connect to on a personal level than the standard ‘Save the World’ plot of most other superhero movies). That’s the simple plot, but as to what this film does and involves is another thing entirely. In basic terms, what we have here is something of an adaptation, to Understand Deadpool; we need to understand who he is. Once we know that then we can really look into him.

Bloke: Then why don’t you?

Me: Because it will take too long.

What we have here in essence is more of an adaptation in terms of the characters creation and portrayal, but is then put into a situation that goes on to explain how such a character can come into being, while not bringing down the audience nor boring them. It sort of reminds me of Batman Begins, it talks about the early life of the character but brings it to a point where then said character becomes a figure-head and something other than who he is, and incorporates and embraces that entity to do the right thing, although in Deadpool’s case that is somewhat questionable. In this case we are provided with a character that is somewhat questionable from the start, but the things he does he does for the right people, and as an audience we come to connect and feel for him, and as he grows in a relationship, we come to support and care for him. But then things go wrong, and while what he does is (as previously mentioned) questionable, we believe in the cause to support him well enough. It’s something that feeds into a primal instinct, that of revenge, and while it may be the wrong path, the way he does it stands out enough, and in a form as human beings we may believe and feel is the rightful way of doing it, we support it. That aside though, Deadpool is not your average super hero either. He is something of a character. He is a wise cracking comedian who pulls a comedic line whenever he can, continuously breaking the fourth wall in the process. This makes him not just a super hero, but also someone who makes you as an audience member laugh. Add to that though the level of profanity in his voice, however despite what an older more mature audience member would think of such language, the language used by Deadpool when used with his comic nature just makes you laugh as he is using said language in such a funny way. Added to this level of comedy and profanity, you cannot ignore the amount of violence in this film. It’s violence that grabs your attention, as for one part it’s very gory and sickening, but on the other hand is just so outrageous and crazy, that it creates its own essence of humor to be enjoyed alongside what is already so funny. Ok, I admit it’s kind of broad and a hard one to explain. To quote the late great Lemmy Kilmister:

“Trying to understand. Why? You can just enjoy it at face value that’s what I do.” – Heavy Metal Britannia

In essence, it’s not something that should be analyzed or explained, because what we have here is something very special, very different, and something trying to stand out in the biggest way possible. And it achieves this. So less analyzing and more enjoying is what should be done here; because well, it works and is Awesome.

Bloke: So why did you bother trying then?

Me: Because, I didn’t think it through…?

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Understanding the character of Deadpool to one side, the film incorporates a relatively yet still outspoken cast of characters. Ryan Reynolds of course the returning star of Deadpool; by saying that I realize I have brought up bad memories about a certain other X-Men spinoff, but this time it’s a good form of acting from Reynolds. Not forgetting that he is no stranger to comic book super hero movies, mostly bad ones; here Reynolds excels as the verbal assassin. Without wanting to get bogged down in more but possibly pointless analysis, portraying Deadpool for me makes this his best role to date. Not really much of a fan of Reynolds in his other films, here he provides a really good portrayal of a character who was always going to be a hard one to do, but I think he has done quite well.

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The other film’s characters are not like one offs, or people with brief mentions, no. The small cast has enabled everyone to have a part and really stand out in their part. Negasonic Teenage Warhead for instance is a character I have no real knowledge of, but the portrayal of a 21st century teenager being an incredibly powerful mutant provides a very believable and connectable character while also providing the theme of not judging a book by its cover, even if me mentioning that sounds rather cliché. The addition of lesser characters in a supporting role continues throughout with people like the recruiter, Blind Al, Weasel, Angel and Dopinder. Most of these provide something more of a comic relief, but really work, not just as their roles suggest, but as well as being supportive characters also. Blind Al for instance provides an interesting viewpoint connecting once again to the aforementioned cliché, while also being as outrageous and profane as Deadpool, acting like a human counterpart to him suggesting that he is more human than he seems, and Blind Al is something of his human opposite. Dopinder meanwhile has a small role, but one which separately acts like a feeder to Deadpool’s jokes, but in the process becomes a character in his own right. Angel is more of a muscle like character to Ajax and proves that she is less a comedy character, nor one with a speaking part, but becomes Ajax’s assistant and body-guard of sorts near reminding me of Chyna. She is a pretty cool bodyguard though and one who brings an incredible fight with her. The recruiter doesn’t have much of a part but is relatively enjoyable, but is nothing in comparison to Weasel who acts like a friend to Deadpool, and becomes his assistant of sorts in helping him take down those responsible for his suffering, and much like Dopinder is a joke feeder, but also provides his own witty spin also.

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Along with them we have the more stand out members of cast alongside Reynolds. Colossus is one character you can’t but help keep an eye on. As a character, Colossus is a man who can turn his skin into an organic metal. No stranger to the film series, Colossus has previously been played by Daniel Cudmore, who I find sad did not return to the role in this film. I quite like Cudmore as Colossus, but am happy to say that Colossus here is presented well. While I find the special effects used to make him look not exactly crisp, his dialogue usage; something of a near first in the film series, is delivered well and crisp and tries to provide the role that would normally be delivered by Professor X. Ajax meanwhile is a character I find hard to see or realize. As he is not necessarily as stand out as other X-Men characters that come to mind, in this film he seems more like muscle than mind. His sinister side does not really come out all that well I feel, but the disgust towards him as a villain still works and it is in what he does, not how he acts that help him come into the fray, plus he comes packed with a mutant ability that helps to be a good first rival for Deadpool. This brings us nicely to Vanessa. Vanessa is not necessarily a supporter, nor is she a lead. She is not a hero, nor a comedy inclusion, but throughout this film provides to be a story element and a character who much like Wade, as an audience member; you become to care very much about. She becomes more of a plot element as the story goes on and an end goal to be reached. And even when that is not happening, she becomes a very enjoyable character, and towards the end not necessarily a damsel in distress but a hero in her own light, as well as providing an emotional and common sense anchor for which the character of Deadpool both needs personally, and in his career.

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Special effects are always a feature in super hero movies, as the need to show super powers usually does require some element of special effects in order to pull them off. In Deadpool though the use of CGI is pretty lack luster and only really used for colossus and the odd effect here and there. For the most part Special effects come down to clever camera tricks, stunts and fight choreography, all of which work quite well to pull off some really awe-inspiring scenes. It makes the film less of a blockbuster and more of an independent action film in a similar vein to the above mentioned Raid films. It just makes it all a nice change from films that require and are defined by how much CGI they use and the people who think CGI is better than real skin.

Bloke: Are you referring to me?

Me: “Hey, Yeah – I wanna shoop baby”

Bloke: Sorry, are you singing?

Me: Yeah, I can sing in my own post can’t I?

Bloke: Well sure…

Me: Well thank you, now please leave!

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Back in October, I did a series of film of reviews, all of which were the X-Men films to date released before this one. In that one thing I highlighted quite a bit was the rather grand, high-powered and exciting soundtracks used in the main series of films. Most of these were of course produced for the films especially with use of a composer. For the case of Deadpool however it seems like that idea was thrown out of the window to be replaced with a soundtrack composed of pieces from the popular domain, or better known as popular or pop music. This not necessarily a bad thing I find however as the pieces of music work really well to the scenes they are attached to. Most of these though I have accidently forgotten. One piece though I cannot forget so easily though is of course the sort of movie theme in Shoop by SALT ‘N’ PEPA. Quite a fun little song that works nicely with the ideas of the film, especially as it sounds like shoot, but for the most part is a fun one to sing to…..once you know the lyrics of course.

Deadpool is an incredible film, and interesting one at the same time. It tries to introduce a new, lesser known character to a more mainstream audience while also making it both as funny, profane and as violent as possible, and make it stand out more than any other super hero film out there, which it succeeds at. It more than makes up for the faults of the past, and in return creates a film that instead of being shunned by everyone in years to come will be talked positively by an even larger audiences for years to come. Add to this the strong and excelling cast, the well written story, cool soundtrack as well as all the other stand out points of this film that are hard not to notice; and you have an incredibly fun and enjoyable experience that has been delivered so early in the year, it’s going to be interesting to see if any other film this year can match or even excel beyond it. Also; it has quite possibly the best opening and post credits scenes in the history of cinema.

Bloke: What? Even better than the post credits scene from Age of Ultron?

Me: That was hardly anything; and I thought I asked you to leave – and what’s with the fake moustache?

GENEPOOL





High Speed Car Chase……….In A Cement Truck – Beverly Hills Cop II

6 11 2013

Beverly Hills Cop II (Paramount Pictures - 1987)

The idea of the traveller from an arcane land is not used as heavily as it has been done in cinema in the past. Many films, particularly during the 1980’s used to do it a lot mainly in the form of someone from the east (in a stereotypical china man with a long beard) such as The Karate Kid. However it is good to see when someone uses this traveller from an arcane land in a different sense which is more to the real world such as Beverley Hills Cop II which is by far in many ways one of the funniest and best cop and comedy films to date.

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The film is the follow-up to Beverley Hills Cop and relies a lot on the ground already set up in the first film including main characters Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy), Detective Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), Detective Sergeant John Taggart (John Ashton), Inspector Douglas Todd (Gil Hill) and Captain Andrew Bogomil (Ronny Cox). In Beverley Hills a bunch of robberies named the Alphabet crimes take place. Captain Bogomil, Detective Rosewood and Detective Sergeant Taggart try to get to the root of the problem but are hindered by incompetent Police Chief Harold Lutz (Allen Garfield) who suspends Bogomil. On his way home Bogomil gets shot and becomes the latest victim of the Alphabet Crimes. Meanwhile in Detroit Detective Foley is trying to catch a group of Credit Card scammers when he hears about the shooting. After covering for his absence with Inspector Todd, he then travels to Beverley Hills and sees Bogomil in Hospital with his daughter Janice (Alice Adair) by his side. Axel requisitions a house for him to live in and then goes to the police station have a look at the notes from the Alphabet Crime only to be disturbed by Lutz and disguises himself as a psychic by the name of Johnny Wishbone. It is here that Foley, Rosewood and Taggart agree to work together to work on the case.

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The trio head to a gun club to check out a bullet, here Foley meets a six-foot tall woman named Karla (Brigitte Nielsen) and gun club owner Charles Cain (Dean Stockwell), both of whom work for Maxwell Dent (Jürgen Prochnow), the man behind the alphabet crimes. Rosewood and Taggart meet Axel at his house and Taggart changes his clothes (after falling into the swimming pool), they then go to a strip club where Axel tells everyone that Taggart is former president Gerald Ford. When they leave the club, a drive by sent by Dent to kill them goes wrong. Lutz arrives and finds out about Axel’s true identity. The trio head to Billy’s place and using a street cop trick, they get a finger print for Cain and then break into the gun club to get information.

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They head to a bank where the next crime is taking place and Axel and Billy end up chasing the getaway truck in a cement truck. The trail eventually leads to a party at the Playboy Mansion thrown by Hugh Hefner. Axel is told to leave Beverley Hills by Lutz but stays to solve the case. The trio goes to Dent’s accountant Sidney Bernstein (Gilbert Gottfried) and trick him into finding out that Dent is planning on leaving the country, this combined with information from Janice stating that all his businesses no longer have insurance except for his race track means that they have evidence of where the next crime is to take place. They are however too late to stop the crime taking place.

While at the race track they find evidence which leads the trio to Dent’s oil fields. There they find a weapon stash of weapons which Dent is planning on selling. This leads to a shootout on the site where most of the men surrender while Dent and Karla get shot. Lutz arrives on scene only to get fired by the Mayor of Beverley Hills. Bogomil is made new Chief of Police and Todd finds out what has been going on and orders Axel to return to Detroit. Axel says goodbye to everyone at the house only for its real owner to suddenly arrive.

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Beverley Hills Cop II’s supporting cast is a brilliant bunch. Bogomil, while incapacitated for most of the film is the real connection to the previous film, and that friendship is much apparent. Sidney Bernstein is incredibly funny during his brief moment while Janice has that rookie sidekick idea about her who while only appearing very briefly is a great character. For my money however, I really do like the character of Inspector Todd, because while very funny in the way he talks and acts is one of the anchors to this film to keep the serious note going through, thus preventing the film from going into a cheap comedy.

Gil Hill, Alice Adair, Ronny Cox and Gilbert Gottfried

The films main characters though are where the real enjoyment exists. Eddie Murphy uses the combination of serious acting along with his well-known comedy routines to make this film funny in any way he can but does not do that all the time, meaning that the film can be enjoyed by those who may not necessarily like a comedy film. His character is well constructed and while he is a joker, he is also a very caring person and cares very much for those around him, like a true friend. Another one of his great attributes is that due to him being from a different police culture, his street wise antics are a real blessing to those in Beverley Hills who rely pretty much on a combination of Computer Technology and Politics to get the job done.

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Judge Reinhold’s character meanwhile is the perfect sidekick to Axel Foley. He is a man who very much wants to rise to the top but is generally quite shy and only really comfortable with those around him. He is a great admirer of Rambo and in many a way wishes that police work was a lot like that compared to the strict going Beverley Hills way of policing, in some sense making him want to be more like Axel or at least work in a similar climate. John Ashton is the film’s real anchor. He is not a funny man, he does not make jokes but he uses comedy very differently in the form of mostly being annoyed as to what is going on around him and very much not only cares for those around him, but also his job and worries that he may end up eventually losing it. He is very much held back by the political side of the job but seemingly does not care that much about it.

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The soundtrack is a nice blend of 1980’s American pop as well as a soundtrack made specifically for the film. You have scenes of the police nature such as dark night scenes or when a crime is going down or being investigated, such as the scene at the oilfields towards the end where you are really into the whole scene, it sounds very low cover but then it would pick up the pace for the action bits. Then there would be scenes where the famous theme music would be used but then you would get scenes such as the opening themeend theme or the cement truck chase where it has this great upbeat vide about it. It may sound silly in those places, but the song is well made and gets used amazingly well, making it a nice change from the hard gripping soundtrack.

The film is very cleverly written. While in essence it is a silly comedy film, it has good background seriousness to it. The whole crime case and everything attached to it is kept serious throughout and all the comedy comes from its characters. It’s not like some films produced these days where the film is made for both quick cash and a cheap laugh, Beverley Hills cop is made to entertain those who watch it. I mean if you take the comedy out of it, Beverley Hills Cop II is a very dark police thriller.

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Beverley Hills Cop 2 is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. It is one of that rare breed of comedy films where the comedy is almost a second thought. It uses great characters, music and story to produce both a dark and suspenseful story while also using those previous comments to inject some comedy. While there have been other comedy films like this that have been produced and in many a case are as funny if not more a lot more funny such as Tropic Thunder, DodgeBall and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Beverley Hills Cop II is by far in many ways one of the best and funniest films to date, and that is something that is going to be hard to beat.

GENEPOOL








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