Having shrugged my way through the first Deadpool film I wasn’t exactly desperate to see the follow up. Deadpool for me is just a sweary version of Chandler from Friends. Having hit cinemas so quickly after Infinity War it was strange to see Josh Brolin in another key role, this time playing Cable, another impossible-to-kill character with a time-changing device.
Deadpool’s main annoying schtick was to signpost every single trope or cliche with a quip and Deadpool 2 continues this. Audiences are now so dumb that a character saying “big CGI fight coming up” before a big (well, medium) CGI fight comes up is somehow subversive. That said, while I was watching the film I found it entertaining, funny and overall well made. Sure, the fight scenes aren’t that impressive, paling in comparison to that car battle in the original, but it ticks along nicely. Most of the great moments are the throwaway conclusions to built up sequences such as him assembling a super team and all of them being killed in increasingly silly ways in the next scene.
As Reynolds winks and jokes through the fourth wall to us it becomes apparent there’s one area of the script that they’ve forgotten to subvert though. Given the film thrives on calling out each of its tropes so vocally there’s a worrying silence when it comes to killing women. Opening with the redundant character reveal that his girlfriend has evolved from male-fantasy sexbomb into saintly wannabe-mother she’s promptly murdered to at least give Deadpool something to kill people over. I waited for the movie to call out how obvious this was. It did not.
Soon Cable (played by Josh Brolin) turns up, a cyborg from the future who arrives in the present day to kill the boy who grows up to murder his wife and daughter. I waited. Surely another character having the exact same motivation, as Deadpool was deliberate and due a good natured ribbing? Nope. While of course we get bucket loads of Terminator jokes what we don’t get is a “hey, all women are just motivations for men and the most useful thing they can do is die”.
Given that good old Josh just threw his daughter to her death in Avengers: Infinity War so that his life goal of killing half of the universe can be achieved (instead of, say, making twice as many resources so everyone could live prosperously), it’s eye-rolling to find his motivation in Deadpool 2 is driven by more dead women.
It’s almost as if the all-male writing team were completely blind to this, thereby not even calling it out. In 2018 that’s hardly subversive. I guess what I’m saying is I just wanted a scene where Domino turned to Weasel and said “Hey T.J. MIller why do you hate women so much?”
Deadpool 2 was released on 16th May in the UK