At the end of my first Deadpool Review, I stated that I would rather watch the next Deadpool movie than the next Avengers movie. Well, now I’ve seen both.
I’ve wanted to do this one for a long time and now that Salvation is out of the way, I’ve got an opportunity to do it now. Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War. They are both superhero movies from the same universe but different ends of the spectrum so I hereby ask a question. Which one is better? ‘Deadpool’ as a property is fairly new whilst the Avengers feels like it’s been going on forever and has certainly gained a rabid fanbase. However, I really like ‘Deadpool’ and as for ‘The Avengers’, any opportunity to see Paul Bettany in a tight costume is always a positive opportunity. So lets start out as always with a few brief summaries of the plots of both movies and I’ll start with ‘Deadpool 2’. There will be some spoilers, just not right now.
In the intervening years since ‘Deadpool 1 (2016)’, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is still living his life as a foul-mouthed superhero/mercenary for hire and living with his girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). Life is good for Wade and Vanessa but their plans to start a family are torn to shreds when a criminal that Wade had failed to catch breaks into their apartment and kills Vanessa. Stricken with grief and guilt, Wade begins to act more erratically than unusual and when he attempts to kill the headmaster of a school for mutants with special abilities for abusing his students, he’s sent to a special mutant prison called ‘The Icebox’ along with fellow mutant and 14 year old boy, Russell/Firefist (Julian Dennison). During their stay, the prison is compromised by a half man/half robotic mercenary from the future, Cable (Josh Brolin). Cable’s main goal is to kill Russell has he is going to turn evil in the future and kill his family due to one event from when he was 14. Cable, Deadpool and his friends plus some new faces team up to stop Russell from committing the act that will only end up in more death.
If you thought that paragraph was long, you’d be surprised at how long the plot of ‘Infinity War’ is.
The Avengers must stop Thanos (Josh Brolin) from collecting the six infinity stones which he needs to wipe out half the population of all living things. That’s literally it. Of course lots of stuff happens in this film but the plot really can’t be summed up in any other way than that.
When I was in Las Vegas, I saw the trailer for ‘Deadpool 2’ on TV and I immediately got excited since I loved the first one, the review of which is still on this site. It was different, sweary and dirty and just the kind of humour that makes me laugh.
On the other hand, I’m going to be honest and say that ‘The Avengers’ is a film property that I haven’t really been interested in so maybe this is a biased article. It’s the ‘Star Trek’ argument in that you kind of had to be into it from the start to understand what’s going on. Whilst the casting maybe fabulous, the completely overblown universes and continuities all blending into one takes some preparation time and these days, I haven’t got a lot of time to spare.
Let’s just have a brief rundown of all the franchises that are in the previous Avengers films and Infinity War and maybe you’ll get my point. I’ll do it in chronological order. Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and Black Panther. NINE different film properties and bear in mind that four of these franchises had more than one film before ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ came out after ‘Infinity War’. Altogether, that makes 16 films and that’s not counting the two previous Avenger’s films so really altogether that makes 18. EIGHTEEN MOVIES that you ideally must have seen before this one.
Lets say that on average, each of these eighteen films are about two hours long. In order to be completely up to speed on all of the goings on in each universe and to be completely prepared for Infinity War, that’s 36 hours of preparation time! A day and a half! The only movie that you really must have seen before watching ‘Deadpool 2’ is ‘Deadpool 1’.
Let’s have a chat about ‘Deadpool 2’. I’m heading into spoiler-land now; this film is fairly new so if you don’t want to know what happens then it’s up to you.
The one trait that ‘Deadpool 2’ carried over from the first film is it’s rather jarring shift of tone. Remember how in the first one it was all really funny and then Wade got cancer and suddenly it wasn’t all that funny any more. The same sort of thing happens in the second one.
The film starts out on Vanessa and Wade’s anniversary and Vanessa tells Wade that she’s ready to start a family. It’s all very lovely and they are so much in love and choosing baby names when all of a sudden WHAM!… Vanessa dies. Suddenly, it’s not funny any more. I’m sat in my computer chair, balling like a baby. Then the funny credits sequence comes on with the emotional Celine Dion song playing over it. No… not THAT one but a special song that she recorded especially for ‘Deadpool 2’. It’s a song called ‘Ashes’ and I had the great privilege of watching her perform this song live in Vegas before I’d seen the film. In fact, I remember thinking at the time that this is a very emotional song for a comedy film. Only when I saw the film did the song get placed into it’s proper context.
This film is definitely more heart-warming than the last as the theme this time around is more centred around family which is something that everyone can identify with. Since Wade and Vanessa were planning on starting a family before she was killed, Wade has to find another family and that comes in the form of his X-men friends from the last film. Colossus (Voiced by Stefan Kapicic), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Weasel (T.J. Miller), Dopinder (Karan Soni) and Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) all return, respectively. There are also a few new faces such as Russell and Cable as mentioned above and also Yukio, Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s girlfriend who takes an instant liking to Wade.
A section of ‘Deadpool 2’ where Wade must rescue Russell from a train of prisoners before Cable can get to him requires a team. We’ll talk about that in a bit but first, lets have a more in-depth chat about ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.
The beginning of ‘A: IW’ was a complete mystery as I think it’s a continuation from the ending of one of the ‘Thor’ films that I haven’t seen. In this one, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has shorter hair so he was harder to recognise and only had one eye which made him even harder to recognise. Nevertheless, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) ends up dead by the hands on Thanos and Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) is thrown back to Earth.
By a miraculous twist of fate and good luck, Hulk ends up smashing through the roof of the HQ of Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). After being informed of the coming threat, Dr Strange recruits Tony Stark (Robert Downey JR) to prepare for the battle. Since Dr Strange is the keeper of the ‘Time Stone’, he’s kidnapped and tortured into giving up the stone. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) joins in the rescue mission along with Stark/Iron Man.
Meanwhile, The Guardians of the Galaxy; Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Mantis (Pom Klementieff) Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) encounter Thor and he informs them of Thanos. However, his mighty hammer of Mjolnir has been destroyed and so he sets out with Rocket and Groot to find the man who created the hammer in order to make him a new weapon that can defeat Thanos.
Also meanwhile, Vision (Paul Bettany and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) are hiding out in Scotland having become an item which I didn’t know about. Vision is in danger since he possesses the Mind Stone in his forehead. He’s right to be worried since he is severely injured during an assault by some of Thanos’ henchmen. However, he and Wanda are saved by Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) where they are both taken to James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and Dr Banner. It is suggested that they should travel to Wakanda where there is a doctor who can remove the Mind Stone from Vision without killing him.
I’m going to be honest and say that on the laundry list of films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that I haven’t seen, Black Panther (2018) is one of them but I understand that the titular superhero is that of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). Since I haven’t seen the film, the characters, their backstories and the general environment of Wakanda is something that I’m unfamiliar with.
It would take less time to list the MCU films that I have seen. So here we go.
Iron Man (2008)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Doctor Strange (2016)
That’s it. Everything else is a mystery. Back to Deadpool 2.
One of the two problems that I had with this film that served virtually no use to the plot whatsoever was the introduction of a new ‘team’ for Deadpool. Called ‘X-Force’; these members include, Bedlam (Terry Crewes), Domino (Zazie Beetz), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard), Peter (Rob Delaney) and in a special cameo appearance, there is ‘Vanisher’ (Brad Pitt). All except Domino are killed off is very quick succession. Domino goes on to become a valuable member of the team with her superpower being ‘luck’ which Deadpool is quick to argue with her about.
Here’s my question. If most of the members of X-Force were killed off then, what was the point of having that sequence in there. Because it was funny? I’m sorry but that’s not enough.
The biggest gripe that I have with the ending to A:IW is also the same gripe that I have with the ending to Deadpool 2.
Well… maybe not the ‘ending’ but the mid-credits ending but the ‘ending’ plays into my whole gripe about the mid-credits ending and so I will need to reveal the ‘ending’ so if you still haven’t seen ‘Deadpool 2’ and you don’t want to know the ending then this is your official spoiler warning.
Since it is revealed that Russell is going to kill Cable’s family in the future, it is important that Deadpool, Cable and the rest of the team stop Russell from killing his abusive Headmaster which is the event that leads him down a dark path.
Another point that should be made is that since Vanessa’s death, Wade tried to kill himself but with him being immortal, that’s a difficult task to accomplish. When Wade and Russell are arrested and sent to the ‘Icebox’, they are forced to wear mechanical collars that suppress their mutant abilities and in Wade’s case, this means his constant regeneration. With his multiple cancers quickly returning, Wade is satisfied with dying in a prison cell as long as it means an afterlife with Vanessa. His snubbing of Russell’s offer of friendship only exacerbates the overall situation.
When Cable approaches Wade about killing Russell who has teamed up with the Juggernaut (also played by Ryan Reynolds), Wade decides that he wants to save Russell. You see, Russell has never had a family or someone who cares about him and so as a last ditch attempt to show Russell that there are people who care, Wade dons the collar and dives in front of the bullet that was fired by Cable and meant for Russell. This act of self sacrifice by Wade changes the course of the future and back in Cable’s timeline, his family are alive and waiting for him.
In a long, drawn out and in my opinion, upsetting death sequence, Wade says goodbye to his friends before passing away and meeting up with Vanessa in the afterlife. This is the bit that really got to me. When Wade first kills himself by blowing himself up, he sees Vanessa in the afterlife but there is a barrier separating them. When Wade dies from his bullet wound, Vanessa pulls Wade through the barrier and when he steps through, his burned and mutated skin is gone and he’s the regular, sexy Wade from the first film.
Now naturally, the writers aren’t going to have the main character of a superhero franchise die at the end of a film like they did with Wolverine so Cable uses his last trip back in time to save Wade’s life. All that is fine.
The problem I have comes during mid-credits sequence when Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio fix Cable’s watch so it has unlimited trips back in time and Wade uses it to do funny things such as kill his alternate self in ‘X-Men: Origins’ before he can fight with Wolverine. Incidentally, Hugh Jackman gave his consent for his scene from that movie to be used in ‘Deadpool 2’. What also happens is that Wade saves Vanessa’s life which I’m glad about, don’t get me wrong but it’s kind of a huge plot point and to save it for the mid-credits sequences when most of the audience have left the theatre leaves something to be desired. I can’t really say that it renders the whole film meaningless because the events of the film had to happen to get Wade to that point if that makes sense.
I wish I could say that for the ending of A: IW.
The whole point of Thanos’ Infinity Stone treasure hunt is that he believes that the universe is over-populated and so by removing half of the population, ‘balance will be restored’. At the end of the movie, he gets all the stones and clicks his fingers whereby half of the population disintegrate into dust and this includes a lot of the main characters. Bucky Barnes, T’Challa, Groot, Wanda Maximoff, Sam Wilson, Mantis, Drax, Peter Quill, Dr. Strange and Peter Parker are among the fallen. Vision and Gamora also meet their end by the hands of Thanos.
This ending was shocking and no doubt upsetting to the hardcore fans but not me because I don’t know who half of them are. However, this ending would have held emotional weight if not for the fact that there is a sequel coming out next year and ALL of the main characters are credited to appear. In what capacity they appear? I don’t know but of course they are going to come back to life because this franchise is worth BILLIONS! How many billions? Let’s break it down.
Avengers: Infinity War alone has already made over $2 Billion after starting out with a budget that has exceeded $300 Million. It’s broken several box-office records as well as being the first superhero film to gross $2 Billion and has become the highest grossing film of 2018 to date.
Remember the figures that I gave earlier. 18 movies before A: IW. Well if we include A:IW and ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ that came out in July of this year, that makes 20 films all togther. The combined budgets for these films comes to around $3-4 Billion and the total box office takings?
Brace yourselves. Almost $17.5 Billion. That’s fucking ridiculous and precisely the point.
In my review to the new Beauty and the Beast, I made a similar point. That movie also made $2 Billion when it was pretty much the same as it’s animated counterpart. So why was the movie made? Because it was guaranteed to make money. How do you think these studios survive? I can assure you that every single film studio in the US if not the world has at least one profitable film property that they can wheel out every few years to keep a continuous and steady cash flow. The money taken from those movies is then used to fund the more ‘risky’ projects. The Avengers and all of it’s franchises are perfect for this because they can keep remaking it, keep rebooting it with new actors and keep that cash coming in.
Deadpool 2 on the other hand had a more modest budget of $110 Million and made a healthy profit at the box office of $734 Million. Granted, this isn’t quite as much as the takings for the first Deadpool film but given that the sequel’s budget had doubled, it’s pretty much on par.
Both Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War opened to positive ratings and both hold a similar Rotten Tomatoes rating which is in the mid 80’s.
If you want my opinion (which is the whole point of this article) I would recommend Deadpool 2 over Avengers: Infinity War. I felt much more emotionally involved in the story and it manages to be both hilarious and genuinely uplifting. They also seemed to have upped the profanity rating just a touch with the word ‘cunt’ being spoken twice. I didn’t think you could say that in an R-rated film.
So there you have it. In my opinion, ‘Deadpool 2’ wins. If you think I’m wrong, I don’t care.