Season one was great, but the second run of this off-beat superhero caper turned out to be my binge choice for the summer.
Picking up straight after their temporal escape from the first season’s destruction of planet Earth (pretty much their fault), our barely competent crew of metahuman misfits land in the sixties, where they have to contend with the awakening the civil rights movement, same-sex relationships, an organisation of assassins tasked with maintaining the integrity of the timeline, the assassination of Kennedy, and a nuclear holocaust that is six days away (again, mostly their fault).
With so much to pack into ten episodes, it cracks along, but amazingly, doesn’t feel rushed. There’s plenty of time and space to delve into Black oppression, attitudes to homosexuality, love, sacrifice and being willing to do anything for your family … even when you despise them.
This was always going to be a chancer, but Ryan Reynolds and co. have managed to pull it off … but only just.
First, the good: the film is funny. It’s very funny. Not as funny as the first one, but still gets a few good laughs through a two hour stretch that could have done with being a little more pacey in places. Reynolds relies a lot on breaking the fourth wall to keep the smirks coming, but I think the trick doesn’t work quite as well as it did in the first outing.
And the film is good. Well … when I say good, I mean that it knocks the spots off anything the DC Universe has produced to date, but when compared with the rest of the Marvel/Sony collection, I’d say its sailing near the lower-middle of the pack.
Okay, Ryan Reynolds was obviously born to play Deadpool and Josh Brolin turned in a creditable performance as Cable, though it was probably a little more intense than I was expecting. Zazie Beetz (no, I have no idea who she is) was really good as Domino, which again was something of a surprise because I’m assuming this isn’t her day job.
The script was okay, but it lacked the relaxed, anarchic feel of the first outing. I got the impression that writers were out to prove that the phenomenal success Deadpool 1 wasn’t a fluke, and as a result they ended up trying too hard. Some of the humour seemed forced, and some of the sequences leading up to the joke were a little contrived. The plot bounced all over the place, occasionally flying off on blind tangents,just about holding the story together, but not always keeping the audience interested.
A nod to the action sequences though: some of the best fight scenes I’ve seen on screen; just a pity there weren’t more of them.
If you’re a fan and you liked the first one, then definitely see the sequel. If you’re kind of on the fence about the whole Deadpool thing then you might be a little disappointed. It’s a good movie; I just expected better.
I’m not much of a horror lit fan, so I don’t read much Stephen King, but now that I’ve seen The Dark Tower, that’s going to change. I mean, it’s not as if he doesn’t write other stuff.
The movie is a bit difficult to lump into one particular genre: it’s sort of like High Noon, Lord of the Rings, Excalibur and Stargate all rolled into one; quite a feat considering it’s a shade over two hours long. Idris Elba plays Roland, the last of a band of gunslingers charged with protecting the Dark Tower, a rarely-seen edifice that stands at the centre of the universe and protects it from the evils that lie beyond. Matthew McConaughey plays Walter (yes, you read that right), the despicable and sharply-dressed sorcerer who wants to destroy the Dark Tower and so release untold horrors into the cosmos. Into this eternal struggle comes Jake, a boy with vast psychic powers, more than enough to destroy the Dark Tower, or save it.
Get the gist? Good; it’s not that different from a lot of things you’ve seen before, so it’s not so much the story as the way it’s told, and this film tells it brilliantly.