Entertainment

Deadpool 2 film review: Risque, riotous and dead funny

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The follow-up to that surprise 2016 box office hit offers more of the same: in-jokes, foul language, over-the-top violence and “fourth-wall” shattering tirades to camera.

It’s relentless, exhausting, but hilarious.

There’s a clever recurring joke about Disney musicals, a great made-up Beyoncé quote and a pithy takedown of Marvel’s longest running film series.

“We’re the X-Men,” Deadpool tells an expectant crowd as he arrives at a siege with two eye-rolling mutant comrades.

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Deadpool 2 suggests things might be different for the post-modern superhero comedy


It’s relentless, exhausting, but hilarious

“A dated metaphor for racism in the Sixties.” After mercilessly ribbing Hugh Jackman’s X-Man in the first film, Marvel’s black sheep has finally agreed to join the flock.

Needless to say, for this most childish of superheroes, great power comes with a complete lack of responsibility.

Among all the mayhem, a plot begins to form. And in grand comic book movie tradition, it’s one we’ve all seen plenty of times before.

Cable (Josh Brolin) is a time-travelling, robotic-armed, super-soldier who arrives from a post-apocalyptic future to assassinate a 14-year-old mutant called Russell (Hunt For The Wilderpeople star Julian Dennison) before he can become the fire-spewing psychopath who will kill his wife and child. As our hero points out, this makes him Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator with a tragic backstory and fewer circuit boards.

“You’re an annoying clown, dressed as a sex doll,” Brolin fires back, nailing Reynolds’s role as the comic book empire’s court jester.

As Deadpool becomes the boy’s cellmate (he doesn’t stay on the good guys’ side for long) and his avowed protector, they get to trade blows as well as bitchy asides.

Deadpool may be a trained assassin with super regenerative powers but he is no match for Cable’s hi-tech weapons.

So he assembles the “X-Force”; a rival, genderneutral, team of mutants who are tough, hungry and “young enough to keep this franchise going for another 10 to 12 years”.

After that lofty plan comes crashing down to Earth, he settles for a new sidekick called Domino (Zazie Beetz), whose abilities include a superhuman tolerance for puerile jokes and a constant stream of good luck.

They aren’t the most cinematic of superpowers but John Wick director David Leitch puts them to good use in a slick action scene where things keep coming up roses as they battle Cable on the back of a speeding truck.

So how long can Reynolds’s vehicle keep rolling? Ten years sounds optimistic but as long as Hollywood keeps building up their superhero franchises, there’ll be a vacancy for someone who can tear them down.

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Chesil Beach is a tasteful, thoughtful period drama

CHESIL BEACH (15, 100 mins) Director: Dominic Cooke Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Emily Watson

Rating: 3/5

Counter-programming doesn’t come much more blatant than On Chesil Beach.

Deadpool 2’s box office rival this week is a tasteful, thoughtful and utterly humourless period drama that is built on two understated lead performances.

Golden Globe winner Saoirse Ronan and Dunkirk star Billy Howle are perfectly cast as newlyweds Eddie and Florence, two bright young things who were born just a little too early for the sexual revolution.

The story, based on an Ian McEwan novella adapted by the writer himself, hinges on a disastrous attempt to consummate their marriage in a Dorset hotel room.

As the clueless virgins nervously edge towards the bed we’re hit with the film’s first flashback. It’s 1962 and Eddie is desperate to tell someone he has won a first-class degree, so he finds himself wandering half-cut into a CND meeting in Oxford.

It’s there that he meets Florence, a talented violinist who is immediately taken with his top marks and easy-going manner. Further flashbacks show that they come from different backgrounds.

Florence’s parents are wealthy and old-fashioned. Her father (Samuel West) is a buttoned-up industrialist and her mother (Emily Watson) a snooty namedropper.

Eddie’s lot are less repressed but more troubled. We meet his mother (Anne-Marie Duff) as his headmaster father (Adrian Scarborough) is ushering her in from the garden where she’s been having a naked chat with the birds. This isn’t the first flush of the hippy era but the tragic effects of a freak accident that left lasting brain damage.

As things look like they might be warming up in Dorset – if only Eddie could unbutton that dress – more flashbacks show clouds beginning to gather on an idyllic courtship.

So when married bliss turns into a blazing row that spills over on to the titular beach, we know more about this couple than they know themselves. And perhaps it’s our knowing, almost smug, position that makes the drama feel so short of surprises.

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ALLURE  (18, 105 mins) Directors: Jason Sanchez and Carlos Sanchez Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Julia Sarah Stone, Denis O’Hare

Rating: 2/5

If you are watching sci-fi series Westworld on Sky Atlantic, you’ll know how Evan Rachel Wood can suggest a maelstrom of emotions behind a seemingly tranquil exterior.

She’s at it again in Allure, a kidnap drama where she plays a troubled young woman who, like robot rebel Dolores in Westworld, is having problems escaping her programming.

Laura works for her father’s company cleaning rich people’s homes.

At work she has to project an affable front to her well-heeled clients but inside she’s consumed with rage from her childhood. She gets a chance to lash out when she meets innocent teenager Eva (Julia Sarah Stone).

A strange relationship develops between the 30ish cleaner and 16-year-old musician. At first, she plays the big sister, then lover before finally becoming her jailer.

It’s an impressive performance but not an easy watch, with an unremittingly grim tone.


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