Reel Reviews: Comedy for all

By on May 23, 2018

‘Deadpool 2’

The Avengers have fallen; that’s not a spoiler, but a fact, as “Deadpool 2” became the movie to knock “Avengers: Infinity War” from the number one spot at the box office over the weekend.

In a fit of Marvel-on-Marvel crime, the crass crusader in crimson pushed the juggernaut off the edge (figuratively, and later, literally) and secured enough cash in one weekend to pay for its entire budget. Can someone say “Deadpool 3?”

Back to 2: we meet our flagrant crime-fighter in a bit of a crisis. Bent on ending his seemingly unendable life, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) a.k.a. Deadpool blows himself to pieces after failing to save his girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), from a gang of revenge thirsty thugs. Entering a period of self-deprecation and sadness, the snarky hero eventually snaps out of it and forms X-Force with Domino* (Zazie Beetz), Vanisher (Brad Pitt — who knew?), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård) and others in an effort to save a young mutant from the clutches of the time traveling Cable. (Cable is played by Josh Brolin, yes, the same Josh Brolin recently seen as Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War.” Marvel must me hurting for actors to get onboard their franchises. My own bit of snarkasm there.)

“Deadpool 2” stars (left to right) Zazie Beetz as Domino, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, and Josh Brolin as Cable.

At least that is my take on the movie. Twentieth Century Fox writes the synopsis like this: “After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the Yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor.”

Speaking of taste, that plot description is a pretty good taste of the humor that goes into “Deadpool 2,” a direct carryover from “Deadpool” in 2016. Congratulations, if you got every pop reference and pointed joke in “Deadpool 2” your geek level is Genius Plus! Myself, I’m going to have to watch this flick a couple times to begin to crack all the subtle hints, off-color nods, and quick cameos (both real — Matt Damon — and fictional) generously sprinkled throughout.

There’s so much more to say — like welcome, finally, Juggernaut — but I need to leave room for the next movie.

*I can’t wait for the Domino spinoff movie! Please, let there be one.

Also in theaters: ‘Life of the Party’

For those who wanted to stay as far away from comic book flicks as possible and still get in a few laughs, “Life of the Party” seemed to be the answer as the Melissa McCarthy comedy stood its ground at the box office by taking fourth place.

McCarthy is Deanna, a mom-jeans wearing suburbanite whose daughter, Maddie (Molly Gordon), is off for her senior year of college. When Deanna is suddenly divorced by her husband she turns back to her alma mater and becomes part of Maddie’s circle of friends, which includes movie-savers Gillian Jacobs as Helen and Jessie Ennis as a “sorority sister with issues.” Credit also goes to Heidi Gardner, who plays Leonor, a dark and aloof dormmate to Deanna.

The movie is more fun than I thought it would be and it follows a familiar formula for successful comedies — not straying to far into the filth, but still riddled with cheap jokes. Stick through “Life of the Party” for the first half hour and it gets better.

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