Monday Movie! Deadpool 2
While it has its flaws, Deadpool 2 is a good movie, and probably better than the first one. No, scratch that, it's definitely better than the first one, thanks to Domino and Cable.
Domino is a member of Deadpool's new team, the black woman with the pale birthmark whose power is supernatural good luck. She has some excellent fight scenes, is a total badass, and is actually helpful. She doesn't even need rescuing! Yet she still stinks of Strong Female Character syndrome, in that she's not a fully-fleshed character. We have no idea what her motivations are, how she got her powers, or what her goals in life are. Why did she sign up to join Deadpool's team? Why does she stick around when things turn sour? If it's just for money--we don't even know if Deadpool's paying her--then that needs to be said.
In fact, the writers missed a beautiful opportunity to give her a moment with Russell, a.k.a. Firefist, the fiery mutant Deadpool is trying to save from the time-traveling Winter Soldier knock-off Cable. She and Russell are from the same horrible orphanage that tortures young mutants because...I don't know. Jesus?
Anyway, Team Deadpool is trying to stop Russell from killing the headmaster of this orphanage, because if he does that Very Bad Things will happen, while also protecting him from Cable, who wants to put a bullet in his brain. It would then only seem natural that, once Deadpool finds out that Domino shares these origins with the boy he's trying to help, that he would at least ask her to help him talk Russell down.
No, of course not. That makes too much sense.
So the movie gets points for having Domino in the film. It loses points for underutilizing her.
Moving on to Cable. We all know Marvel has a bit of a villain problem, in that they're often extremely forgettable. Other than Thanos and Killmonger, no Marvel villain really sticks out.
Cable, on the other hand, is a lot more memorable than the likes of Vanko or Ronan. (I'll save you the trouble of googling those two: they're from Iron Man 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy, respectively.) Maybe it's because he's played by the same actor who nailed Thanos. Maybe it's because he's actually not really a bad guy, filled with nuance and layers. Either way, he's excellent.
My only issue with him is his stereotypical backstory. We've got a serious case of Women in the Refrigerator trope.
For a full analysis of what this trope is, how it originated, and why it's a problem, check out this YouTube video by Feminist Frequency. But for the quick and dirty definition, the Woman in the Fridge trope is when a female character is brutalized, raped, and/or murdered as a way to enhance the man's story arc. Usually it's the kick-off to a revenge story.
Perfect example: Cable.
Cable's wife and daughter are killed by an adult, supervillain Russell. It's the whole reason he goes back in time to kill Russell, thus setting our story into motion.
This trope is used not just once, but twice in this movie! For a franchise that loves to make fun of itself, even cracking a joke about lazy writing when Deadpool points out the limitations of Cable's time-travel abilities, this double-whammy fridge trope is left unchecked.
"But Christina!" you may wail, "If we don't kill off the women, how could we possibly motivate the men into being heroes and villains?"
Here's an idea: Cable points out that the future is a horrible, grim place, and we see a glimpse of this through the ruins of his home. What if instead of sacrificing his wife and daughter, the writers had Cable go back to try to save the future as a whole? You could then also replace the tragedy of the other woman's death with, say, a breakup, and voila! No more fridges.
As I said, despite its shortcomings, this was a good movie. It was funny, action-packed, and even managed a minor grapple of the issue of right-and-wrong. It's a worthy sequel, and a hopeful kick-off for another Deadpool or X-Force movie.
But if you're going to use already dried up tropes like SFCs and Women in the Fridge, at least make fun of yourself for that like you do for everything else.
Marvel's First Supervillain Movie
So. Infinity War. That happened.
Is anyone else still recovering from the shock?
It's not just that most characters we thought we going to die--like Steve Rogers and Tony Stark--ended up surviving. Or even that every character we thought would survive--Bucky Barnes, T'Challa, even freaking Peter Parker--ended up dying. It's the fact that the bad guy won.
Well, for now. There is still that unnamed Avengers film that comes out in 2019, after Ant-Man and Wasp and Captain Marvel. Because Spider-Man is getting another movie (also in 2019), and Black Panther is getting his sequel, it's safe to say that these two characters--and hopefully a few others--will somehow be resurrected.
Speaking of future movies, it will be interesting to see what Thanos's universe looks like in Ant-Man and Wasp and Captain Marvel. Half of the population up in smoke (including Nick Fury; no!), and the world's going to keep on chugging. At least until Tony Stark finally makes it back to Earth, (hopefully) has that final confrontation with Steve Rogers we were all waiting for in Infinity War, and rounds up the remaining Avengers to kick Thanos's ass properly.
But let's backtrack. Infinity War is a movie in the superhero genre. That gives the most screen time to the bad guy. That has the bad guy win. This is not a superhero movie. This is a supervillain movie. Thanos is the main character, even if he isn't the protagonist; you don't want him to win. But you can't help but empathize him. He's a crazy, genocidal maniac who thinks slaughtering half of the population is the only way to save the universe...and he kind of has the evidence to back it up. His planet was destroyed by overpopulation. He talks about Gamora's home planet, how after he was done killing millions of people no one went to bed hungry, and now "It's a paradise."
Too bad he never considered other alternatives to solving the problem, like terraforming other planets for the sole purpose of farming. Because his heart's (mostly) in the right place.
Monday Movie! A Wrinkle in Time
The first Dragons, Zombies and Aliens blog was started in 2015. Somewhere between college coursework, paying rent with door-to-door sales, and keeping up with my sorority sisters, I wrote reviews, rants and commentaries on books, TV shows, and movies. Now, this blog has moved, improved, and the sky's the limit!