Is DEADPOOL 2 a Two-Hour “LOGAN” Joke? – Wisecrack Quick Take
Welcome to this Wisecrack Quick Take on Deadpool 2!
Written by: Matthew Theriault
Directed by: Robert Tiemstra
Narrated by: Jared Bauer
Edited by: Andrew Nishimura
Produced by: Emily Dunbar
Is DEADPOOL 2 a Two-Hour “LOGAN” Joke? – Wisecrack Quick Take
Hey everyone, some assh*le who needs a haircut, here. We just got back from Deadpool 2 and wanted to share some thoughts. Is it funny? Yes. Is it the same thing as Deadpool 1 except replace romance with family? Also yes. But there’s one particular scene we wanted to talk about. It’s a spoiler for Logan, but Deadpool 2 spoils Logan pretty immediately, so… Consider yourself warned? At the beginning of the film, Deadpool holds a music box of Wolverine from the end of Logan. It depicts him impaled upon a tree after defeating X-24. He laments that Logan has stolen his fire, so to make it right: Deadpool will also die. Deadpool’s Hugh Jackman obsession is well-documented, but in Deadpool 2, it takes on a new layer of relevance: one can view the entire film as a giant joke at Logan’s expense.
Welcome to this Wisecrack Quicktake on Deadpool 2 – and of course spoilers ahead. But first-quick shoutout to Wix for sponsoring this video. Wix gives you the superpower to make websites quickly and easily that don’t look like my Xanga page circa 1999. They’ve got a solution for every need, whether you want to embed a video of yourself eating a bucket of peanut butter with a wooden spoon or create a suave business site that can help you get a job – Wix is where it’s at. No matter what you do, Wix makes sure your website is safe and secure, while offering you a design toolbox so you can make websites that don’t look cookie cutter — no disrespect to cookies…
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So first, a quick recap: Deadpool 2 follows the Merc with a Mouth going through a bit of an emo phase. His plans to start a family with Vanessa go to sh*t when she gets murdered by some bad guys. After trying to kill himself, he’s brought on as an X-Men trainee, where he encounters a rotund, young fire-starter named Russell.
Tired of being abused by his boarding school staff, Russell starts lashing out. Deadpool decides to dish out some vigilante justice on his abusers, so he, along with Russell, end up in mutant prison with power-inhibiting collars. Deadpool breaks free when the time-traveling Cable infiltrates the prison to assassinate Russell. Why? Because he grows up to be a pretty big dick who kills Cable’s wife and child. After playing some cat and mouse, Russell forsakes Deadpool to join up with the Juggernaut and kill his schoolmaster, causing Deadpool and Cable to team up. As part of their deal, Deadpool gets to try to stop Russell from killing his schoolmaster, thus breaking the chain of events that turns him into Kiwi Voldemort. If not, Cable gets to kill him.
When you put the two films side by side, Deadpool 2 is A LOT like Logan. Besides the healing factor, both films follow two mutants trying to help younger mutants being hunted down by bad guys. It’s also worth noting that both of these bad guys have robo-arms-slash-hands. Both films also have an adult-child relationship, where the child is a kind of mirror for the protagonist: Wade Wilson had a crappy family life, which makes him empathetic to the orphaned Russell, whose only father-figure conducts cruel experiments on him. As a result, he realizes Russell’s sh*ttiness is beyond the child’s choice, and thus, he deserves a chance. Similarly, Logan sympathizes with Laura because she, like him, was engineered as a killing machine.
Both our heroes die (sorta) to save said child. So here’s the thing: in Logan, his sacrifice has a particular meaning – one that we’ve covered before. Logan cannot set aside his violent past, no matter how hard he tries. He tries to spare Laura the violent life he had – but can only do so by reluctantly becoming, one last time, the animal-like Wolverine. Logan, and his Wolverine persona, die, so that Laura may live. This may sound a lot like Vanessa’s line – “Kids give us a chance to be better than we used to be.” — about how children give people the opportunity to make better versions of themselves. And on the surface, this is kind of happening, at least in a Deadpoolian way.
Deadpool, who has a violent past like Wolverine, does not want Russell to get that initial taste of murder, because it will set him down a dark path. Now, does Deadpool want Russell want him to avoid being a jaded hitman for hire? Well, not exactly. He has to make sure Russell doesn’t kill his schoolmaster, but he seems to have no problem doing the killing himself. I mean, this is Deadpool, after all. At the end of the film, we think Deadpool has turned a new leaf and decided to spare the schoolmaster, and perhaps take Colossus’s words to heart from early in the film: That he’s not judge, jury, and executioner. And with Deadpool’s sparing of him – hey – it’s progress! But it was all a stall-tactic so Dophinder could make like Daisy Buchanan and commit some light, vehicular manslaughter. Just like the end of Deadpool 1, Wade is still not Colossus’s image of heroics.
But perhaps this comparison works on another level. If Logan is about sparing a younger generation the violence of their elders, then Deadpool 2 may be about sparing a younger generation the cynicism of their elders. The idea that Deadpool is cynical is pretty captain obvious. He inhabits all the tropes of a superhero while mocking them. He shamelessly advertises, but does so in a self-deprecating style that makes it palatable. In one instance, tequila ads were poorly plastered Deadpool faces on them that were an actual partnership. He also, above all else, refuses to take anything seriously, including his own torture.
If Deadpool the character is so cynical, so willing to trivialize everything, perhaps it’s because he’s never really had a family. This negative part of his character manifests itself, and heightens the conflict, when he belittles Russell within earshot and claims not to care about him. And if this ill-fitting role model has also abandoned Russell, why should Russell think anyone could love him? At the end of the film, Deadpool approaches Russell and embraces him to try to stop his pyromania spree. But Russell doesn’t buy it, And why should he? All the adults in his life have been assholes. The implication is: because Russell doesn’t trust anyone, because he’s never had a family, he is without hope. But when Cable tries to shoot him, Deadpool takes the bullet, proving to Russell that someone cares. Not only does this mean he doesn’t have to grow up and kill tons of people, but that he should allow himself to trust others. Logan died so that Laura could give up violence and have a good life with her new X-family, Deadpool died so Russell could give up cynicism, and embrace HIS new X-family.
Logan will never not be violent, and Deadpool will never not be cynical, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to help the children. But again, this movie is a kind of extended joke on Logan: although Deadpool has healed the cynicism of Russell, the film still takes the opposite approach. Rather than a sad, heartfelt ending, Deadpool doesn’t actually die. And the bait-and-switch with Deadpool sparing the schoolmaster as a ruse to let Dophinder kill him is just proof of this cynicism. So, where we expect progress, we find none. And if we had any doubts, the after-credits scenes shows Deadpool making the entire first act irrelevant and also shooting the old Deadpool in the head.
So, although Deadpool may have saved Russel from the cynical belief in not being able to trust anyone, the franchise itself is still as cynical as ever. And I’m sure commercials like this and this will never go away. But what do I know? I’m just some assh*le with a YouTube channel. Seriously. Go read a book. Or hey- MAKE A WEBSITE with your own thoughts by clicking here. Also, we’re going to talking about Deadpool 2 on our podcast “Show Me the Meaning” so subscribe to our Wisecasts channel or check out Show Me the Meaning on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or wherever you guys get your podcasts. Thanks for watching guys. Peace.