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By Adriaan Roets

Lifestyle and Entertainment Journalist and Features Writer

Deadpool, the anti-hero with a heart

Comic book action and comedy meet again in Deadpool 2 – and it’s excellent.

I love anti-heroes. I love that their superpowers are a little screwed-up. I love that they don’t have to be conventional. I love that they swear. I love that they haven’t figured themselves out yet.

Mostly, I love that anti-heroes are represented on the big screen in films like Deadpool 2. If you saw Deadpool (back in 2016) and loved it, this is one of 2018’s most endearing cinematic accomplishments because you – with your bad skin, stretch marks, bad taste in fashion – are included in the narrative.

Deadpool is less about trends but more about what makes you, the normal person, happy. Oh, just with eye-popping action sequences, of course. The film sucks you in, but unlike films on circuit right now like I Feel Pretty, Deadpool 2 includes the type of mass appeal that we seldom come by. It’s funny. It’s serious. It’s a little philosophical. And very, very entertaining.

After Infinity War, Deadpool 2 serves as a breather in the Marvel universe. With its slick production, its sometimes non-traditional blockbuster entertainment, it’s an exciting watch.

Two years after becoming a mercenary (well, a walking slaughter house with a frayed outfit), Wade Wilson is busy killing criminals left, right and centre. But after a failed suicide attempt, Wilson gets sucked up into saving the world like never before when he forms a weird X-Men type hero group – X-Force.

The group fights crime, each other and the Marvel Universe (just in terms of reliability).

In the year of Black Panther and Infinity War, Deadpool 2 is an excellent addition (after Black Panther it’s really the best addition to the Marvel Universe) because it never feels traditional.

Yes, you see eye-popping visuals, but they’re off-set by wry humour, and the film even leans into social commentary. It’s the kind of ride that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Ryan Reynolds not only stars in the title role, he also co-wrote and produced Deadpool 2.

“Ryan is an incredible comedic talent,” says director David Leitch. “Deadpool works as a perfect ground for things he really excels at. He took that character from the comic books and made it his own brand. There’s a synergistic effect with Deadpool and Ryan. He really is Deadpool in real life – in terms of the way he talks and sees the world, sometimes. He’s funny and irreverent but also has a huge heart and compassion, like Deadpool.”

Writers and executive producers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who also wrote the first film, have been involved with Deadpool since 2009.

“It feels like we’ve been living with him our whole lives,” says Wernick.

Reynolds approached Reese and Wernick to write the screenplay for the original Deadpool and Reese recalls: “Deadpool is an apple among oranges, when it comes to superheroes. He is irreverent. He is self-loathing. He is silly, childlike, violent, annoying. He’s a lot of things that other superheroes aren’t and he’s not really even a superhero. He’s kind of an antihero in superhero garb.”

“Deadpool is sort of like the Hunchback of Notre Dame,” says Leitch. “He’s disfigured and incredibly empathetic. He’s got a great backstory. There’s the wish fulfilment of a guy who has these healing powers. He’s kind of invincible. And he’s irreverent. That mixture is great for a character.”

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