Warning: SPOILERS below for Deadpool 2!
Deadpool 2 is bursting at the seams with pop culture jokes, but the movie and Wade Wilson exhibit surprising affinity for Terminator: Genisys. Now, nods to the Terminator franchise are inevitable in this sequel. After all, one of the new mutants introduced is Josh Brolin's Cable, a fearsome, time-traveling cyborg looking to kill a threat to the dark future he hails from. That sounds an awful lot like the basic premise of the sci-fi franchise created by James Cameron.
With his "Winter Soldier" robot arm, his glowy eye, gigantic guns, and humorless demeanor, Cable is very much a mock-up of Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800. When the cyborg soldier arrives in the film's present day, his first order of business is to attack a couple of rednecks and steal their vehicle. This is right out of the Terminator playbook: Arnold took out a bar full of bikers and took their clothes, boots, and motorcycle in Terminator: 2 Judgment Day. (He also did it again in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.) Cable then takes refuge and stashes his ordinance in a seedy hotel room, which is the preferred headquarters of Arnold's cyborg in the original Terminator.
Cable says he was "born into war" in the apocalyptic future he hails from and his mission is to kill a kid. The time traveler's target is Russell Collins, AKA Firefist, a young mutant destined to murder Cable's wife and daughter when he grows up. This echoes the T-1000 going back in time to assassinate the young John Conner played by Edward Furlong in T2, with Deadpool assuming Arnold's role as the boy's unlikely protector.
All of those odes to the 'good' Terminator films are fine and dandy, but Deadpool 2's riffs on the maligned Terminator: Genisys are what raise eyebrows. Cable straps his daughter Hope's burnt teddy bear to his belt as a constant reminder of his mission, which uncomfortably evokes how in Genisys, the old Terminator (named "Pops") Arnold portrays enters a hospital carrying a giant teddy bear that hides his shotgun. Cable is doing all of this to save his future daughter Hope; Pops was a Terminator reprogrammed by his "daughter" Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) to protect her since she was a young girl.
The lowest blow is during the armored transport fight sequence when Deadpool and Domino are trying to stop Cable from killing Russell. Wade calls the cyborg "John Connor"; this isn't a term of endearment referring to any of the heroic versions of John. No, Deadpool's mocking Cable by equating him with the villainous cyborg John Connor played by Jason Clarke that Genisys turned humanity's future messiah into. It's not really surprising Wade Wilson has seen 2015's Genisys, but unlike most fans who wish to forget that sequel ever happened, Deadpool naturally picks that Terminator movie to reference because it's the most insulting.
Goofing on Terminator is all in good fun, as are all of the movie gags in Deadpool 2. Ironically, however, the next installment and reboot of the robot franchise, Terminator 6, is being directed by Tim Miller, who helmed the first Deadpool. Maybe Cameron and Miller should retaliate at Deadpool by introducing the first-ever Terminator with a full grown upper body and little baby legs.
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