Deadpool 2 finally brought the X-Force to the big screen, only to waste the team in the process. In the spirit of going bigger and badder, the movie introduces several characters commonly associated with the iconic Marvel group. Of course there's Josh Brolin's Cable, whose involvement is given appropriate prominence in light of their storied history as a duo, but there's also the X-Force, who've been introduced as Deadpool's team in the blockbuster. An X-Men offshoot from the early '90s, X-Force was a grittier, edgier team of mutants and misfits to whom Deadpool was a recurring major antagonist before his popularity led to him becoming more of an anti-hero. Initially led by Cable, the group is synonymous with the world of the Merc With The Mouth and their inclusion is an exciting prospect that's undermined by the sequel's mishandling of their first big-screen appearance.
In the movie, X-Force are a band of hired help Deadpool and Weasel put together to stop Cable from intercepting Firefist's prison transport and killing him. Domino, Shatterstar, Vanisher, Bedlam, Zeitgeist, and Peter, led by Wade, sky-dive out of a plane together in what trailers made seem like one of the biggest set-pieces of the feature.
It's big alright, but not in the way anyone expects as most of the group are killed or butchered due to Wilson's poor planning. Heavy winds cause several of them to go off course, crashing into buses and helicopter blades among other generally grim ways to die, leaving Domino and their red-and-black leader to face down Cable. It's a great sequence, but it's a waste of what was one of the movie's most interesting ideas.
This Page: It's Undermine's Deadpool's Core Message For a Laugh
Page 2: It Makes X-Force Feel Irrelevant
It's Undermine's Deadpool's Core Message For a Laugh
When Deadpool is written well, he's one of the most entertaining superheroes there is. Tragic, unpredictable, dramatic, and melancholic all at once, his best stories are the ones that balance his humor and his tragedy on a knife-edge, never favoring one too strongly over the other. The first Deadpool movie is an excellent example of what makes him so compelling – he's got this frenetic energy and presence, but it's all a cover for a deep, unbearable loneliness he's trying to remedy in whatever way he can.
The X-Force bit in Deadpool 2 is what happens when he's written poorly, the humor coming from a place of hollow nihilism and cheap thrills rather than actual character. Really, it comes down to what the whole incident means for the Merc and his development, in that it ultimately means nothing. The inception of the team and their hiring is great – Wade learning to play with others and accept that he's a hero is exactly what his journey should be – but the film just forgets about the rest of them once Domino's all that's left. After he watches the heroes that he brought into this mess get killed on his watch because of his lack of planning, there's barely a mention once Juggernaut tears him in half and the focus shifts toward a Deadpool/Cable alliance. There's no gravitas, only a bunch of innocent people with special abilities (and Peter) who get gruesomely killed because they wanted to be heroes, much to our amusement.
It's a play on Deadpool's satirical nature and rejection of superhero convention that values audience entertainment over a punchline with a purpose. There's no denying that the entire scene works on a comedic level; from when they dive out of the plane to when Deadpool grabs the scooter to make chase on Cable and Domino is laugh-out-loud stuff (not to mention THAT cameo), but it's the frivolousness that's irksome. In a plot centered around grief and finding family, it's a motif that feels jarringly cynical and shallow. The whole reasoning behind the faction is to stop an abused child being killed for a crime he hasn't yet committed. To then kill them off with so little regard is unnecessarily nasty and a juxtaposition tonally.
This story is meant to be about Deadpool learning to care for himself and other people, and it's harder to buy into that when the screenplay is willing to gut and dismember other characters just because the writers thought it'd be funny. Being around Wilson is generally bad for your health, but that doesn't need to mean wood-chippers.
Page 2: It Makes X-Force Feel Irrelevant
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