From memorable characters like Cable to forgettable like Ajax, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool movie villains have been a mixed bag.
Ryan Reynolds worked for years to get a dead Pool movie on the floor. He previously starred in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but he was relegated to a supporting role and the Merc with a Mouth had his mouth shut, so it wasn’t particularly faithful to the source material. The long-awaited solo film was given a conservative budget (at least for a comic book movie), as it seemed inconceivable that an R-rated groundbreaking superhero comedy could be a hit. Of course, when the film finally hit theaters, the gamble paid off. It broke all sorts of blockbuster records for R-rated movies and launched a lucrative franchise.
In the dead Pool movies, Wade Wilson has battled some of the most iconic villains in the Marvel Comics Universe. From Cable to the Juggernaut, the dead Pool the films have given fans many memorable live-action portrayals of beloved villains. But the franchise also has some forgettable villains, like Ajax (aka Francis) and Black Tom Cassidy.
Better known by his real name Francis, Ajax is the main villain of the first dead Pool movie. He is responsible for Wade Wilson’s mutation, as he takes him in, promises to cure his cancer, and turns him into an invincible killing machine. This, of course, turns out to be a big mistake as Wade agrees to use these new powers to find and kill Francis.
Ed Skrein could not replace Jason Statham in the Transporter franchise and he couldn’t make a memorable villain in dead Pool. While the movie itself was a refreshing change of pace, Francis is the same generically evil villain seen in countless other comic book blockbusters. His heightened strength is a fairly common superpower, and his characterization is one-dimensional and mediocre.
5 Black Tom Cassidy
Black Tom Cassidy only briefly appears at the mutant prison of Deadpool 2. He confronts ‘Pool in the cafeteria, prompting Firefist to use violence to solve his problems. This take on the character is very thinly drawn, so Jack Kesy can’t do much with the material. His role in the sequel was cut so drastically that he might as well have been cut from the script entirely.
This role could have been filled by just about any villain. The fact that it’s Black Tom Cassidy just sets up another tired gag poking fun at a comic book character’s name. The character’s function in the plot is to influence the budding villainy of Firefist, but his friendship with the Juggernaut has already established that.
One of the many things the Deadpool 2 trailers managed to hide from the public was the appearance of the Juggernaut. The iconic X-Man becomes a secondary villain in the sequel’s final act as he teams up with Firefist to take down the abusive leader of his former mutant academy. In addition to playing the Merc with a Mouth (and himself in a mid-credits scene), Reynolds voiced the Juggernaut.
With brute force and dry humor, this incarnation of the Juggernaut finally did the character justice after Vinnie Jones’ much-maligned performance in X-Men: The Last Stand.
3 angel dust
Although Ajax are the main villain of the first dead Pool movie, his best henchwoman is a much more interesting villain than he is. Like Ajax, Angel Dust was artificially mutated.
Gina Carano brings an authentic badass side to this character, much like her role as Cara Dune in The Mandalorian. Angel Dust is so strong (and such a competent fighter) that she can take on Colossus in melee and still hold the upper hand.
2 Fire fist
Wade slowly learns to be a better person after taking Firefist under his wing dressed in red spandex in Deadpool 2. Just as Wade believes in his own ability to change, he believes there is a way to prevent Firefist’s future killing spree without hurting him as a child.
Julian Dennison brings the same deliciously dry comedic sensibility to Deadpool 2 he brought to his role in Taika Waititi Wilderpeople Hunt. This film also saw Dennison embark on a dangerous journey with a dysfunctional father figure.
As a time-traveling cybernetic soldier bent on murdering a child that Deadpool is determined to protect, Cable takes on the traditional role of a villain in Deadpool 2. But he’s more of an anti-hero, as he has a sympathetic motivation for wanting to kill Firefist. In the future, he will grow up to be the genocidal mutant who murders Cable’s family. He returns in time to kill him when he was a child in order to avoid the death of his family. He wants to do a bad thing, but he has a good reason.
Josh Brolin brought a ton of nuance to the role. He’s not just a grieving husband and father because his backstory says so; pain can be seen beneath Brolin’s stern-faced facade in every scene. Brolin also shares hysterical on-screen chemistry with Reynolds as the “straight man” to Deadpool’s antics. The “buddy cop” dynamic between Cable and Deadpool is one of the best parts of the sequel. Hopefully they will team up again in the next threequel.
NEXT: Ranking Every Villain In Wolverine’s Solo Trilogy
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