He's the other star in Deadpool 2, the bad guy ...


The Cable guy: Josh Brolin in Deadpool.
The Cable guy: Josh Brolin in Deadpool.

The much anticipated adults-only anti-superhero action sequel Deadpool 2, now in cinemas, is rightly focusing on leading man Ryan Reynolds as  “merc with a mouth”. All the unconventional ads show Reynolds as the crimefighter in the blood-red suit.

However, co-star Josh Brolin as nemesis Cable, is on a cinematic roll and not just because of basically stealing the limelight in a little recent hit called Avengers Infinity War.

Josh Brolin is the son of veteran actor James Brolin, one-time male model and star of classic originals Westworld (1973) The Amityville Horror (1979) in a stellar career.

YOUNG STARTER

Young Josh made his own feature film acting debut at 17 in ultimate retro gem The Goonies (1985). On a side-note he recently wore a version of his Goonies costume including headband to a Halloween party.

A skateboard movie, Thrashin, was next, followed by an array of television appearances including 21 Jump Street and Young Guns-style western series, Young Riders.

There was something about him that gave him a bold screen presence like his father. Small roles in Valentine’s Day classic Bed Of Roses and Flirting with Disaster, a road film comedy with Ben Stiller, made him a go-to player.

Nightwatch (1997) with Best Laid Plans (1999) were highlights among a mix of variable roles that also regrettably involved a remake of television series The Mod Squad.

EVOLUTION

AS he got a little further into maturity around the early 2000s roles became more subsequent with wickedness or brooding chiselled looks.

Sometimes characters would involve both, such as in invisible man retread Hollow Man (2000) and Into the Blue (2005), an underwater treasure movie that could be passed off as just fluff but turned into an exciting thriller opposite gorgeous Jessica Alba and the late Paul Walker. 

For over a decade Josh was married to fellow child of the ’80s starlet Diane Lane (Outsiders, Streets of Fire).

NEXT LEVEL

The year 2007 was massive for Brolin. He stepped up the level of diversity, playing characters in Planet Terror, In the Valley of Elah (directed by Tommy Lee Jones), American Gangster opposite Hollywood heavyweights Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington and best of all, playing a key role in the Oscar Best Picture winner, No Country for Old Men, written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. 

The very next year Brolin was nominated for an Oscar for supporting actor for his role in Milk, opposite actual Best Actor winner Sean Penn.

However, it was his controversial portrayal of former college bad boy and President George W. Bush in W. that finally got critics solidly in his corner. 

The brilliance kept flowing. In his second outing for Woody Allen, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, and then as a fix-it executive during the golden age of Hollywood in Hail Caesar (2015), and again in his offbeat re-imagining of a young Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black 3, Brolin took his comedy skills up a notch. 

Romancing Kate Winslet under extreme circumstances in Labor Day (2013) and off his tree bumbling around in Inherent Vice (2014) struck a chord for critics. But none did well at the box office.

An excellent film about firefighters, the true story Only the Brave, was also a bust. 

Marvel man: Josh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers Infinity War.

Marvel man: Josh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers Infinity War.

On the other hand, Sicario (2015) an intense border drug war thriller, made it to top 10 lists around the globe and a sequel is to follow with Brolin front and centre.

MARVEL ERA

Then along came a couple of uncredited moments in the Marvel Universe which have accumulated to a major villain in this year’s biggest film to date Avengers Infinity War.

As galaxy destroyer Thanos, under a heavy dose of CGI effects, Josh still manages to convey the smart prowess of a major bad guy with mannerisms relatable to human instincts. But still, the character is insane.

Now every generation knows the magical ability of Josh Brolin as Thanos. But in a unique occurrence, he is one of a few that will start in two superhero movies at the same time for the same Marvel Comic creators.

Brolin takes his role seriously in Deadpool.  And it works on a classic buddy cop level, reminding me of Tango & Cash (1989) or 48 Hrs (1982).

Deadpool 2 is a comedy action romance, emphasis on comedy of the adults-only kind, children are not recommended to experience the obscene antics and violent tendencies of Wade Deadpool, which I actually like. 

Hunk of a star: Josh Brolin on the red carpet at a Deadpool premiere.

Hunk of a star: Josh Brolin on the red carpet at a Deadpool premiere.

Here is a chunk of the review of Deadpool 2 in Variety magazine: In almost every respect, this sequel is an improvement on its 2016 predecessor: Sharper, grosser, more narratively coherent and funnier overall, with a few welcome new additions. It’s a film willing to throw everything - jokes, references, heads, blood, guts, and even a little bit of vomit - against the wall, rarely concerned about how much of it sticks.

Now every generation knows the magical ability of Josh Brolin as Thanos but in a unique occurrence he is one of a few that will start in two superhero movies at the same time for the same Marvel Comic creators.

After being stuck in development for over a decade, the first Deadpool broke box-office records and shattered preconceived notions about what an R-rated superhero movie could do when it debuted in February 2016.

Deadpool 2 is good not great, not quite instantly forgettable. But lightning hasn't struck twice after the shock of the original.

The new sequel is flat too often or stupid - unlike the true unforced wit of the original flick. But it does have some epic moments worth going to the cinema for. 

Deadpool (MA), 119mins. In cinemas now.