It lives up to the hype, *plus plus*
Deadpool 2 is directed by David Leitch and stars Ryan Reynolds who reprises his role as the titular Deadpool. The film also stars Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, and Jack Kesy.
2016's Deadpool was one of the more unique superhero movies to come out in recent memory, the world getting its first real taste of Deadpool's anti-humor persona and his irreverent, fourth-wall breaking sense of humor. It was something of a refreshing change-up from the heroics of the other X-Men and the heroics of all the characters in the MCU, especially because the movie was a good excuse for Marvel to enter R-rated territory, featuring more bloody, graphic violence and more frequent usage of words like 'fuck' and 'shit'. 20th Century Fox knew right away that Deadpool was going to be a hit, green-lighting a sequel around the time that the first film was released. And would you be surprised if I told you that Deadpool 3 is already in development? No. No you would not.
Ryan Reynolds has found something of a calling with Deadpool, the character fitting Reynold's charm and sense of humor the way peanut butter fits with jelly. It's as if Deadpool is the role Reynolds was always destined to play, and his enthusiasm for playing the role being the equivalent of the enthusiasm of a little kid waking up on Christmas morning. I don't need to waste time talking about how enjoyable Reynolds is in the title role; that's a high point I'm not even going to list. But what we should be especially grateful for is that Reynolds doesn't need to put the entire movie squarely on his shoulders; there is plenty of stuff going on around him that works.
But first, plot summary: two years after the first film, Wade Wilson comes up short in killing one of his targets on his anniversary with girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin, reprising her role from the first film). On the night the two decide to start a family, the escaped target tracks Wilson down at his home and kills Vanessa. Wilson is able to kill the target before he escapes, but the damage has been done, and Wilson is overcome with grief, blaming himself for Vanessa's death. Wilson attempts to commit suicide six weeks later by blowing himself up into tiny pieces. However, Wilson's body parts stay alive and are later found and put back together by Colossus. Colossus takes Wilson to the X-Mansion to recover, with Wilson agreeing to join the X-Men in order to help him heal better. Wilson joins Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead to stop an incident involving the young mutant Russel Collins / Firefist (Julian Dennison) who is in a standoff with authorities outside an orphanage called the "Mutant Reeducation Center". After Wilson kills one of the orphanage workers, he and Collins are arrested and sent to the "Icebox", a prison for mutant criminals. Meanwhile, a cybernetic soldier from the future named Cable (Josh Brolin) travels back in time to try and kill Collins. His reason? I don't want to spoil it and feel it's better you just watch the movie and find out. Later on in the movie, Wilson forms the X-Force team in order to protect Collins from Cable.
- Deadpool 2 has more of the hilarious fourth-wall breaks we came to know and love in the first film, but what really stands out about the humor this time around is the bountiful number of jokes that the movie has that not only poke fun at other superheroes, but poke fun at other non-superhero movies like Frozen and Basic Instinct (yes, there really is a segment that makes fun of Basic Instinct). The kind of meta-humor that Deadpool 2 takes on makes it seem like the ultimate superhero spoof movie, and in this day and age where superhero movies are coming out left and right, this kind of humor is totally justified.
- Nothing more needs to be said about Reynolds as Wade Wilson / Deadpool. I must, however, give some love to Josh Brolin as Cable. Who would've thunk that Brolin, merely weeks after excellently portrayed the MCU's quintessential villain in Thanos, would knock it out of the park again as another villain in another, somewhat-MCU-related superhero film? Brolin does an excellent job bringing a sense of menace to Cable, while at the same time, successfully able to show off Cable's more tender, vulnerable side that we come to know. I also loved how the movie turns Cable into someone who is clearly beatable, with fights being done in such a way to imply to us that Deadpool always has a chance. Cable has a lot of high-tech weaponry, but he is shown to be getting a run for his money whenever he's up against Deadpool, getting thrown around quite a bit during fight scenes.
- Speaking of fight scenes, the action in Deadpool 2 is pretty exhilarating. That ought to be no surprise with a director like David Leitch who had proven his worth before with the first John Wick film and with 2017's Atomic Blonde, both of which were enhanced by stylish action scenes. The action in Deadpool 2 is always coherent, and the movie time and time again finds a way to slip in something funny whenever the opportunity allows itself.
- I said the relentlessness of the humor was a low point in the first film, and that is present once again here. Admittedly, I was willing to just accept the non-stop humor and roll with it, mostly because the majority of the jokes land. The main issue with Deadpool 2 is, despite how funny it is, there's this feeling of familiarity that just cannot be ignored. The movie is perfectly content with dishing out more of the same from the first movie, and that's fine because of how much works from the first movie. The trouble with the movie being content is that it foregoes the opportunity of trying anything brand new, and something brand new is a hope we should have for all sequels, because shouldn't a goal of the sequel be to do something that we haven't seen before? Those of you thinking that Deadpool 2 would be some kind of drastic change-up from the first movie are going to be pretty disappointed.
So then, would I say that Deadpool 2 is better than the first movie? My answer is yes, but the sequel is better than the first by not a whole lot. Deadpool 2 has terrific action and more superhero jokes than you could possibly count, though it tends to stay on the safe side and stick with what worked from the first movie. Still, the Merc with a Mouth has turned himself into quite the darling for audiences over the past few years, and I have no doubt we haven't seen the last of Mr. Wade Wilson and his funky X-Force bunch. There is one thing that I think we can all agree on however: Ryan Reynolds' Green Lantern is all but forgotten.
Recommend? Yes. Be sure you watch the first Deadpool beforehand.
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