The foul-mouthed, fourth-wall breaking superhero is back, and it is a whole lot of fun!
The merc-with-a-mouth needs to learn the values of family when a cyborg warrior from the future, Cable, arrives to kill a young mutant who he claims grows up into a murderer.
2016 saw the bulging superhero genre shaken to the core with the release of Tim Miller’s and Ryan Reynolds’s Deadpool, a vulgar yet hilarious action comedy (romance?) movie, released on Valentine’s Day. It was a colossal success, allowing further acclaim for studio 20th Century Fox with 2017’s Logan, which also targeted mature audiences.
But it was considered something of “lightning in a bottle”, how on Earth can something so different work a second time? Director Tim Miller fell out of the production with disagreements with lead actor Ryan Reynolds, with David Leitch taking the reins (he had one other movie to his name, last year’s Atomic Blonde, and the less we talk about that the better…) making the film of somewhat questionable quality during early production.
But the first film, for all its fourth-wall breaking might, ultra refreshing humour and mature content shaking up the kid-friendly genre, had its flaws. Mostly how it was laboured with showing an origin story for Wade Wilson’s Deadpool. This is, obviously, something Deadpool 2 is not worried about.
Deadpool as a character is strongest as the quipping, completely invulnerable mercenary while having other characters to play off of. This film has other characters in spades! Joining the original film’s Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and hapless taxi driver Dopinder is Domino (played by Zazie Beetz) Cable (Josh Brolin) and a whole team of others. Reynolds’s Deadpool bounces off these characters wonderfully with fourth-wall breaks, scathing quips and insults.
The film is absolutely non-stop. Without the clunky framing device of the first film weighing it down, Deadpool 2‘s narrative is straight as an arrow; entirely from Wade’s perspective, no flashbacks or subplots or even much time travel (for a film with a time traveler in it!) The film is instant gratification of the highest caliber. It knows what it is.
Performances, Ryan Reynolds continues to kill it as this character. He has no shame and no morals when inside that full-body outfit. Showing up in American talk shows, Youtube channels and creating a wacky marketing campaign for the film, including a Bob Ross parody, he really is extremely comfortable as the character. The screenplay does have room for Reynolds to expand the character into a more emotion-filled and human storyline. As Wade Wilson says himself: “This is a family film”.
Josh Brolin as the time-travelling cyborg Cable, is great as the “straight guy”; he is an all-business antagonist who has a great deal of presence on screen. He isn’t without some funnies as well, and he out-Terminators Arnold Schwarzenegger… just saying. His surly seriousness only works wonders as the foil of nearly every put-down Deadpool provides.
Cable’s target is Russell Collins, a young mutant who can generate fire from his hands, played by Julian Dennison (who was in Thor Ragnarok director Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople) who does a good job here as an out-of-control teen throwing pop culture references almost as quickly as Deadpool. Zazie Beetz as Domino was also a surprisingly refreshing character, it was a confident and fun female character who doesn’t fall into a relationship (despite Deadpool and Domino being “a thing” in the comics).
The film is designed with action set pieces, references and surprisingly music in mind. The action is as engaging and ludicrous as the first film (a favourite being a sky-diving assault on an armoured convoy) if anything, director Leitch has already proved himself capable at shooting action sequences, and it shows here. Sometimes it is a little overwhelming to keep up with the mania attacking your senses. Hearing a choir dramatically singing during a confrontation is expected… but identifying the “Latin” as actually the choir singing: “Holy f###ing shit”, is spectacularly funny.
After having watched Avengers: Infinity War and its huge CGI requirements, it was really pleasing to see a film with more physicality (still plenty of CG, mind you).
The film’s content is much unchanged from the first film, bad language, violence, gore and dismemberment is in abundance. Deadpool’s healing factor is utilized in almost every scene, far more than the original film. There some unpleasant things that befall him, making audiences cringe and laugh at the same time.
Negatives are extraordinarily small. Cable’s introduction was quite jarring, but as an issue it is instantly forgotten. There wasn’t as much cut-away jokes this time (the zamboni joke from the original film is still a favourite). Really, there’s very little to fault. Heck, Deadpool makes fun of the flaws in his own film… its self-awareness makes it as invulnerable to criticism as the anti-hero is to bullets.
Really, all that can be said for Deadpool 2 is simple: enjoyed Deadpool from 2016? You will love this. Fans can be confident going into see it. It is a mature laugh-a-minute, with wall-to-wall references and cameos, as well as some neat action sequences all the way through it. To say more… would be spoilers, but there are some really good cameos.
Additional Marshmallows: Dubstep never dies.