It’s not easy to follow up a film that broke box office records for an R-rated flick but Deadpool 2 gives fans of the first film exactly what they want, and that’s more snarky adolescent humour, larger amounts of gore, and far more profanity. In a nutshell, you get double the amount of Deadpool.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand
Director: David Leitch (The man who killed Keanu Reeves’ dog in John Wick)
I would like to say there was a hard-hitting story here, but things are left pretty simple if not a tad formulaic plotwise. Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) runs afoul of a time-travelling cyborg soldier, Cable (Josh Brolin), while attempting to protect a mutant with dangerous abilities.
That’s pretty much the gist of it, with most of the film feeling like a bunch of comedy sketches all mashed together alongside some wonderful action sequences.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but that’s what it feels like.
Fresh off of directing John Wick and Atomic Blonde, director David Leitch replaces Tim Miller and puts his stamp on one of the most anticipated films of 2018.
As soon as the movie starts you immediately see the director’s mastery of editing and action choreography. It also doesn’t hurt that Leitch uses his regular cinematographer Jonathan Sela to create a vibrant colour palette that puts most superhero films to shame.
But if fans are scared that the sequel might water-down the humour in favour of bigger explosions and stylized action sequences, they need not worry. This sequel is grotesque, unapologetically offensive, and ridiculously campy.
Like Robert Downey Jr. is to Iron Man and Hugh Jackman was to Wolverine, it’s hard to imagine Deadpool being played by anyone else but Ryan Reynolds. The Merc with a Mouth is in full effect bashing down fourth walls with crass one-liners and references to pretty much everything.
Through it all, Reynolds surprisingly still brings some genuine heart to the role.
Josh Brolin is great as Cable even if that character’s personal journey isn’t as nuanced as his other Marvel character Thanos, from Avengers: Infinity War. Brolin’s sneering machismo plays well as a cybernetically-enhanced straight man to Deadpool’s tomfoolery. They play off each other perfectly.
The premise itself plays out like a spoof of last year’s other R-rated Marvel film, Logan, with Wade Wilson serving as a protector for a young mutant named Russell or “Firefist” (Julian Dennison) who starts to veer down the path of evil.
Dennison, who was great in the film Hunt for the Wilderpeople, steals every scene he is in.
Another discovery is the charismatic Zazie Beetz as Domino, who has a superpower of being lucky. This provides the film with some of the best Final Destination-style death scenes.
If there is anything that hurts this movie, it’s the simplistic storyline and lack of a good villain. They try and shoehorn a recognizable bad guy in, but knowing Deadpool is indestructible, it’s hard to believe our antihero is ever in any real danger.
That said, the film moves at such a frantic pace that you don’t really have much time to allow that flaw to bother you.
Overall Deadpool 2 is a good time, but it’s extremely violent and not meant for kids. I repeat it is probably one of the most violent films a studio has put out in years, so parents beware.
It’s a hard R.
Despite that, there’s a real unexpected warmth to this film. Not only does the sequel explore this flawed character, it firmly establishes him as a loveable and effective hero which might be the best way to send Deadpool off if this is indeed the last time we see him on screen for some time.
Make sure you stay for the mid-credit scenes as they are some of the best Marvel has ever done.
Deadpool 2 gets a 4 out of 5 from me.
Playing at a theatre near you. Rated R (for strong violence and language throughout, sexual references and brief drug material). 119 minutes long.