Deadpool 2 is an overwhelming experience. In other words, I laughed a lot and that’s with only registering three quarters of the jokes, pop culture references, Marvel slams, DC Film slams, and all the other humor jammed into this two-hour action comedy blast starring the one and only Ryan Reynolds.
I say one and only because no one could pull off Wade Wilson-the merc with a mouth who needs a microphone and a sold-out Madison Square Garden stage-but Reynolds. The Canadian-born actor resuscitated his static career by replaying a character he helped malign in Wolverine: Origins back in 2009. By giving Deadpool a new coat of paint and replacing everything under the hood that 20th Century Fox and director Gavin Hood tamed down for profit, Reynolds did something truly special.
Do I really need to tell you what this sequel is about? Fine, let’s do it, just in case you miss the second-to-none marketing campaign, countless parody trailers, and hilarious usage of social media by Reynolds and his co-star Josh Brolin ( taking a break from infinity stone theft here in a different Marvel arena).
After rescuing his beautiful girlfriend Vanessa (seriously, Morena Baccarin is gorgeous) from the evil grips of AJax (Ed Skrein) at the end of the first film, Deadpool is seemingly happy-but we all know that can’t last. The second film picks up with Wilson jumping back into action to protect a young boy gifted with hands of fire (Julian Dennison) from the likes of Cable (Brolin), a time traveling mercenary with his old agenda.
In order to fight the likes of Cable, Deadpool recruits little-did-we-know-it heroes such as Domino (Zazie Beetz), whose superpower is impeccable luck-while calling on his old friends Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgaard) and Bedlam (Terry Crews) also join the fun in taking down Cable.
If you thought the lovable yet deadly cab driver Dopinder (Karan Soni) was being left, you’re wrong. Heck, even embattled comedy star T.J. Miller gets a fully fleshed out supporting role granted here as Deadpool’s right hand bartender friendly, Weasel, who happens to be the worst friend a superhero could ever have.
The action scenes are kinetic, fast moving, and well done. Director David Leitch (John Wick) knows how to shoot a guns blazing sequence with a heavy dosage of flair and savvy camera play-but it’s the script here, co-written by Reynolds with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (who scripted the first film), that takes all the cake here.
Everything you loved about the original film isn’t just back in the sequel; there’s double the amount. It’s like getting limitless French fries at a fast food place. Even though the jokes are deplorable and carry more than a tinge of naughty spice, you keep eating them up and laugh out loud. Deadpool 2 beats you over the head with raunchy humor while keeping your head in the game with the tongue in cheek action. Every time things seem a little familiar or pulled from another superhero comic tale, Wilson drops in with something incredulous and sets your mind straight.
The screenwriters basically write every single joke that has ever popped into your head while watching Avengers, Batman, Wonder Woman, or any other superhero flick-and put act it out to hilarious effect. They are the voice in your head making fun of the heroes and villains in ways you couldn’t have even imagined. Think of Deadpool as the Marvel comedian, gathering material from the MCU (as well as the X-Men films), and bashing everyone and everything inside the universe.
Does The Green Lantern get smoked again? Yes. Does Reynolds take other shots at his career or past comic book films? Yes, many times. Nothing is off limits in the world of Deadpool.
The funniest part of the film involves superheroes jumping out of an airplane together even though “the wind factor” could play a part in their landing. It’s not what you expect and it will cause your chair to buckle as you laugh. If you ever dreamed about a movie making your sick to your stomach with laughter, Deadpool 2 may do it. Reynolds and company have glued their foot to the gas pedal here. They know overkill is the name of the game and they push it to the brink of overbearing before plowing through that wall.
Did you ever think a superhero would lure a teammate out for a mission by pulling a page from Say Anything and blasting Peter Gabriel outside a mansion? No, but it happens here.
Did you imagine a full-fledged orchestra could blast out profanity-laced lyrics during the credits while constructing Matrix Revolutions type music? Guess what happens here?
Deadpool 2 isn’t perfect. Like a comedian springing jokes on an audience, all of them don’t land. The film’s near two hour running does feel a little long at times, dragging down the pace. A part involving Wade and the afterlife is referenced way too many times during the film and I don’t think it was for comedic effect.
Out of the mostly stellar cast, Dennison is woefully miscast as Russell, aka Fire Fist. The young New Zealand actor was great in Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople, but here he’s just a whiny brat who gets way too much screen time due to the fact that his character serves as the backbone of the plot. If that was the intention, it wasn’t a wise move, because the actor is insufferable every time he comes on screen.
Brolin isn’t necessarily bad and perhaps this is the way Cable works in the comics (I haven’t read one of those in a while), but his portrayal came off a bit stiff and one-note. After seeing what Brolin could do with Thanos in Infinity War only using his voice, his work as Cable leaves something to be desired without being anything near bad. I just wanted something more there.
While Miller and Soni have their moments along with Leslie Uggarns’ Blind Al, but Beetz’s Domino is the new deluxe member here. Whether it’s convincing Wilson that luck is a superpower or seeing using that skill in action on a crowded street with chaos ensuing, she fares the best of the newcomers.
While the supporting players do their part, this is Reynolds’ show. He is the heart and soul of the operation, the actor who fought for Wilson to get a true look years before Origins even hit the screen. Talk about a career finding new life in the unlikeliest of places. Reynolds doesn’t take one zinging joke off here and does most of the action as well. This isn’t just an actor doing a gig. Reynolds co-write, stars, helped produce, and was the force behind the advertising as well.
Wade Wilson is the best use of Reynolds’ humor there ever will be. The fast-talking gun-toting, sword-fighting, jokester with a heart of bronze cynicism. By the time the sequel ends, you’ll be exhausted, but in a couple hours, you’ll want more.
There are more surprises and gems in Deadpool 2 that I don’t need to tell you about. Just know this: the film is relentless, unbridled, violent, and more raunchy than anything you’ve seen in years. It’s far from perfect, but works extremely well in its corner of the cinematic universe as the antidote to the run of the mill superhero entry.
Get ready to laugh. A lot. Deadpool 2 delivers and then some on that front.