Deadpool 2 (2018)
SHOULD I SEE IT?
Who are we kidding? You guys loved Deadpool.
As someone who had to talk himself into liking the first one, Deadpool 2 is a better movie. It delivers more of everything, including some depth and emotion I did not expect to see. Also, STAY FOR THE MID-CREDITS SCENES. They are fantastic.
Ryan Reynolds is everywhere in this film, but the emergence of Zazie Beetz and a second straight terrific superhero film performance from Josh Brolin, gives Deadpool, as a franchise, more to work with going forward than just a guy spouting one-liners and breaking the fourth wall.
Absolutely earns a heavy R-rating within a couple of minutes. More violent, arguably more vulgar, and just more of everything, Deadpool 2 is not for kids and not for all audiences resistant to such material.
If you did not find Deadpool funny in the first place, there is nothing here to change your mind.
Some feel that the extra layers of emotional beats make this a film trying to be something it is not, or should not try to be. What worked for me, may seem counterintuitive to what others want in a Deadpool movie. So, you know, to each their own.
While I found 2016’s Deadpool to have more positives than negatives, man oh man, did that movie wear me out. For this writer, the occasional laugh-out-loud moments were suffocated by amusing and self-serving gags and one-liners. By the end, I just wanted the movie to fall into a deep, deep sleep and stop talking - I was exhausted.
And so, pardon me, if my enthusiasm was tempered way down for Ryan Reynolds’ return as the fourth-wall breaking superhero, with the idea of a Deadpool 2, feeling like an obligation, more than a film I was welcoming with open arms.
And in full disclosure, I am not too proud to admit that I sold Deadpool 2’s prospects short. I had a lot of fun with Deadpool 2, even if it makes the violence more violent, the humor more biting, and the self-referential nods and winks even more plentiful. Dare I say, what makes this thing work is that it has a surprising amount of heart, and lands enough emotional beats that makes me wonder if this franchise could turn into something meaningful.
Make no mistake: This is not a tear-jerker whatsoever. The film remains caustic, bitterly amusing, and plows through its bloated 120 minutes with an incessant, unrelenting energy. Since Deadpool is a Marvel property not included in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and no, I don’t completely understand why and no, I really do not want it explained to me), he belongs in the X-Men Universe, and within the first minute, our droll anti-hero takes a swipe or two at Hugh Jackman’s Logan, which wowed audiences in early 2017, and offs himself by the fifth minute, for reasons we will soon understand in flashback.
Reynolds joins returning writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick in giving us a story where Deadpool’s life crashes to a halt when tragedy strikes unexpectedly. This sets in motion Deadpool, or Wade Wilson, wrestling with the realities of being a superhero, and relying on his Deadpool abilities to try and remedy a horrific situation.
After he finds himself staying at Professor Xavier’s mansion, he reunites with metallic man Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). She now has a girlfriend, Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna), and soon, teenage mutant Russell (Julian Dennison), struggling with his anger, emotions, and volatile, fiery superpowers and the menacing Cable (Josh Brolin) are added into the mix.
In terms of plot, Wade Wilson is trying to move past something he cannot get past, and his Deadpool persona is trying to provide redemption for Russell and save him from Cable’s desire to destroy him. This leads to Deadpool’s forming of a ragtag group of folks known as X-Force, and their first experience together is, well, less than ideal.
Director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde) propels this movie at breakneck speed and, while the story and screenplay has more heft and depth, Deadpool 2 labors through a muddled middle that begins to grow wearisome to sit through. However, a new character, Domino (Zazie Beetz), and Brolin’s terrific, layered performance as Cable, gives us a resurgent final act that makes the film finish strong when it needs to.
The funniest moments are fleeting, and Reynolds’ manic enthusiasm for this movie and character is infectious. The nods and winks which break the fourth wall are more plentiful, and, in the case of a couple mid-credit sequences, have never been more hilarious.
Deadpool 2 does what the good superhero movies do and leave us wanting more. You are kidding yourself if you don’t believe a Deadpool 3 is coming in the future. And, I have to admit, it is refreshing to watch a superhero movie, and not have to sit down with a flowchart, calculator, and scratch pad and try and figure out where this connects to that, and attempt to decipher why these moments matter and other moments don’t.
More vulgar and violent than the first film, but nevertheless very funny, Deadpool 2 is too long but more inclusive and recognizes that, for sustainability, we have to have something more to care about than one-liners and jokes. And to the credit of the writers, to Leitch, Beetz, Brolin, and Reynolds, especially, they all found a way to make the prospects of a Deadpool 3 something to look forward to.
CAST & CREW
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Julian Dennison, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kupcic, Leslie Uggams, Shioli Kutsana, Jack Kesy, Eddie Marsan, Bill Skarsgård, TJ Miller, Karan Soni, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Alan Tudyk, Terry Crews, Rob Delaney, Lewis Tan.
Director: David Leitch
Written by: Rhett Reese, Paul Warnick, Ryan Reynolds
Based on the Marvel Comics series “Deadpool” by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld
Release Date: May 18, 2018
20th Century Fox