‘Deadpool 2’ Review
Deadpool was a surprisingly delightful film that proved Fox’s willingness to take risks on their comic book properties. The result was one of the most successful R-Rated films of all time (both critically and financially), so greenlighting a sequel was definitely a no-brainer. With an increased budget, and brand new characters involved in the story, Deadpool 2 was given the chance to be bigger and better than the original. So does it live up to the hype?
The short answer is yes. Deadpool 2 is a worthy sequel that perfectly captures the essence of the original film. The humor is still irreverent, the fourth wall is broken more times than one can count, the pop culture references never stop, and yet none of this detracts from the movie’s overall heart. With David Leitch taking over directing duties, Deadpool 2 is absolutely a bigger film than its predecessor since it includes plenty of gigantic action sequences. But whether or not this makes Deadpool 2 a better film than the original is probably just a matter of personal preference.
In Deadpool 2, we find Wade Wilson yearning to be part of a family. Though he seems eager about settling down and becoming a “good guy,” Wade still hasn’t learned how to become a selfless person. His spirit is then put to the test when he must protect a young teenager from a time-travelling mutant named Cable. In order to stop Cable, Deadpool assembles a group of superheroes known as the X-Force.
As with the original film, Ryan Reynolds is clearly the star of the show. Though he may have had a recognizable name before Deadpool, this is unquestionably the role Reynolds was born to play. His performance is so lively and energetic that you can’t help but have fun with him. The Deadpool character comes so naturally to him that it’s hard to imagine what his career may have looked like if he hadn’t taken this role. At this point, Ryan Reynolds and the Deadpool name are inseparable; he is Deadpool. For how much time he spent trying to lift this franchise off the ground, I’m glad to see that his hard work is paying off. Reynolds is clearly a fan of the character himself, and you can feel how much love and care went into developing these films.
But Reynolds isn’t the only person we should be thanking for giving us Deadpool, however, as Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have been attached to this property since 2010. Though I’m sure much of Deadpool 2 consisted of adlibbed humor, Reese and Wernick are responsible for giving the movie most of it’s flair. Not only did the writing duo create a hilarious script, but they also crafted a heartfelt story within a well-structured narrative. Without these pieces, we as an audience would never feel invested in Deadpool and his character arc, so Deadpool and Deadpool 2 would just be a series of meaningless jokes. Thankfully, Reese and Wernick provided a fantastic foundation for the rest of the movie to stand upon.
Other returning cast members include Morena Baccarin as Vanessa, Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Stefan Kapičić as the voice of Colossus, Leslie Uggams as Blind Al, and Karan Soni as Dopinder. Though each character had a vital role in the story, I will admit that most of them felt underutilized. I understand that Deadpool 2 is trying to expand and introduce us to brand new characters, but it’s a shame that important characters from the original film became sidelined because of this.
The only secondary character who did not feel sidelined was T.J. Miller’s Weasel. Though I absolutely loved Weasel in the first film, Miller’s presence is a bit awkward here. Not even considering Miller’s real-life drama, his performance felt a bit stale. Maybe it was just the way he delivered his dialogue, but I got the sense that he was uninterested in the material he was given. He did manage to get a few good laughs out of the audience, but his jokes were mostly recycled from the original film. The filmmakers should’ve just killed off Weasel’s character when they had the chance seeing as how T.J. Miller will probably not be returning to this franchise.
An emphasis should be placed on the term franchise since an X-Force movie is likely on the way. Fox once tried to develop a possible X-Force film with director Jeff Wadlow, but I assume that fell apart after Wadlow helmed the disappointing Kick-Ass 2. To be honest, I’m quite happy that this version of the movie never panned out, especially since Wadlow went on to direct movies like Memoirs of an International Assassin and Truth or Dare. Now, X-Force is being developed by Drew Goddard, with principal photography rumored to begin later this year. I’ve enjoyed Goddard’s work on Cloverfield, Cabin in the Woods, and Daredevil, so I’m optimistic on what his take on X-Force may look like. Goddard is even credited as a consult on Deadpool 2, so hopefully we’ve already gotten a taste of what his version of X-Force can be.
Terry Crews, Lewis Tan, Bill Skarsgård, and Rob Delaney make up this incarnation of the X-Force, but none of them stand out as much as Zazie Beetz. Beetz portrays a character named Domino (a mutant with the power of luck). Whether or not luck is an actual superpower is up for debate, but it certainly makes for some cinematic sequences. Beetz has a pretty calm demeanor throughout the film, which emphasizes how accustomed Domino is to everything working out in her favor. Though Beetz may not be as deadpan as Brolin, her cool composure made Domino a fun and interesting character. I look forward to seeing her in future “X-Men” films.
After being promised Cable in the original Deadpool film, we finally get to see Josh Brolin’s interpretation of the comic book character. In general, I think Cable is a solid addition to Deadpool’s roster. It was a brilliant idea to make make such an energetic and hilarious character riff off a serious and humorless one. Brolin’s performance is good – he plays the part really well – but this is probably my least favorite performance from him this year. Which shouldn’t be a knock on his acting since Brolin absolutely kills it in Avengers and Soldado, but I just found his character to be a little underwhelming. His motivations take a long time to be revealed, and some of his decisions are hard to understand. So if anything, my issues with Cable come more from the writing of his character and less from Brolin’s actual portrayal of him. Either way, Brolin is on a hot streak this summer, and I definitely hope he returns as Cable.
By introducing Cable, Deadpool 2 inherently involves some time travel. Though the X-Men films have used time travel before, Deadpool 2 makes a confusing mess of the timelines. It’s just hard to understand which timeline Deadpool exists in, especially since there are direct references to both the older and newer generation of X-Men. I assumed Deadpool took place in the “present,” as in before Logan, yet there are clear allusions to events that happened in Logan. Even more confusing is the fact the we’re introduced to a super young version of Yukio, who we last saw as a grown adult in The Wolverine. I guess when it comes to Deadpool, the timelines don’t matter. Thinking about all of the wibbly wobbly time-y wimey stuff is only going to make your brain hurt.
Speaking of time travel, I like to think of Days of Future Past as a modern Terminator film (if Terminator films were still any good). The general storyline is basically the same; go back in time and stop a post-apocalyptic future involving robots from happening. Now with Deadpool 2, I’m definitely getting some Terminator 2 vibes. All you have to do is view Cable as the Terminator who gets sent back in time to kill a young kid. Hell, Deadpool even refers to Cable as John Connor at one point (though I think that was more of an allusion to Terminator: Genysis, a movie that is currently ruining my fun Terminator comparison). But I mention Terminator for a good reason.
Along with Ryan Reynolds, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wernick, Tim Miller was heavily involved in making the first Deadpool so successful. Unfortunately, he was not involved with Deadpool 2 because he thought the story should have been smaller in scale – much like the original. So after having left the project, Deadpool 2 turned into a movie akin to a Terminator film, and now, Tim Miller is actually working on a brand new Terminator film. With how much effort Miller put into making Deadpool work, I’m hoping the same amount of effort can revitalize The Terminator franchise again. I loved Miller’s work on Deadpool, I wish he could’ve stayed on for Deadpool 2, but I’m looking forward to whatever project he may be working on next.
David Leitch clearly knows how to direct action very well. Every action film lover adored John Wick, and I’m sure a lot of people will adore Deadpool 2 as well. But for me, Deadpool 2 lacks the charm that made the original so special. Maybe that’s because Deadpool’s surprise success after years of production troubles made it something of an underdog story. Or maybe it’s only because Deadpool had a much more streamlined and simple narrative. But my preference for the simplicity of Deadpool’s origin story is just my personal taste. If you were at all disappointed by Deadpool, and actively wanted to see a bigger movie with more action, then you’re absolutely going to love Deadpool 2.
I may have some issues with Deadpool 2 (especially when it comes to the film’s editing and how certain plot points go absolutely nowhere), but that doesn’t change the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie as a whole. Though the comedy is hysterical, the serious and emotional moments work exceedingly well. Julian Dennison was also an excellent addition to the cast, as the connection his character has with Deadpool does make Deadpool 2 a movie about family. And on top of all of this, I absolutely loved the movie’s soundtrack (and the fact the Tyler Bates’ score is the first score album to ever receive a Parental Advisory Warning). Yes, Deadpool 2 is a fun “family film” indeed.
It’s unclear as to what the future of Deadpool may be. Ryan Reynolds has recently stated that Deadpool 3 may not happen, and X-Force is technically not even on Fox’s officially announced projects yet. Not to mention that Disney may be absorbing the X-Men characters from Fox in a few years. In which case, we may not see a Rated-R film like Deadpool for a long time. So we might as well enjoy delightful comic book movies like Deadpool 2 while we still can.