May 18, 2018 Deadpool 2 (Movie Review)
The first Deadpool movie was a sort of Hail Mary pass for superhero films: it had to sell Ryan Reynolds as a superhero, where he had failed twice before, and it was coming from a studio whose movies routinely received mixed reviews from fans and critics. Of course, there’s also the question of whether or not an R-rated superhero movie can work? Thanks to creators that care deeply for their work and a great marketing campaign, Deadpool went on to become the highest grossing R-rated film of all time. So, now that it’s a legit franchise, does the sequel live up to the original?
The answer is a resounding yes! Officially releasing to US theaters on Friday, May 18, 2018, thanks to Marvel Entertainment, Deadpool 2 once again stars Ryan Reynolds (The Amityville Horror 2005, Buried 2010) as the titular Merc With a Mouth who, this time around, is doing some soul-searching after a tragedy in his life. After failing to protect his girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin: Firefly series, Homeland series), Deadpool finds himself in a deep depression, though fortunately or unfortunately he cannot kill himself as he is essentially immortal.
His lifeline comes in the form of the returning Colossus of the X-Men – once again played by Stefan Kapicic (Stella 2013, Counterpart 2018) – who takes him to the X-Mansion and makes him an X-Trainee. This is a move that Colossus hopes will help Deadpool curb his murderous tendencies through the X-Men policy of no killing. Of course, that goes off the rails almost immediately and Deadpool goes to mutant prison, introducing Deadpool to a new person to protect, an angry and dangerous teenager called Firefist – played by the young and talented New Zealand actor Julian Dennison (Paper Planes 2015, Hunt for the Wilderpeople 2016).
Simultaneously, a mutant super-soldier from the future, Cable, travels back in time to this moment with the intention of killing Firefist. In the future where he is from, Firefist develops into a psychopathic killer who murders Cable’s family. Cable is not the fun loving type, and he relentlessly pursues Firefist for the first arc of the film while Deadpool does his best to keep the kid alive. Ultimately, Firefist finds himself more isolated than he was before and seeks help from the most dangerous prisoner in the building, a mysterious villain kept under the highest security possible. After escaping, Deadpool recruits a team of mutants, naming them X-Force and setting out to free Firefist and fight the very formidable Cable. What will be the outcome?
Deadpool 2’s tone is just like the first film – filled with witty banter and one liners, comically graphic violence, and dirty jokes that are almost perfectly-balanced in a film that packs a lot more emotional punch than the first. Deadpool is saving himself as much as Firefist, trying to find a new purpose in his life while showing a hero’s selflessness to Firefist in an attempt to dissuade him from embracing his murderous intentions. It is not easy for him to try to be a father figure, but he has help along the way, mostly from Colossus, who sees the good in Deadpool and tries to bring out the best in him.
If it was not clear in the first film, Deadpool 2 proves without a doubt that Reynold is the perfect person, maybe even the only person, for the title role. His comedic timing and body language are flawless, and he has more than enough charisma to carry this franchise for as long as he wants. Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men 2007, Avengers: Infinity War 2018), who is really getting around the superhero film circuit, plays Cable, the no nonsense but sympathetic super mutant.
Brolin’s serious demeanor is the perfect foil for Deadpool’s ridiculousness, and their pairing is reminiscent of a buddy cop duo. Cable is a fairly big character in the X-Men universe, and his appearance is a long time coming since none of the six X-Men films featured him. Fans will be happy to know Brolin is excellent and does the character justice, and seems to be as perfect a fit for the role as Reynolds is to Deadpool.
The other supporting characters are Domino, played with great wit and confidence by Zazie Beetz (Atlanta series, Geostorm 2017); the returning Teenage Warhead played again by Brianna Hildebrand (Prism 2015, Tragedy Girls 2017); and the very amusing Dopinder, played by Karan Soni (Ghostbusters 2016, Creep 2 2017), Deadpool’s cab driver who somehow manages to be the comic relief in a film packed with funny moments. All are excellent and make up one of the best ensemble casts in the entire superhero genre.
Deadpool 2 takes the right approach by keeping the best elements of the first film and adding a deeper, more emotional story. It has real character growth and the relationships between both new and old characters evolve the way they should in a sequel. There are some surprises as well, so everyone should do their best to avoid spoilers. As an overall fun, entertaining, and gut-busting ride that is better than the first, CrypticRock gives Deadpool 2 4.5 out of 5 stars.