Friday, June 8, 2018

Deadpool 2

Directed by David Leitch.
2018. Rated R, 119 minutes.
Ryan Reynolds
Josh Brolin
Morena Baccarin
Julian Dennison
Zazie Beetz
Stefan Kapičić
Brianna Hildebrand
Leslie Uggams
Karan Soni
Shioli Kutsuna
T.J. Miller
Jack Kesy
Terry Crews
Brad Pitt

After the events of the first film, Wade, AKA, Deadpool (Reynolds) has been traveling the world as its best hired assassin. Since kills comes with quips, he has been living up to his comic book nickname, The Merc with a Mouth. Things are going well until something that I won't spoil happens and makes our anti-hero suicidal. Despite a grand effort, actual suicide is a failed endeavor and Deadpool finds himself at the X-Mansion. There, he reluctantly agrees to change his murderous ways and join the X-Men at the behest of Colossus (Kapičić). Tagging along, of course, is Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Hildebrand) and her girlfriend/fellow X-Man, Yukio (Kutsuna). Wade's attempts at becoming a kinder, gentler Deadpool are short-lived as the group is called to a standoff between a young mutant named Russell (Dennison) and the authorities at the orphanage where he lives. When it becomes obvious the young man is being abused, Deadpool starts killing up some folks. That pisses off Colossus, and gets both him and Russell locked up, but is hardly the worst of their problems. It soon becomes apparent that Cable (Brolin), a dangerous mutant from the future, is out to kill the young boy.

True to the formula that made its predecessor a blast to watch, Deadpool 2 butters its bread with an ultra-meta brand of humor. It continues to skewer comic book movie tropes even as it perpetuates them. I've seen complaints about this sort of thing, but this is what good spoofs often do. Think back to genre faves like Airplane! and The Naked Gun. Neither broke the narrative mold while making fun of their muses and, in fact, repeated them. Like it's predecessor, D2 does the same. A genuine love for its source of laughter shines through as the film never becomes condescending. In addition to taking shots at superhero flicks, the movie goes hard after its own star. It's open-season on the career and persona of Ryan Reynolds to everyone's benefit. Many of the film's best bits are doing one of those things. The absolute best sequence is actually a mid-credits sequence where Deadpool gets to right a lot of wrongs. Within the proper movie, that honor belongs to the entire section of the film focused on the putting together and springing into action of the X-Force, the team Deadpool puts together to help him go against Cable.

Out of the X-Force sequence comes one shining star. Zazie Beetz arrives on the screen as Domino and promptly steals every scene in which she appears. Beetz exudes the type of sassiness and coolness that makes her a perfect complement to Reynolds' snark. The film also does a great job of showing how her seemingly useless-to-others superpower of luck is actually quite an effective weapon. Many of the film's best action scenes involve Domino simply being lucky. She's proven herself to the point where it's difficult to imagine the franchise moving forward without her. And yes, a solo film for her would be on my list of must-sees.

Beneath the irreverent humor and superhero shenanigans beats a real heart engendering empathy for both our hero and the boy he's trying to save. In many ways, especially as it pertains to the hero/child relationship, Deadpool 2 takes its cues from the phenomenal Logan. It doubles down on that with Wade's desire to die, also like Wolverine. It then builds on this by giving Cable a relatable backstory and reason for wanting the boy dead. Josh Brolin handles his part well, as always, but its Julian Dennison as the young mutant that really drives the point home. In reality, he's playing a role not terribly different from the one he played in Hunt for the Wilderpeople. However, he does it so well you can't help but love him. For those of you that actually saw that movie, you get the treat of quite a few callbacks to it. Dennison is just as charming here as he was there.

All of the other characters do one thing exceptionally well. That thing is ultimately what this franchise is built on. They work well with Reynolds in the lead role. Once again, the actor proves himself to be the perfect Deadpool, nailing the essence of the character and delivering a masterful performance. In two films, it has become abundantly clear that this is one of the best matches of actor and character in superhero movie history.

Like the first film, this one will have its detractors. These will be people who don't care for the style of humor this film offers. Those weary of films referencing other films as a source of comedy need to steer clear. Also, the fact it does the things it makes fun of other movies for doing can be seen as lazy and pandering. All the railing it does against the well-worn tropes builds hope that it can give us something different with its final act. It does, but only after it gives us the prerequisite big cgi final battle. In other words, use your feelings about the first movie to decide whether or not you should bother with Deadpool 2. I am a huge fan of the first. Guess what. I'm a huge fan of this one, too.


  1. I do want to see this though timing has been a factor into preventing me to see it as I'm going to wait for it on DVD or on HBO.

    1. Too bad you haven't been able to see this one yet. It is a blast, so hope you watch it soon.

  2. I haven't got around to seeing this yet but I definitely will. Great review!

  3. Great review! You're right about Zazie Beetz, she steals the show every time she is on screen. I'm glad you loved the movie.

  4. I didn't quite like this as much as the first one, but I still had fun. Beets is truly a breath of fresh air, and all the scenes with X-Force were the highlight for me (other than anything with Colossus, who is the perfect foil for Deadpool).

    1. Yes, yes, and yes! I agree with all of this.