Deadpool 2 is bold, audacious, outrageous, and wickedly funny. Striking the same tone as the first Deadpool, this 2018 sequel not only lives up to the original but is actually a more entertaining film than its predecessor. No longer saddled with the need to introduce Wade Wilson and explain his transition to a wise-cracking smartass in red leather, Deadpool 2 instead spends its 2-hour running time letting loose the rapid-fire zingers before, during, and after its inventive action scenes.
The R-rated sequel is pretty much everything fans of the first film could want in a follow-up. Of course, Ryan Reynolds as the Merc with a Mouth repeatedly breaks the fourth wall. There are also plenty of pokes (most of the good-natured variety) at DC Comics, the X-Men franchise, and superheroes in general. The writers capitalize on Deadpool’s anti-hero attitude, but all the wild and raunchy humor is grounded in a surprisingly touching story of love and loss.
There’s more meat to its comedy bones in Deadpool 2. There’s also more to like about the man clad in red leather this time around. What drives him to action in the sequel is the result of a stunning turn of events, and he spends most of the film on a redemption quest. After a bit of rehab at the X-Men mansion followed by a very brief stint as an X-Men trainee, Deadpool figures out his mission. He’s determined to save Russell (who names himself Firefist and is played by Hunt for the Wilderpeople’s Julian Dennison) from the time-traveling metal-armed mutant Cable (Josh Brolin) whose motivations become clear as the film progresses.
Deadpool assembles a motley crew to take down Cable, with newbie Domino (Zazie Beetz) becoming his right-hand mutant mostly by default. The introduction of Domino, whose mutant power is luck, provides one of the film’s best visual sequences. Beetz’ comic timing is impeccable, and director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde) found an ingenious way to visually establish luck as a superpower. A quick flick of her head or a step in a certain direction sets off a chain of events that always leaves her with the desired outcome.
Incredible sight gags, original action scenes, biting pop culture references, and a lead character with an acerbic sense of humor contribute to making Deadpool 2 a ridiculously enjoyable film. Big name cameos and extra scenes in the credits are just the cherries on top of one of 2018’s most entertaining films.
The only negative comment I could possibly make about the sequel is that it didn’t manage to work in a pack of sexually aggressive canines or Deadpool as a hot bartender. The bizarre “official” synopsis from 20th Century Fox has referenced both, along with a bovine attack and the hunt for a flux capacitor. If somehow the writers had been able to insert nods to the fake synopsis, Deadpool 2 would be the perfect comic book-inspired film. As it stands, it’s a near perfect sequel.
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual references and brief drug material
Release Date: May 18, 2018
Running Time: 1 hour 59 minutes
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, TJ Miller, Karan Soni, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, Shioli Kutsuna, Leslie Uggams, Bill Skarsgard, Terry Crews, Rob Delaney, and Eddie Marsan
Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds