Movie Review: Deadpool 2
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Julian Dennison, Brianna Hildebrand, Jack Kesy and TJ Miller
Directed by: David Leitch
My Rating: *****/5
“Deadpool 2” is the sequel to the wildly successful 2016 adaptation of the comic book of the same name. While expectations were high for this follow-up, director David Leitch manages to take the gleefully mad material of the original film and make a film that’s every bit as action-packed and hilariously tongue-in-cheek as the first installment.
The film opens with a sequence of Deadpool getting into fights with gangsters in exotic locales ranging from Hong Kong to Biloxi, all set to Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.” This easily sets the tone for the rest of the film, mixing creative action scenes and dark humor with pop culture skewering that leaves no target off the table. The spoofs range from playful jabs at other superhero comic book franchises (such as the “X-men” films it spun off from), to ones that play on other big films. The opening credits are a delightful riff on the James Bond series, complete with a theme song sung by Celine Dion. Fitting for an unapologetic Canadian antihero.
The story also sees Deadpool forming a reluctant alliance with not only returning players such as Colossus (voice of Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand); but newcomers Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz) to help prevent a conflicted young mutant known as Russell “Firefist” Collins (Julian Dennison) from going down a path that will bring disaster to the world. Although the film may often be darker and more cynical than its senior, it never forgets to inject a unique blend of black comedy even in dramatic moments, such as an escape from a mutant prison known as “The Icebox.” Even when wearing a collar that inhibits his mutant powers, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) quips this to Cable with a knife in his back: “So dark: you sure you’re not from the DC Universe?”
The film also boasts a production budget of $110 million, almost double that of the first film. While modest compared to a typical release under the banner of DC or Marvel Studios, the film makes great use of its expanded budget with improved special effects and action; including a creative car chase to rescue Russell on the streets of New York. There are also numerous cameos from other characters from the “X-men” franchise, which shall not be spoiled here.
Even though the film may not be as family-friendly as other superhero blockbusters on the table for this summer, it is a delightfully raunchy take on the comic book genre and the “X-Men” franchise that provides more of the action-packed thrills and dark humor from the first with a surprisingly dramatic finale. You will never hear “Tomorrow” from “Annie” the same way again after this movie.
Though there are currently no plans for a third installment, the film does set up a spinoff centered around the “X-Force” while simultaneously poking fun at the cast’s other superhero roles. At one point, Deadpool addresses Cable as “Thanos,” happily making light of Josh Brolin’s role as the antagonist of “Avengers: Infinity War.”
While not for the faint of heart or the easily offended, “Deadpool 2” is a sequel that avoids the sophomore slump and hits you in places you wouldn’t expect to be hit. Come for the foul-mouthed bloody action, stay for a wonderfully twisted take on a superhero family. With uniformly positive critical reception and the film breaking its own box office records, it’s well worth its weight in adamantium bullets.