Deadpool 2 Review

Hilarious movies don’t often lead to hilarious sequels, but the R-rated, tongue-in-cheek fourth-wall-breaking approach “Deadpool” brought to the superhero genre in 2016 seemed like the kind that could have legs – and indeed it does. (That will be funny once you’ve seen “Deadpool 2.”)

With writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick back on board, this time in collaboration with star Ryan Reynolds, “Deadpool 2” promised more of the same outrageous violence, profanity and hilarity, even with a new director (David Leitch, “Atomic Blonde”) in charge. The movie delivers exactly that. Everything about it dovetails with the original movie, which will delight those devoted return customers.

What both films do admirably well is take their characters seriously and nothing else. Maybe it’s because they lean heavily on revenge narratives to provide character depth and motivation, but regardless, it works. The characters of “Deadpool” exist in more than one dimension. Wade Wilson (Reynolds) has a soul, though he’s not entirely sure how to use it.

The lineup of characters expands quite a bit in “Deadpool 2.” In addition to the return of Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) as his occasional X-Men buddies, other comic characters including members of the X-Force including Domino (Zazie Beetz), Bedlam (Terry Crews) and others. The plot largely centers on a teenage mutant named Firefist (Julian Dennison) whom Wade is trying to protect from Cable (Josh Brolin), a dangerous mutant from the future.

“Deadpool 2” doesn’t sacrifice all that much for upping the plot complexity and character palette. The narrative stays linear and focused – count that sequel pitfall as avoided. The recruitment of the X-Force is more about comedy than attempting to dazzle the audience; in fact, the movie’s best and most original gag involves the X-Force’s big debut.

Probably 80 percent of the humor if not more fills familiar territory from the first “Deadpool” and that’s to be expected. T.J. Miller humorously tries to describe things, Reynolds calls people names that reference pop culture both mainstream and obscure, and there’s no shortage of humor drives from violence, drugs and sex (though less of the latter two than you might think). It’s a movie with a PG-13 heart that delights in R-rated aesthetics.

Being so similar, the differences between the “Deadpools” are slight. The edge in terms of storytelling goes to the original – the screenplay was tighter with more clarity. But the sequel has stronger villains and more dimension to it. If “Deadpool 2” had a few more fresher ideas and didn’t lean so much on past formulas for success, it would have the clear advantage.

How long Reynolds and Co. can keep up this shtick without it getting stale remains to be seen, but “remains to be seen” is pretty good two films in. As long as the commitment to characters and storytelling worth a damn remains the priority over laughs and gleeful violence, Deadpool and the X-Force characters will have a long life on the big screen.


4/5 Stars


Deadpool 2
Directed by David Leitch
Written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick & Ryan Reynolds
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz


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