Synopsis – Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable.
My Take – Released back in 2016, as an eighth installment of the shaky X-Men series, with a focus on a character non comic book audience had never heard off and led by an actor who was almost written off following a few big budgets box office bombs, this Marvel Comics property owned by Fox Studios, shattered every expectation upon release. The film shook things up and delivered offbeat fun with the help of its unique approach to a comic book film, by emphasizing on comedy through its parody of various pop-culture references and of course with a lot of gore. Two years down the line, with actor/ writer Ryan Reynolds returning to play the character he was born to play, with director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, John Wick), taking over after original director Tim Miller, who left due to mutual creative differences with Reynolds, a sequel is finally here!
With a cheeky double entente about feeling bigger, this film in fact holds very true; there’s a massively increased budget ($110m compared to the first’s $58m), an A-list co-star in Josh Brolin to share the publicity burden, and an extra ten minutes on the run-time. But does bigger mean better? Well, not quite, but it does come quite close. Although lacking some of the freshness of the original, this one is a worthy sequel in just about every sense, as it essentially repeats the formula of its predecessor and doubles down on everything that fans loved about the original, i.e. nonstop graphic violence, social political satire, sarcasm, innuendo, meta humor, 4th wall breaking and more, so expect the same here, just more ambitious.
The story follows Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), who following the events of the first film has been using his mutant abilities and military training to take down criminals all around the globe, under the name, Deadpool. But when a tragedy strikes, Wade becomes really depressed and attempts to kill himself, however, X-Men members Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), take him back to their X-Mansion and try to break him out of his funk by getting him involved in X-Men business. However, when he comes across Russell (Julian Dennison), an overweight mutant teen who is threatening violence, Deadpool finds himself having a connection with the teenager, especially when he finds out that Cable (Josh Brolin), a powerful time traveling mutant has come from the future to kill Russell.
Determined to protect him, Deadpool calls in the support of his best friend, Weasel (T.J. Miller), and favorite cab driver, Dopinder (Karan Soni), to form a paramilitary mutant group called X-Force, that consists of Domino (Zazie Beetz), Vanisher, Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård), Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan) and Peter (Rob Delaney) to stop Cable at all cost. This one is a family film, or so claims our titular protagonist. This is a great sequel! And it delivers a potent mix of both action and comedy. I was impressed that they refused to rest on the laurels of the original adventure and tried to do something new with it.
If you found the first one too crude, too violent or too meta, I don’t think this one will work for you, as writers Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds have done it again, and in some regards out done themselves with this extremely violent, witty, fourth wall breaking family film. At its core is a tale of loss, a tale of wanting to belong, of failed father figures, and the cycle of vengeance all wrapped in a message of overcoming personal tragedy to be better individuals. It mixes genuinely funny comedy, pop culture references and lovable characters with a deeper more personal tale of the Merc with a mouth put through. What makes this film special is the way the characters are written. Every character is so unique and almost everyone makes an impact just because how weird the characters are (watch out for a super special guest appearance).
The best part is that the film embraces everything that makes Deadpool as a character great and just runs with it and it works, this is vintage Deadpool and no fan of the films or comics will be disappointed. Cable and Domino are two new characters that shines in the film, when they are on screen you will enjoy their performance and make you hunger more of them in the film. Just like in the original film, there were so many funny moments which were delivered by the actors (mostly involving Deadpool and his friends). One person that was given quite a lot of comical role was the taxi driver Dopinder, reprising his role from the first film.
When it comes to bringing the laughs, I think the film is just as funny as the original entry. This sequel delivers a top notch comedy compared to the original entry. It leaves you wanting more between stupid physical antics and harsh banters. Like the first film, it often breaks the “fourth wall” by making jokes about various other pop-culture fads and even other films. However, there is a massive problem for the jokes to work out for people who do not have the knowledge of pop cultures. Why? Because director David Leitch and the writers make use of mega-hit pop culture references from the latest biggest opening film of all time, Avengers: Infinity War to the try-hard erotic sexual romance, Basic Instinct.
There are so many of them you definitely can’t count with your own fingers. Also, thankfully they didn’t ruin the film by putting all the funny bits in the trailer and there’s plenty to enjoy. Of course with John Wick co-director David Leitch at the helm here, you can tell the action sequences have been geared into a better level with more interesting scenarios and set-pieces. The genius of the fight scenes was always something I loved about the first film and this film is an upgrade in this sense. A stand out example of this is when Deadpool has to use his Katana to stab someone’s foot down onto the accelerator and then steer by bending all the way over and looking through his legs, all while repeatedly complaining how difficult it is, in a hilarious style that only Deadpool can pull off. Also on a grander scale, the opening montage of Deadpool facing against criminal mobs internationally to an opening credit scene that feels like a James Bond film with a song played by Celine Dion (which works with the setting and tone of the opening scene), with the car chase scene with the huge armored prisoner transport vehicle and Domino and Deadpool facing against Cable was the highlight of the film.
However, the main flaw in this film is that even though the plot is good, you can feel some part of the film to be a bit draggy and some jokes that fails to hit with the audience. Also it’s sad to see the previous cast that made the first film a success appeared only for a few scenes, especially Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Colossus, Blind Al, and Weasel. Well of course, this film’s wouldn’t be what it is without Ryan Reynolds. Joining Hugh Jackman and Robert Downey Jr. as the benchmark of acting within the genre and I question if anyone else could even come close to him playing this character. Every single time and joke or reference lands well it’s pretty much down to this man, I genuinely do not believe anyone would be more suited to this role than Reynolds, and it is a pleasure to watch him play it. Morena Baccarin still has great chemistry with Reynolds and their relationship remains as sweet as it did before.
Josh Brolin continues to have a killer Month as he’s just as good as Cable in this film as he was as Thanos in Infinity War. I think the character of Cable added a good bit of extra and needed emotional weight that really helped the ending excel. Zazie Beetz is great as Domino, her casting was met with a lot of criticism but she’s funny and I wish we had spent more time with her. Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead continues to be a good addition to the cast, if not a bit under used this film. Karan Soni carried over his charm from 1st film as did T.J. Miller, Stefan Kapicic and Leslie Uggams in their respective supporting parts. Julian Dennison is also great here, so are Terry Crews, Bill Skarsgard, Lewis Tan and Rob Delaney in their small roles. Also this one features the best post credits scene ever. Yes! The film gives us two end-credit scenes and are definitely worth the wait. They don’t relate much with the whole story but the crack jokes are powerful enough to make people care of the clips. On the whole, ‘Deadpool 2‘ is an enjoyable and entertaining superhero film which despite being a little bit less slick than its predecessor, manages to be a very fun watch.
Directed – David Leitch
Rated – 119 minutes
Run Time – R