Directed by David Leitch
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Julian Dennison, Morena Baccarin, and Zazie Beetz
When “Deadpool” came out in 2016 one of my biggest fears about the movie was how well narratively it could carry itself with the toilet humor for two hours.
It’s the character’s whole schtick to shit on the super hero genre and roast it as much as possible but in at least comic book form it never kept entertained for more than a couple issues at a time. So two hours seemed like a stretch.
Luckily Tim Miller’s original first manages to not over play this hand and gives the 2016 film a relatively compelling love story and revenge plot that gives Ryan Reynolds’ natural humorous charisma ground to bounce around on and the result is a truly satisfying action comedy.
Its sequel, however, is a little closer to what I initially feared.
(“What?? How dare you, you humorless, MCU joy-hating cock knobler!!”)
While it still delivers plenty of laughs and subtle to not so subtle jabs at the state of comic book movies, it lacks the sharpness of the writing of the first film and thus stumbles a bit by comparison.
“Deadpool 2” follows the exploits of everyone’s favorite wise-cracking mercenary as a failed attempt at becoming an X-men leads him into a mutant prison with a boy named Russel Collins who’s fire powers caused massive damage at a mutant conversion center he was once being held at. When a time-traveling mutant by the name of Cable shows up to ax Russel Deadpool takes it upon himself to save the boy and hopefully some shred of humanity left in both of them.
When I heard the director of “John Wick” would be taking over as “Deadpool 2” director I immediately felt it was a perfect fit. “Wick’s” blend of stylized action, cinematography and dry humor would be perfect fit for DP’s violent comedic world. But then I realized more than one person directed the first “John Wick” and while one of them (Chad Stahelski) went on to direct one of my favorite sequels of all-time, the other one (David Leitch) is the one we got for this movie and he directed “Atomic Blond,” which if you remember my review, was one of the most visually aesthetic boring movies I’ve ever seen.
So yeah my enthusiasm quickly dropped upon learning this information.
(“Great job hiring the worst guy that killed John Wick’s dog, Fox. What are we? Warner Brothers??)
Luckily, while it still suffers from the same poor plot development of Leitch’s first film, “Deadpool 2” is much more fun compared to “Atomic Blond” and definitely not as boring either.
Much like the first film, Ryan Reynolds is a complete natural as Deadpool. The line between actor and character is pretty much gone at this point and the trademark fourth wall breaking hits 11 in this movie as we see Reynolds roasting himself even more in this one. Again with the story not being as solid, Reynolds carries the scripts instead of playing off it more this time around but he’s such a natural at this character that you’ll, for the most part, forget that the plot isn’t all that sharp this time around. Reynolds chews and shoots up the scenery greatly and plays well off his fellow costars who form unique inter-sectional relationships between them all.
(“I have my ‘inter-sectional relationship’ right here for you, Kilted Samurai.”
Ok, now I’m getting uncomfortable. What’s going on here?…)
Speaking of which, what a summer Josh Brolin must be having! Between Thanos in “Infinity War” and Cable here in “Deadpool 2” and all the box office receipts in between, it’s probably safe to say Brolin is having a grand ol’time these days kicking ass as these respective comic book characters.
Though Thanos is definitely a deeper character by comparison to Cable, Brolin gets to exercise his comedic chops this time around with Reynolds forming a perfect buddy-cop relationship, as the two characters are in the comics. Brolin’s character is appropriately overly serious and dark like the DC universe in order to heighten the melodrama between him and DP in the most comedic way. It’s pretty clear Brolin is having a blast as this character throughout the movie and that enthusiasm is pretty clear each time he’s on scree even if he’s character’s demeanor is “the strong and silent” type. The final act between the two of them makes the whole movie worth the price of admission alone and is just a ton of fun to watch between him and Reynolds.
(“But I still can’t believe that purple scrotum-chinned, fuck face didn’t share any of his Marvel money with me! Oooor, you know, use the time stone to undo ‘Green Lantern,’ ‘X-men Origins,’ and I guess ‘R.I.P.D’ but luckily no one remembers that one…”)
Though we get less of Negasonic Teenage Warhead this time around we’re treated instead to the equally delightful Zazie Beets as Domino who has a lot of great comedic sequences herself in the movie. Beets does a wonderful job as the character, kicking ass and delivering some decent quips and I’m sure we’ll see more of her in the threequel much to chagrin of neckbeards and racists everywhere.
(“And if you have a problem with my beloved Zazie, me and my older, blinder, sexier yoda have two messages for you, pal.”)
Where DP2 falters though is, again, the plot where motivations don’t become all that clear until the third act. It didn’t keep me from laughing my ass off during some of the movie’s funnier scenes but it did keep me from being invested in anything that was going on in the plot beyond a vague sense of danger and a parental need DP has for Russell. It just takes a little too long for the story to get going. While I get that for this character plot isn’t always important, in comparison to the first at least there’s never a point where you’re confused as to why you should care about anyone’s motivations. Love story, guy gets cancer, guy looks for cure, becomes super mutant, must kill Francis, kills Francis, gets girl back, roll credits. It made sense and you cared!
And while Reynolds is great again as Deadpool there are a few scenes of his that feel like they drag a tad bit too long, like watching Peter Griffin rub his ankle for five minutes. This isn’t the same problem as the MCU’s often disturbing lack of seriousness but it felt like Reynolds was padding the running time to squeeze in one more reference joke than needed instead devoting some more energy to plot and motivations. Some of these scenes end up bordering on irritating because of this and while it doesn’t completely takeaway from Reynolds’ and others’ performances it does make it just a bit less enjoyable, at least for me, in comparison to the original.
(”I do NOT use that many reference jokes, you less sexy Shatterstar-looking, Roger Ebert-wannabe, motherfucker! If I wanted long-winded reviews I would just mail Mr. Plinkett some pizza rolls! 2500 words on ‘The Amazing Spider-man 2?′ Really??”)
“Deadpool 2” nonetheless is a movie worth watching in the theaters and will more than fulfil any need you have for comedic comic book movie escapism this summer. While you should never expect anything deep from a film like this, just don’t expect the writing to be as on point this time around.
If you enjoy a boatload of reference jokes, however, I’m sure the movie will be perfect for you.
3.5 out of 5
“Soooo, you think I can come back to help you review “Solo?” I have some VERY personal thoughts on my fellow pansexual dynamo Lando.”
GO HOME, WADE!!