Deadpool’s tenure as the Merc with a Mouth in comic books isn’t as long as the most iconic and revered characters from both DC and Marvel. But it is safe to say that he has cemented his legacy in his own wisecracking way in the hearts of comic readers all over the globe. And while Ryan Reynold’s first live-action attempt in playing the character didn’t bear great results in X-Men Origins, he basically redeemed both himself and the character in 2016’s Deadpool. Just like the creation of the character injected a timely flavor of edginess and attitude to the 90’s era Marvel Comics, the movie performed a similar feat by being a palate cleanser for comic book movies. It was a fresh take of R-rated superhero fun in a genre that is believed to be reaching its saturation point. It also became the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time ensuring its emergence as a franchise.
And now we have gotten a sequel. Having reunited with fiancée Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) in the first movie, Wade Wilson/Deadpool continues with his own brand of superhero crime-fighting in this one. But when fellow mutant Cable (Josh Brolin) travels from the future to kill a super-powered child, Deadpool forms team X-Force to take him on. The live-action debut of both Cable and X-Force has been a matter of much yearning for the comic book fans. So does it live up to the hype the amazing marketing team for this movie has generated over the last couple of months?
In short, yes. Deadpool 2 is funnier, crasser and gorier than the first movie. A bigger budget allows for some amazing action scenes that have been scaled up considerably, helped by the apt direction of John Wick’s David Leitch. It also reintroduces one of my favorite Marvel villains and has some amazing cameos. Wade Wilson’s usual Fourth Wall breaking has been taken up a notch, to a fantastic degree. All in all, if you liked what the first Deadpool had to offer, you’re going to love this one. Its takes everything great about the first one and dials it up to eleven.
One of the most understated moments in the first Deadpool was Reynold and Bacaarin’s capable handling of the poignant emotional scenes. The sequel has this as well in spades. The journey this weirdly sweet couple treads on is emotionally engaging and warrants your attention and care. That doesn’t mean there’s any lack of Deadpool’s trademark filthy humor either. The sequel flexes its muscles in that department quite vigorously as well. Somehow, Deadpool proficiently manages to mix up these somber moments with the ridiculous ones. And trust me; there are loads of them on both fronts. The ramped up action scenes are enjoyable on their own, but Deadpool’s own brand of humor injected in all of them just makes it even better.
If you liked what the first Deadpool had to offer, you’re going to love this one. Its takes everything great about the first one and dials it up to eleven.
The supporting cast is great as well. After hitting a home-run with Thanos in Avengers Infinity War, Josh Brolin proves his action chops again with his tortured portrayal of Cable. He is brash, brazenly unapologetic and is a perfect antithesis to Deadpool. Zazie Beets as Domino steals any scene she’s in. Her superpower “being lucky” leads to some hilarious moments and are a hoot to watch. Deadpool 2 also one-ups its predecessor in the villains department, fixing the first one’s mostly flat antagonist and giving us a more layered narrative in that area this time around.
The one big complain I have against this movie is a lack of cohesiveness. Deadpool 2 tries to tackle multiple story threads including a big status quo shift in Wade and Vanessa’s relationship, Cable’s time traveling tale and the creation of the X-Force. While all the segments are separately confident and capable of running their course, the overall pacing is hurt when they are all jumbled up together in trying to tell a single narrative. Deadpool 2 lacks the singular focus of its predecessor trying to put its mouth in too many plates. And Cable’s backstory might be the biggest victim of this. The future that Cable comes from and his motivations weren’t explored enough to keep me committed in his story, making it feel like an afterthought. It would have been great if his character was a bit more fleshed out. Maybe in the upcoming X-Force movie, eh?
Overall, this movie had some lofty expectations to live up to. I am glad to inform you that it comfortably satisfies them. There is an unexpected warmth to be found in the titular hero’s journey, along with more muscular action and a barrage of pop culture jabs that you’ll miss if you blink. This one deserves your time and money. Because it will throw everything it has towards you until you raise your arms in happy surrender.