Review: Deadpool 2 ups the ante by delivering a bigger and ballsier sequel
I loved the original Deadpool so damn much. It was a rare comic book film that felt unique and unlike any other film that came before it. Deadpool was also one of the first R-rated comic book films to become a big box office hit. You can argue that Blade and Kick-Ass had a decent box office return, but they were nowhere near as successful as Deadpool. In a lot of ways, Deadpool proved that big studios like 20th Century Fox could release R-rated and mature superhero films that didn’t have to hold back on the language and/or violence. Deadpool’s success was followed up by Logan, which was a complete 180 of Deadpool regarding tone but was equally as violent with a more substantial storyline that was anything but humorous.
I was nervous about Deadpool 2 right from the start. As a fan, I wanted a sequel but was worried that it wouldn’t be as entertaining or as effective as the original. This concern was mainly due to how much of a game changer the original film ended up becoming. That said, it is sort of hard to say if Deadpool 2 is better than the original. If anything, I would argue that they are on the same level, but Deadpool 2 is a bigger and ballsier film.
The plot of Deadpool 2 revolves around Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) trying to protect a young and angry mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison) from being killed by a time-traveling soldier named Cable ( Josh Brolin). Quickly realizing that he can’t stop Cable alone, Wade forms his team of mutants known as the X-Force. Some members of the X-Force include Domino (Zazie Beetz), Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), just to name a few.
The one thing that I noticed about Deadpool 2 almost immediately is that it was a lot like the original but on speed. There are a lot more jokes. There is a lot more violence. There are a lot more characters. There is a lot more music. There is just a lot more of everything. A second viewing of Deadpool 2 is necessary just to catch all of the jokes. There is just so much going on that it is nearly impossible to process everything that happened with only one viewing. I didn’t even take as many notes as I usually do because I felt like if I looked down at my notebook, even for a few seconds that I would have missed something.
My biggest fear going into Deadpool 2 was that the jokes wouldn’t be as funny as the original. I was wrong. Deadpool 2 ups the ante regarding the humor. There are quite a few jokes about feminism and racism which were on-point yet still edgy and hilarious. If you remember the original, there are a lot of jokes about breaking the fourth wall and just like in that film, they are just as funny and fresh in this one.
The jokes in Deadpool 2 are non-stop, but almost all of them hit like they are supposed to. I know for a fact that I missed quite a few while I was laughing at others. There are a ton of pop culture references in the film and not just ones about comic book films. There is a great joke about a song in Yentl that made me laugh hard. It relates to a song in Frozen, but I don’t want to ruin the joke for anyone that has yet to see the film. The opening credits sequence is a clever and hilarious parody of a very popular film franchise that has been around for over 50 years. Hardcore film fanatics will appreciate most of the references found in the film.
This is stating the obvious, but Ryan Reynolds was born to play Deadpool. Throughout Reynolds’ career, he has played several sarcastic characters but combining that snarky and sarcastic personality with rapid-fire line delivery is what makes this character so damn successful. He’s like that guy that you love to hate. He’s charming but can be a complete a-hole as well. There is no other actor alive who could play this part as well as Reynolds has. He gives the character a humorous edge but a surprisingly large amount of heart and emotion as well.
The supporting cast here is terrific. I love how all the personalities of these characters are so different from one another. Josh Brolin as Cable is an excellent addition to this world and it is interesting to see him play a villain in two very different comic book films. Brolin nails the role and works great bouncing off of Deadpool’s sarcasm. Zazie Beetz as Domino is great casting choice. I love how she got the shortest introduction but got the most screen-time out of all the new members of the X-Force. Like Brolin, Beetz fits into this world and brings a different kind of sarcastic presence that almost rivals that of Reynolds.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople star Julian Dennison goes from being in a small indie film to being front and center in a huge big budget spectacle. Dennison is great as Russell and is unlike any supporting character that we’ve seen before in a superhero film. He is a plus-size kid playing a mutant, and there is even a joke about how rare that is to see in the film. I dug Dennison in the role and thought that he held his own alongside some big names. I look forward to seeing how his character is developed further in future Deadpool sequels.
While it may be a bit controversial to admit, I do enjoy T.J. Miller in these films. He has great comedic timing and having Reynolds by his side works to produce several genuine laughs. I realize that it’s hard to separate the artist from the art but I do believe T.J. brought a lot to the table in the original and while he isn’t in the sequel as much, he is still very funny whenever he pops up.
However, out of everyone in the film, I honestly think that Karan Soni as Dopinder is my favorite of the supporting characters. I love that Dopinder has somehow become Deadpool’s unofficial sidekick in a lot of ways. And Soni, who I always liked since Safety Not Guaranteed, gets some really big laughs in this one. I can’t believe that Soni hasn’t been offered more comedic roles at this point in his career because he is just so good at it.
I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Atomic Blonde, I do think that David Leitch did a fantastic job directing the film. The action scenes in Atomic Blonde were amazing, so there was no surprise that the action sequences in this one were equally impressive. What shocked me about Leitch’s direction was how perfectly he captured the comedic elements of this film. There are some great visual gags in this one, and the way that Leitch brings these scenes to life creates big laughs.
I don’t have anything too negative to say about the film other than I thought that the film needed more scenes with Brianna Hildebrand. I feel like her character was such a big part of the first film, but she was kind of underused in this one. If I had to get picky, I could argue that some of the shifts in tone were a little jarring at times. I feel like there wasn’t as smooth of a transition from comedy to a serious tone as there was in the original but that is just a minor nitpick.
There is something to be said about a superhero film that manages to blend comedy and violence so seamlessly. Everything from the eclectic music choices to the chemistry between the characters works perfectly. Deadpool 2 is a non-stop comedic roller-coaster ride from beginning to end. I cannot believe that I am saying this, but I enjoyed Deadpool 2 more than Avengers: Infinity War. Deadpool 2 has raised the bar for superhero comedies, and I cannot wait to see it again when it opens in theaters this weekend. Oh, one last thing, don’t you dare leave before watching the mid-credits scene. It is easily one of the best ones to date.