Deadpool 2 Written Review
Real Talk By: CMack The Don
In an age where superhero movies and comic book-inspired films have become the biggest force in the box office, a lot of people are wondering when the superhero bubble will burst and when the day will come when people just aren’t interested in superhero or comic book-related content anymore. 20th Century Fox has done one of the smartest things they could do in making a committed and faithful adaptation of Deadpool: the Merc with a Mouth, originally created by Rob Liefeld.
Deadpool pokes fun at the entire comic book genre and what it’s built on, but does so from a character who exists inside a comic-book world itself. If a character like Deadpool were to parody the things you see him make fun of but was an outside creation, it might come across as mean-spirited or condescending to fans of the genre. The brilliant thing about the character is that the mockery, the jokes, and the laughs all come from a place of love, because Deadpool’s creators and cast love the comics, character, and world that Deadpool hails from and takes jabs at.
We’ve already seen what producer and star Ryan Reynolds can do with the character and material from the first film, and fans can be assured that Reynolds’ passion for the character is still strong. He’s popular on social media from his constant troll-videos, appearances as the character, and other viral marketing content. Reynolds truly embraces the motormouthed, insane, and morally ambiguous nature of the character, and he doesn’t let up off that pedal at all in it’s sequel.
We see returning cast members Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, Karan Soni, and Leslie Uggams play the characters they set up in the first installment with ease, adding in new funny moments and improving on what we’ve seen from them before. The most notable additions to the cast is veteran actor Josh Brolin, playing the adult son of Scott Summers and Jean Grey: Nathan Summers AKA Cable, and Atlanta-star Zazie Beetz as Domino. Cable and Deadpool had a long running ongoing series in the early to mid-00’s, and their partnership has always been strained yet comical, and the movie presents these two and their oil-meets-water dynamic really well. Brolin provides a much needed serious and dramatic balance to Deadpool’s constant chatter and ridiculous remarks, while Beetz adds in a sassy and unpredictable for Deadpool to verbally spar with. Both are faithful performances that properly represent their characters from the comics.
Deadpool 2’s story is more ambitious than the first that sought to introduce his character and to show him on a mission to rescue Vanessa. It was a ton of fun and had great action scenes and one-liners, but now we see Wade Wilson deal with a more complicated situation that involves much more of the mutant-world that’s usually only seen in the full-fledged X-Men movies.
The story of Deadpool fighting for the moral salvation of the young mutant Firefist is genuine and heroic, but layered with tons of irreverent jokes and over-the-top violence. Don’t worry DP fans, this isn’t a sappy movie. But like the first had themes of romance amidst the
chaos and insanity, this installment has themes of family and redemption that are balanced well with the action and comedy. I was impressed to see them take Deadpool on journey that features him doing his own version of what he feels the right thing is. It would’ve been easier for them to play up the jokes and carnage without focusing on the story and characters as much, but presenting a more complicated challenge for him was ambitious and paid off. Even though he’s the pre-eminent troll of the Marvel universe, one of the hidden jewels of the Deadpool comics is that like many comedians, Deadpool’s jokes and comedy masks plenty of insecurity, pain, heartache, and genuine feeling. He just expresses these things differently because of the process that made him who he is. Deadpool introduced all of this well, and the sequel brings more of this in and doesn’t shy away from showing you the clown’s heart, but at the right moments.
John Wick director and former stuntman himself David Leitch took over from the first’s Tim Miller, and handles the movie’s tons of cameos, crazy action, and surprises well. Longtime X-Men fans will enjoy the way that being a mutant is presented in this movie, and interprets some of the film’s classic characters in ways that are more competent than the recent actual X-Men movies. Potential Spoilers Ahead:
One particular we saw this was in how the movie’s surprise villain, The Juggernaut, was more accurately portrayed here thorugh CGI and voice acting than in X-Men 3, where you would think that they’d want to get it right most of all. They even nod towards the fact that Juggernaut is Xavier’s step-brother, a dynamic missing in X3 also. X3 had both Colossus and Juggernaut in the same movie, and didn’t have them fight. That has always been a major criticism of that movie for me. Deadpool 2 makes up for this with a spectacular beatdown between the 2 mutant powerhouses, and is an example of how in touch Deadpool’s creators are with what the X-Men fanbase wants to see.
One of the criticisms that isn’t a total rip against the film but made me a bit confused was where in the jumbled X-Men movie timeline Deadpool 1 and 2 fit in. We know the X-Men exist and they’re a presence in each film, but years of the mostly coherent MCU and its spin-offs have spoiled this reviewer into craving a continuous, logical timeline that you would see shades of in the comics. It’s a minor issue though, because muddy timeline or not, Deadpool 2 is an immensely satisfying, gorey and irreverent romp through the world of the Merc with a Mouth that features a surprising amount of heart.
I give Deadpool 2 a solid 4 MFs out of 5. Don’t bring your kids!!