Deadpool 2 – funnier, dirtier, messier
Deadpool 2 is a mess.
But it’s an hilarious, often spectacular mess of rapid-fire humor and, well, rapid-fire weapons.
Ryan Reynolds – who basically just spends all of his time dressed as the character, now – reprises his role as the titular Merc with a Mouth, continuing his passion project that started years ago with X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Thankfully, Reynolds, Marvel and Fox have done everything they can to forget that disappointing origin story. With 2016‘s Deadpool, Reynolds proved he could bring the “unfilmable,” fourth-wall-breaking, R-rated anti-hero to the screen to critical and audience acclaim.
Fanboys love Reynolds and Deadpool. Critics love Reynolds and Deadpool. The studios love Reynolds and Deadpool.
But how does it hold up the second time around?
Pretty f—-in’ well.
Sorry, it’s almost impossible not to walk out of a Deadpool film without dropping some F-bombs in the general direction of anyone and everyone. If you were worried about the sequel squeamishly moving away from the first film’s adult material, you won’t be disappointed. The dirty jokes, dirty visuals and middle fingers fly, once more.
Unfortunately, Deadpool 2 borrowed another trait from its predecessor, in spite of its larger budget and increased studio support: Dodgey CGI.
There are a few scenes that suffer from below-average (for a modern superhero film, anyway) CGI sequences, and one surprise CGI character who never quite looks real in any situation they show him in (Not Colossus. He’s not a surprise and he looks even better than he did in the first.).
The first Deadpool was all about revenge. Deadpool 2, as the main character will tell you, is about building a family. In more ways than one.
As expected – and shown in the trailers – Deadpool 2 assembles X-Force, Deadpool’s wacky group of mercs from the comics. In order to save a young mutant (Julian Dennison, who is wonderful) from a seemingly-psychotic soldier from the future (Cable, played growlingly by Josh Brolin), Deadpool holds job interviews for teammates with his pal Weasel (TJ Miller). Enter Domino (Zazie Beetz), Vanisher (an invisible man played by a surprise cameo that is best left unspoiled), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard), Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan) and Peter (Rob Delaney).
Beetz is wonderful as Domino, whose mutant ability is “luck.” If you’re wondering how in the world they’re going to film that mutant ability, so is Deadpool. He questions repeatedly how it’s cinematic or even possible that luck could be an ability, at all.
The different methods director David Leitch and screenwriters Rhett Reese, Reynolds and Paul Wernick come up with to show Domino’s “luck,” are increasingly interesting and creative. Think of it like Final Destination meets the old Mouse Trap board game, except with even more blood and gore than the horror franchise.
And Beetz is perfect with her casual, laid-back demeanor and delivery.
Brianna Hildebrand returns as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and she steals every scene she’s in, just like she did in the first film. Her girlfriend, Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna), doesn’t have very many lines, but she’s also a welcome addition. Deadpool hints there might be bigger things in store for her character, as well.
Morena Baccarin returns as a pivotal plot device, but the character of Vanessa is on screen less than she was in the first edition.
Cable is rather disappointing and boring, though when he and Deadpool finally have scenes together, they’re a wonderful pairing. It’s just the “getting there” that’s a bumpy ride for the character.
The editing has its struggles. You might swear there are scenes missing, here and there, or that dialogue is putting events from previous scenes in the wrong order.
As with the poor CGI sequences, those unevenly-edited sequences could offer comedic opportunities for Deadpool. This is the one character since Ferris Beuller who could actually address his own film’s shortcomings. Unfortunately, they don’t let him, even when those things are blatant.
There are plenty of self-effacing Deadpool moments, though, don’t worry. As with the first film, the entire enterprise is dependent on meta jokes, inside jokes, surprise cameos (look for Matt Damon and Alan Tudyk, among others), ironic gore and genre references.
At this, Reynolds and the Deadpool 2 team excel. The film is wittier, more self-referential and just plain funnier than the first outing.
And isn’t that what really matters?