Over the last few years since the superhero movie genre has taken off, the films have become diversified as far as adding different elements for the world-saving good guys. From the bank heist twists of Ant-Man to the buddy cop addition to Thor: Ragnarok, the range of superhero films is ever expanding.
But there is one hero (or anti-hero) that continues to buck tradition and do things his way. In 2016’s hit, Ryan Reynolds starred as the foul mouthed hero/anti-hero Deadpool and enjoyed breaking down the fourth wall every chance that he got while saving his girlfriend.
In this sequel, Reynolds keeps up the charm and strong performance among the gory and glee as DP’s world expands with new characters, displaying the power of personal virtue and promise of second chances all while not taking itself too seriously. Which is honestly the best part.
(This review is spoiler-free)
Directed by one of the guys behind John Wick and his solo outing, Atomic Blonde, David Leitch, this sequel finds us two years after the events of Deadpool. The merc with a mouth (Ryan Reynolds) has taken his show international while maintaining his relationship with girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). After his actions as the anti-hero comes back to haunt him, Deadpool must find his purpose by forming a team to protect a young mutant from time-traveling cybernetic soldier, Cable (Josh Brolin).
Similar to the first film, story took a bit of a back seat at times so Deadpool could take shots at different franchises, including the MCU, other Marvel properties, DC comics, and the list goes on. The film hinges its success on Reynolds’ charisma and honest portrayal of his comic book antihero. And Reynolds has never been funnier. His never-ending commentary on the events going on the screen along with the fourth-wall breaking references kept the flow going.
But because this is the sequel, the same old jokes doesn’t always cut it and Reynolds recognized that. He poked fun at his own superhero history, calling out his own franchise, superhero tropes, and his co-stars. But charisma and boundary-testing swagger can’t be the only things to anchor the movie. Ryan Reynolds and Deadpool need help and he got it.
Zazie Beets (FX’s Atlanta) shines as Domino, a mutant with the ability to manipulate luck. She makes a strong case as the breakout character of the entire movie, holding her own with Reynolds’ Deadpool and Brolin’s Cable. With her ability to manipulate luck, she particularly shined with some of the movie’s more visually impressive sequences. You can tell where some of the increased budget went with these effects-driven moments.
As far as Brolin’s gruff, no-nonsense soldier, Cable, there isn’t anything too deep to look into this character. It’s similar to some of Brolin’s other roles but still great to see. He plays the part just as capably in this film than he has in previous roles. The role doesn’t stray to far from the mold and that’s okay, especially if we will revisit this character again.
Deadpool 2 manages to raise the bar, not taking itself too seriously because of the high budget that director and studio was working with. In my opinion, it wasn’t better than the first film; some of the first film’s flaws are still apparent in this film. Despite raising the dramatic and emotional bar, it feels out of place with the balls-to-the-wall insanity of the film. It does feel jarring in some aspects, taking you out of the action.
But that’s okay because it stands on its own. The action sequences and choreographed fight scenes are both cheer-worthy but brutal at the same time, achieving a balance that’s rarely found. However, the highs and laughs of the first film continue in this sequel and outweigh the lows. It’s hard to fault the film for seeing how far they can reach and expand the world of Deadpool as he resides in the X-men Universe. There are a few noteworthy cameos that you have to be quick to notice and fun to see. Overall, Deadpool 2 is a worthwhile sequel and a testament to the risks and rewards of going all in to make a movie special. Not every gamble pays off, but fans of the first film will find a lot to like about this return of the mouthy mercenary.