Although I had a blast watching Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (a role he was absolutely born to play), I didn’t love the first Deadpool movie as much as I was hoping to. Once you got past the novelty of seeing a Marvel superhero movie with R-rated humor, the movie wasn’t actually as clever or edgy as it wanted to be. Or at least that’s the way I felt after watching it. The humor was in line with what I’d seen from R-rated comedies before, and I hoped the sequel would have more zany, off-the-wall jokes.
Overall, I had a lot more fun — and got a lot more laughs — out of “Deadpool 2.” Packed with plenty of meta humor and lots of “what just happened?” moments, “Deadpool 2” was exactly the silly, entertaining film I was hoping for.
The film kicks off with Deadpool (a.k.a. Wade Wilson, definitely not a play on the DC Comics Deathstroke/Slade Wilson character) struggling to find his purpose after experiencing a tragedy. This isn’t the way you’d normally expect a wacky comedy to begin, but Deadpool doesn’t really care about cinematic conventions. He tries to help an angry young mutant named Firefist (whose powers are pretty much what you’d expect). Needless to say, it goes badly. Time-traveling soldier Cable arrives from the future to try to solve the problem of Firefist, while Deadpool is still intent on redeeming him. Deadpool puts together a team he lovingly refers to as the “X-Force,” and, as expected, things continue to not go well.
There are a boatload of laughs in “Deadpool 2”; not all of the jokes land, of course, but the majority of them did, at least for me. I loved Deadpool’s wisecracks about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (including references to the Winter Soldier and the Hulk/Black Widow romance — but to say more would spoil the fun). There are also some hilarious jokes about the larger X-Men franchise, which Deadpool resents not being a part of. There is a hilarious cameo from some unexpected faces but again, to say more would ruin the surprise. Deadpool trying to recruit and subsequently interview potential X-Force members is also hilarious. Their first deployment as a team is…well…let’s just say it’s something you’d never see in an Avengers movie.
Still, aside from all the laughs, I thought the story was pretty solid. The first Deadpool movie felt like a somewhat standard origin story (albeit with some unexpected humor), so I was glad that the sequel got to forge a new path. Ryan Reynolds is great, once again, as Deadpool, and you can tell he just has a great time making these films. Zazie Beetz as Domino made for a great partner in crime, and I enjoyed her unique superpower, which is literally being unbelievably lucky. I also thought Josh Brolin was awesome as Cable. He serves as a nice straight man to Reynolds’ wacky superhero, and I’d love to see the characters team up again.
The only drawbacks of the film for me were a couple moments where the violence felt too gory and over-the-top, and I had to glance away from the screen to avoid feeling queasy. I also thought the film’s theme was a little too heavy-handed at times. I think the message is a good one — that being part of a family is important, whether it’s a biological one or a family that’s made up of unrelated people who support and care about each other. However, I felt they could have been more subtle with it, considering what type of movie this is.
Still, I really enjoyed “Deadpool 2” and would definitely be game for another one. I am curious to hear what other fans thought, especially those who liked the first one more than I did. Did the second one live up to the hype for you?