Review: Deadpool 2

Back in February 2016, Ryan Reynolds delivered an exceptional portrayal of Deadpool/Wade Wilson. From the character’s R-rated banter to the constant breaking of the fourth wall, Reynolds nailed every foulmouthed detail of one of comic book’s craziest characters. Deadpool was not only a success; it captured the X-Men universe better than any previous X-Men film not named X-Men 2.

After the success of the first film, director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, John Wick) teamed up with Reynolds for Deadpool 2.

The story picks up two years after the first film with Deadpool doing international mercenary work. After an incident, Deadpool finds himself in need of family – of course that leads him straight to Xavier’s mansion. While at the mansion he joins the X-Men on a mission to stop a young mutant named Russell/Firefist (Julian Dennison) from having a literal meltdown.

It’s not long before Deadpool learns Russell is being hunted by a mutant from the future named Cable (Josh Brolin). Cable’s weapons and future technology make him a formidable foe. In an effort to save Russell, Deadpool creates his own team of mutants known as X-Force. This new team includes some amusing characters including Domino (Zazie Beetz), a character whose power is luck. Deadpool and his X-Force team set out to stop Cable and save Russell.

Deadpool 2 is a sequel that delivers everything fans loved from the first film without feeling like a 100% rip-off [I’m looking at you, The Hangover 2]. Most of the cast returns along with the addition of Zazie Beetz and Josh Brolin. The same dirty jokes and quippy pop culture references are present with a lot more breaking of the fourth wall.

If the Deadpool are your introduction into the X-Men universe, you’re in luck. This film does a great job of constructing a world that hates mutants and treats them as sub-human despite their constant heroism. Eddie Marsan’s Headmaster is a lot like the characters in the X-Men comics – a villain with a zealous hatred for mutants who thinks he’s doing some good. These are the types of characters previous X-Men movies have ignored for almost 20 years and one of the reasons their movies struggle.

If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen FX’s Atlanta, this will be your introduction Zazie Beetz is great as the mutant mercenary Domino who manipulates luck. Zazie plays Domino as lovable assassin who is also a badass. Zazie’s facial expressions give her a presence in every scene, even the ones where she has no dialogue. She also shines during all the comedic banter as the groups “straight man” to Reynolds’ “funny man”.

Josh Brolin makes a great Cable. He’s a man a few words but Brolin’s physicality and menacing stare do all the speaking for him. Cable has some great CGI on his metal arm but the coolest effect is Cable’s futuristic interface as he goes through is cache of weapons.

Director David Leitch knows how to shoot big action set pieces and still make them feel brutally intimate – this time it’s no different. The action sequences are great and are bigger and better than the first movie. Every character gets their moment to shine, even with Deadpool at the center of most of the action scenes.

The film takes a little bit to find its legs and runs about 15 minutes too long, but everything in-between is quality comic book action and jokes. It’s enjoyable enough to make up for those flaws.

The Deadpool comics are unique in its fan base and the films are no different. There’s a sense of humor and a level of disbelief needed to enjoy a film like this. It’s an R-rated movie that rattles off pop culture jokes like a high school improv team. Leitch and Reynolds put together a sequel in the same spirit of the original with enough originality to make it its own, and enough fun to make audiences want a Deadpool 3.

Grade: B+