Deadpool is back and with a lot higher expectations! Does Deadpool 2 live up to the hype of the first one? Find out in our official review!
Remarkable Development for the Merc With a Mouth
After the events of Deadpool 1, Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool a.k.a. Ryan Reynolds has resumed the mantle of mercenary and, using his superpowered gifts, has begun maiming and assassinating members of the criminal underground. Life is good for our favorite merc with a mouth, until his exploits against the people he once hunted makes his life come crashing down. Because of this, Deadpool is forced to regroup and refocus in an effort to become a better (somewhat) better person.
Deadpool 2 has the lofty task of having to compete with its own success. The first film was such a smashing hit, it essentially changed the landscape of future superhero films. Suddenly, it was ok for superhero films to be R. There were no more limitations. A superhero could be brutal. For Deadpool’s sake, we could have a raunchy crack-up be the anti-hero we, as fans of the superhero genre, have been yearning for. For the most part, I think it succeeded in its task of living up to expectations, but it wasn’t because it had a better story.
The whole story is essentially Deadpool’s crash course on being a role model (to some degree) and trying to cope with loss. Naturally, because he’s Deadpool, he’s really bad at both. He’s forced to come to grips with this when he faces Cable (Josh Brolin), who has come back in time to kill Russell (Julian Dennison), a kid angry at the world who happens to look up to a reluctant Deadpool. Protecting Russell is the motivation behind the two coming to blows and the results are quite incredible.
This story works because they were able to capture the dynamic between Cable and Deadpool, almost perfectly. It also works because they found a way to incorporate Deadpool’s obsession with Lady Death, to some degree. In the comics, that was his true love, but because he was essentially immortal he could never be with her. In the film, they did a pretty good adaptation of it.
However what makes this film stand out, is the development they gave Deadpool. Unlike the first film, where Deadpool was this fun-loving, revenge-filled anti-hero, Deadpool 2 thrusts this character to rock bottom, so we can watch him claw his way back. For nearly the entire first act, this crazy mercenary is down on himself for what happened in the beginning of the film. This alone creates a massive amount growth and development, that I didn’t expect it for the one (super)hero with the least regard for human life. I suppose that’s what makes his story-arc that much more impactful, because he’s never had to feel this way before. Showing this emotion helps to humanize a character that many loved, but couldn’t relate to in the first film. I believe some fans may be taken aback by this, at first, but in time they should understand doing this helps Deadpool become an all-around better character.
Call backs to What Made Deadpool 1 Great
Part of what made Deadpool the pleasant surprise of 2016 was its incredible humor and 4th wall-breaking jokes. Deadpool 2 takes inspiration from these successes and tries to adapt them for this sequel, even upping the ante on the already destroyed 4th wall. Unlike most sequels that try to rehash an old joke, this actually works for DP2. In fact, it works so well and they do it so often, I’d advise you watch the first film (again) before you see this one. It’ll help you appreciate the excessive 4th wall-breaking jokes and character progressions even more.
That isn’t to say that this movie take a page out of The Hangover Part II, by any means. No, there are actually new jokes and situations for Deadpool and his new gang to undergo, with some of the old humor sprinkled in. In fact, Weasel (T.J. Miller), Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Dopinder (Karan Soni) don’t have as prominent of roles as they did in the first. They do undergo some of the same situations but they’re muted by comparison.
Instead, Deadpool 2 highlights the new characters of Cable, Russell, and Domino (Zazie Beetz). Brolin’s Cable is exceptional. He continues his remarkable summer run by capturing the tortured, badass soul that is Nathan Summers. Dennison’s Russell is actually a really good character throughout this film. He’s rash, he’s angry, he wants to watch the world burn. So, he’s the perfect kid to put opposite Ryan Reynolds. The new character I was surprised O enjoyed was Domino. It’s clear that this isn’t the Domino from the comics. That Domino was colder than this one. Often times, Domino was a bright spot in an otherwise grim movie. I had heard that they had done reshoots to add more Domino and I’m happy they did. Any less and I would’ve been left wanting.
Quantity over Quality Villains
My biggest complaint with this movie, and one reason I feel like the first one has the edge over it, is that there wasn’t an established villain. In Deadpool 1, we had Ajax (Ed Skrein), a sadistic villain that felt nothing. I thought his performance was fantastic and he was the perfect origin story villain for him to face. In Deadpool 2, knowing Cable’s story I didn’t think he was the major big bad and there were rumblings and rumors about it being Juggernaut, but when the movie came to fruition, there wasn’t a true nemesis. Instead, it was about preventing one from one day forming.
It’s understandable why they would take this approach. It helps develop characters and allows for a more unique take to the classic Hero vs Villain concept. What bothers me about this, though, is that there were probably 4 villains throughout the film, and none of them were all that intimidating. If anything Brolin’s Cable was probably the best villain and he’s not a villain. This idea makes it less about a quality villain helping push the story and more about this rat race to get to Russell before he does something that turns him evil for good.
Greatest. After Credits Scene. Ever.
The very first movie in the MCU, Iron Man, changed the game for After Credits scenes forever. It could be more than just a blooper reel or just an extra bit they shot that means nothing. However, none of them have done it as well as Deadpool 2. Deadpool 1’s Ferris Bueller was a cheap knock-off compared to this extra scene.
In fact, it’s probably the best part of the entire film. That’s because in one end credits scene, they systematically gave us the greatest gift of fan service we’ve and will ever experience in a film for all of time. That may sound like hyperbole, but fans will agree the moment the scene ends and the amazing Deadpool song kicks off. It’s a cherry on top of what is a solid anti-hero sequel.