Deadpool 2 (R) ★★★

“Deadpool 2” Stars Ryan Reynolds. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Cynical, Potty-mouth Anti-hero is Fun!

To begin, I’m strongly advising you see Deadpool starring Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, before attempting to view Deadpool 2. The original highly successful R rated film is the first of it’s kind in the comic book genre to present a snarky, foul-mouthed anti-hero of sorts with a cynical attitude. Reynolds hit the jackpot with this role, and fans just can’t get enough. So how do you follow up an R-rated comic book film that grossed more than any other R-rated comic book film in history with over $750 million (US) in box-office receipts, and one that came in second of all time, behind The Passion of the Christ? This is a tough question; thankfully, Deadpool 2 doesn’t veer too far from the original, nor does it try to ‘out do’ the original.

Reynolds stepped up to the plate to safeguard his ‘breakout’ character—yes, he has screenplay writing credits. If you’re a fan of the snarky, one-liner, potty-mouthed, red latex bodysuit, invincible guy—then you’ll most likely be entertained by Deadpool 2, as I was—it’s outrageous adult ‘raunchy fun,’ but also darker than the original. The screenplay written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Reynolds is directed by David Leitch of John Wick (2014) and Atomic Blonde (2017).

An obvious fact, but one that needs to be stated, is that Deadpool 2 is the meta-Deadpool, a movie about the first movie’s wild success, and focuses on the likely hurdles that a sequel presents. In fact, it’s so mindful of the situation it blatantly proclaims, “Sequels are unimaginative cash-grabs.” near the opening.

“Deadpool 2” Stars Ryan Reynolds. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Creative license soars to new heights in Deadpool 2, the opening credits are child-like crayon drawings that introduce the film, they’re all a farce; as in the director card stating: ‘Directed by the guy who killed the dog in John Wick’ as the funniest. Eccentric in tone, the sequences feel as though they’ve been spread out on to a desktop and patched together like a quilt; these random storylines could easily be interchangeable. However, that’s precisely why the film stands out. Writers Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds want their comic book character to have above all uniqueness, Deadpool is filled with over-the-top non-conformance.
The entire film references other comic book films, and pop culture mentions, typically by making fun of them in some way; Green Lantern, joke in the credits, Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice’s silly mommy moment, Hawkeye’s lack of powers, Josh Brolin’s Thanos’s two-timing as a character in Avengers: Infinity of War less than three weeks ago, at one point Wade simply calls Brolin’s (Cable), “Thanos,” Logan’s gags you’ll need to see for yourself. Look for chatter of Disney’s Frozen movie soundtrack, and let’s not forget Canadian Ryan Reynolds ode to fellow Canadian star singer Céline Dion.

“Deadpool 2” Stars Ryan Reynolds. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

The plot begins with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) Wade’s, love interest and their shared decision to bring a baby into the world, their joy is cut short when a group of assassins appears. Through grief and soul-searching Wade is determined to find an answer. It seems finding love, and purpose are his driving force. Wade quickly puts his plan into action by helping a 14-year-old mutant named Russell (Firefist); named for his ability to wreak havoc with his fire hands. Julian Dennison, the young New Zealand actor from Hunt for the Wilderpeople, convincingly takes on the role. We also discover that Russell’s been abused by headmaster (Eddie Marsan) of the mutant academy he attends. Russell wants to kill his abuser, but Cable (Josh Brolin) who travelled through time to save his family, wants to kill Russell before he can do that. Sounds complicated doesn’t it—and I haven’t even gotten to the part about Deadpool’s hilarious formation of his new X-Force Team.

Yes, that wacky X-Force Team, with questionable super-powers; Domino (Zazie Beetz), Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård), and Peter (Rob Delaney) join Deadpool as the non-gender biased X-Force. Look for their interview scenes and the helicopter ‘jumps scenes’ that will have you laughing out loud.

Death is a reoccurring theme in Deadpool 2; Reynolds’s character dies three different times in the movie. He’s also shot dozens of times, has a metal spike plunged into his skull, his arms are snapped while his torso is ripped entirely from his legs by an iconic X-Men bad guy. Cue the regrowth of his new baby legs and countless gags, my favorite; Deadpool says, George Michael was right, “I’m really never gonna dance again.” Many characters presumably die or disintegrate into dust in Avengers: Infinity of War; with Marvel, sci-fi films, you never really know who can come back from the dead or who really is dead.

Truth be told, I’ve been a fan of Ryan Reynolds acting abilities since his early days, of National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (2002), The Proposal (2009) Buried (2010), and Woman in Gold (2015). Reynolds did introduce Wade Wilson /Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), although his character was unnamed at the time. Reynolds has been interested in developing the Deadpool character since 2000; undoubtedly he’s sealed his fate giving us a chatter-box, cynical potty-mouth anti-hero. He “makes” this film and the Deadpool franchise, without him, no…I can’t even go there. To put it mildly, I’m in!

Sarah Knight Adamson© May 18, 2018