With its irreverent and immature sense of humor, Deadpool struck a chord with audiences looking for a comic book movie willing to mock its peers and the various tropes that have emerged over 20 years of superhero cinema. It was a smash hit that meant the fourth wall breaking anti-hero would return in another bloody and foul-mouthed adventure in Deadpool 2. Atomic Blonde director David Leitch orchestrates the varying action set pieces which often send anonymous bad guys into pieces flung in varying directions. Deadpool 2 isn’t going to win over new fans for the Merc with a Mouth. If you found the first film to be crude and snarky, Deadpool 2 is just more of the same. If you loved what Ryan Reynolds brought to his mutant hero, Deadpool 2 will deliver the goods that you demand.
The comic book sequel opens with Wade Wilson (Reynolds) mocking the events of Logan, accusing the X-Men movie of ripping off his R-rating and proclaiming that he’ll match Wolverine and die in this film. Then we’re presented to a montage of globetrotting chaos as Deadpool spans the globe and murders various bad guys with swords and guns. These events, while somewhat amusing and wildly violent, do little to propel the story forward.
One thing that might throw Deadpool fans for a loop is the fact that the eponymous anti-hero along with his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) plan on having a child. That is until Vanessa is slain by some gangsters out for revenge on Deadpool. Yup, unfortunately the screenplay by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds decides to kill off the love of Wade Wilson’s life in order to provide him with some kind of motivation. Despite employing one of the more tired tropes of the superhero genre, the character fails to break the fourth wall and comment on how just exhausted this lame motivation truly is.
The plot of Deadpool 2 starts to find its footing once Deadpool attempts suicide and Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) takes the emotionally wounded mutant to Xavier’s School for Gifted Children, where the snarky hero makes an array of jokes and references to the numerous X-Men movies. As an X-Men trainee, Deadpool, Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) attempt to calm a young mutant on rampage, Russell (Hunt for the Wilderpeople’s Julian Dennison) who wants to go by the name Fire Fist. Deadpool and the young mutant are apprehended and taken to a special mutant prison where they’re fitted with collars that subdue their powers.
Enter Cable (Josh Brolin). The mutant from with a glowing eye and a bionic arm travels from the future with the intent of killing Russell, though the film tries to obscure Cable’s motivations for way too long. This leads to a showdown where Deadpool has to assemble a team to save the young mutant from Cable, assembling a crew including Domino (Zazie Beetz), Bedlam (Terry Crews), and Peter (Rob Delaney), who are dubbed the X-Force.
Deadpool 2 is really just more of the same from the first film and in higher doses. How much mileage you get out of these gags may vary. Some of the highlights of the film’s sense of humor comes from the opening credits, which is like a wildly absurd take on a James Bond credits sequence, the relentless gags on the long line of comic book movies be they DC or Marvel, and the penultimate battle where Deadpool leads his newly formed X-Force into a haphazard battle. There are also a number of surprising cameos, each of which are excellent crowd-pleasers. Be sure to stay through the credits for one of the best post-credits scenes of recent memory.
Where the humor of this sequel falters is when it’s over-reliant on juvenile sensibilities, most of which are relentlessly focused on male genitalia. The gags are coming fast and furious from the masked hero and it’s only natural that plenty of them should miss, but I’d say that the wit on display here exceeds that of its predecessor. However, towards the end of the film, there is one scene that is just tedious as it continues on and on to the point where the gag goes from mildly amusing to exhausting.
David Leitch does some fairly good work directing this CGI-packed comic book sequel, though there aren’t any scenes that match some of the more thrilling moments from Atomic Blonde. The director is amusingly credited as “One of the Guys Who Killed the Dog in John Wick,” a reference to his co-directing of the action film. Like much of Deadpool 2, though, the action is as scatter-brained as the plot, often bouncing around like a hyperactive child with Tourette’s.
For someone who didn’t care much for the first film, I can say that Deadpool 2 has enough that works that I was entertained and never bored throughout the two hours of relentless action and comedic mayhem. However, the film does have plenty of problems with its story and characters, but it’s so committed to hammer you into submission with its unique brand of action and humor that it’s easy to forgive these shortcomings. Like its predecessor, Deadpool 2 doesn’t reinvent the superhero genre; it simply features a wiseass hero in red tights whose jokes land half of the time.