Hot Take: Decent follow-up that obliterates the fourth wall. It’s more of the same BUT that’s a good thing. It does occasionally get too smug but sequels have a habit of smelling themselves, don’t they?
I was never a big Ryan Reynolds fan. I think I once had an argument about the movie Just Friends with my brother and said some pretty harsh things about how I felt Reynolds was completely overrated. (Note: This isn’t making me want to go back and re-watch Just Friends to see if I have a different opinion. I still think it’s a pretty shitty movie. Just sayin’!) There are roles that actors can get, though, that they are just made for. Reynolds has the luxury of getting a second crack at the role after the first time in the role (in a supporting role as Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine). In Deadpool, Reynolds turned the superhero genre on its ear with a wise-cracking send-up of superhero flicks but also a serious kick-ass action-packed comic book film that captures the essence of the comic it was based on. Now, in the sequel, Reynolds establishes the fact that he was made for this role and gives those of us who’ve been poking fun at this whole comic book film renaissance something to laugh at AND again delivers another really solid comic book film that comic fanboys should enjoy, too. It doesn’t quite get to the level the first film does but that is mostly because of the novelty of the film’s premise wearing off and not the typical things that cause the demise of a sequel.
In Deadpool 2, it’s two years after the original. Deadpool/Wade (Reynolds) has been working as a mercenary and on his anniversary, girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) is gunned down by one of the targets he failed to kill. Deadpool kills the target and then blows himself up six weeks later. Deadpool, of course, can’t die and is brought to the X-Mansion to heal by Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) to regenerate. The trio responds to a standoff between the police and a hotheaded mutant kid named Firefist (Julian Dennison). Eventually, Deadpool gets angered by Firefist’s story of abuse and attacks the headmaster and kills one of the staff members of the hospital. Deadpool and Firefist are restrained and taken to the Ice Box. As this is going on, Cable (Josh Brolin) travels through time to kill Firefist in an effort to change the future where Firefist kills Cable’s wife and daughter.
Eventually, Cable and Deadpool square off and then form an unorthodox alliance when Firefirst escapes the Ice Box with Juggernaut (voiced by “himself” which happens to be Ryan Reynolds, also). Deadpool wants to prevent Firefist from killing the headmaster thinking that will change the future and Cable wants to kill him. While it happens to be a solid storyline, the story is secondary to the comedy as Deadpool takes every shot he can at the comic book genre of films much like the Deadpool comic takes shots at the other popular comics. Most of the jokes are hits but occasionally, the film feels a little repetitious of the original. It’s unfair to call it tired but it definitely doesn’t have the luxury of surprise like the first film.
In what should be considered the Golden Age of Comic Book Films (currently, the top 3 films of 2018 at the box office are comic book films and 6 of the top 11 films from 2017 at the box office were based on comic books), Deadpool 2 is a welcome twist on the genre. It’s still unlikely that Deadpool 2 transcends the genre enough to pull in the audience that genuinely despises the deluge of comic book films at the cineplex but it delivers plenty of laughs and doesn’t miss on the action side of things, either. Plus, there’s the end-credits scene that might be the funniest end-credits scenes in the movie history. Stick around for that.
I know it’s crazy to say but the end-credits scene is that funny that it’s worth it just for those laughs.
It’ll save us the time having to read your endless tweets about how comic book films are RUINING the cinema!