Fun with dirty mutants and some guy named Peter
The happily profane superhero party continues with Deadpool 2, a sequel that brings the anarchistic spirit of the original without necessarily blazing any new trails.
Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool/Wade Wilson character continues the break-the-fourth-wall schtick here—Ferris Bueller-style—and while the gimmick definitely leads to some good laughs, it does start to feel a little too cute and repetitive.
The sequel earns its hard-R rating much as its predecessor did: thanks to a steady stream of intermittently hilarious profanity and constant gore.
Things start with Deadpool dejectedly blowing himself up, complete with a severed arm giving the finger as it flies off, before the film goes into flashback mode as Wade Wilson cleverly and smarmily tells us why he did such a thing. We also get a repeat of the wise-ass title sequence gag that got the original off to such a good start. This time, instead of Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning,” the credits roll to a brand-new ballad—“Ashes”—from Celine Dion, so the stakes have definitely risen.
Directed by David Leitch—a former stuntman and one of the guys who directed John Wick—the film definitely ups the ante on the action front, with gun and sword fights that have some major zip. No question, Leitch can more than handle a fight scene.
Much of the movie involves Deadpool forming the mutant supercrew X-Force while also becoming a trainee of the much more conservative X-Men team. Deadpool’s first mission with his crew is a screamer, especially due to the participation of Peter (Rob Delaney), a normal, khakis-wearing guy with no powers and a killer mustache who joins the force because he saw an ad and thought it might be cool. Mutants Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Colossus (voice of Stefan Kapicic) return for the sequel and line up alongside newcomer Russell (Julian Dennison)—an angry young mutant who takes the name Firefist and whom Deadpool takes under his wing.
Deadpool gets a worthy adversary in the time-traveling Cable (Josh Brolin), a half-cyborg mound of angst with a human side. Brolin has cornered the market on “deep” villains this summer, with this and his emotive Thanos (Avengers: Infinity War). Juggernaut is the film’s other major villain, and Leitch pulls off some fun casting for the role of the nasty giant. Watch the movie without looking up ahead of time who plays him and see if you can guess. I bet you can’t … I bet you can’t!
Deadpool 2 does have some of the funniest cameos I’ve ever seen. Some of them are blink and you will miss, others involve heavy makeup, and one features a group of players that garnered the movie’s biggest laugh from yours truly. Whatever you do, don’t look at the IMDB cast list for this movie. The surprise of the cameos is a big part of the fun in this worthy, but slightly inferior sequel. I’m not sure what the future holds for Deadpool, but the ending of this one provides a lot of opportunities. Let’s hope it includes more Brolin, and fewer Basic Instinct jokes.