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Deadpool 2 Movie Review

Deadpool 2 (2018) movie poster Deadpool 2

Theatrical Release: May 18, 2018 / Running Time: 120 Minutes / Rating: R

Director: David Leitch / Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds (screenplay); Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza (Marvel Comics)

Cast: Ryan Reynolds (Wade Wilson/Deadpool), Josh Brolin (Nathan Summers/Cable), Morena Baccarin (Vanessa Carlysle), Julian Dennison (Russell Collins/Firefist), Zazie Beetz (Domino), Stefan Kapi?i? (voice of Colossus), Leslie Uggams (Blind Al), Shioli Kutsuna (Yukio), Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead - NTW), Jack Kesy (Black Tom Cassidy), Karan Soni (Dopinder), T.J. Miller (Weasel), Eddie Marsan (Headmaster), Brad Pitt (Vanisher), Terry Crews (Bedlam), Lewis Tan (Shatterstar), Bill Skarsgεrd (Zeitgeist), Rob Delaney (Peter), Juggernaut (Himself), Alan Tudyk (Redneck #2) / Uncredited: James McAvoy (Professor X/Charles Xavier), Evan Peters (Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver), Tye Sheridan (Scott Summers/Cyclops), Nicholas Hoult (Hank McCoy/Beast)

 

Released in February 2016, the original Deadpool was a huge gamble. Here was a minor Marvel Studios character that had been introduced on film in the not especially highly regarded X-Men Origins: Wolverine seven years earlier.
He was being played, once again, by Ryan Reynolds, who had tried and failed at superherodom in DC's 2011 Green Lantern, the rare superhero movie pretty much everyone hated. Not only that but Deadpool would be a hard R-rated movie, something studios just didn't do on mainstream properties with commercial prospects.

It all paid off spectacularly, as Deadpool became one of the highest-grossing R-rated films of all time amidst critical acclaim and major moviegoer enthusiasm, eventually even picking up award nominations from the Golden Globes and the Producers Guild of America. Two years later, Deadpool is back in the inevitable sequel that stands not far behind the recent Avengers: Infinity War as one of summer's surest attractions. While that's good news for financers and shareholders, it raises concerns for fans and purists. Can this withstand the transition from ballsy wild card to familiar franchise without losing something?

The answer to that question is yes because Deadpool 2 sticks to its guns, which is to say it takes more risks. The fourth wall is repeatedly shattered, copious amounts of violence and profanity command notice, and there is never the blanket of security that hangs over the endlessly profitable PG-13 movies that comprise the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) tries to lure Colossus back into the mix with a boombox-fashioned cell phone playing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes."

When we last saw our titular antihero, Wade Wilson (Reynolds), he had defeated those who wronged him and reunited with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), the prostitute he loved and wanted to marry. The bliss of that relationship again proves to be short-lived, with some nonlinear narration and early scene calamity influencing the again creative convention-ribbing opening titles.

Continuing to bring gruesome ends to bad people, Deadpool ends up a reluctant X-Man trainee at the insistence of his Russian-accented metallic friend Colossus. After a stand-off situation at a dubious orphanage involving Russell (Hunt for the Wilderpeople's Julian Dennison), a wayward, rotund mutant adolescent with fiery fists, Deadpool winds up in a high security prison. He soon crosses paths with Cable (Josh Brolin), a potent time traveler from the future with a robotic arm, a dirty teddy bear, and essentially a fanny pack.

Following some butting of heads, Cable eventually agrees to join forces with our invincible, acid-tongued protagonist, who has assembled a ragtag group of superheroes he dubs the X-Force. Their mission is to prevent Russell from turning into a homicidal maniac, which seems easier said than done now that the orphaned New Zealander has teamed up with none other than Juggernaut.

Josh Brolin plays Cable, a time traveler on a mission in "Deadpool 2."

Having recently reflected on how forgettable most Marvel movie plots are, it's refreshing to find that Deadpool actually gives plenty of thought to its narrative, which this time is credited to Reynolds along with the returning tandem of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. It's not boilerplate and it's not predictable. But the movie isn't above pointing out its devices or above acknowledging...well anything really. The fact that the only R-rated film to gross as much as Deadpool is The Passion of the Christ.
That Logan basically rode Deadpool's coattails to its success. One of my favorite jokes in the movie -- and there are again plenty of funny ones -- is a subtle, easily-missed reference to Christopher Plummer, a sly nod to the situation involving T.J. Miller, who reprises his role as Wade's bartender/confidant Weasel, but is apparently not welcome back after making headlines for bad decisions in life.

There are too many superhero movies being made today, but that's not going to change anytime soon, with the extraordinary money most of them make. Most of them are entertaining rides, but it takes something different (whether good or bad) to really stand out and be remembered. The Deadpool movies certainly are different, with their nihilistic tones, inexplicable soundtracks (DMX gets briefly reprised, while Celine Dion, Enya, and Barbra Streisand in Yentl are all prominently featured this time), over-the-top violence, and wink-nod execution. It doesn't seem that hard to duplicate, but it seems even easier to get wrong. There's no way to ape this without everyone being aware of it. That makes this series admirable, even if you find the characters obnoxious and the innuendo uncomfortable. While the hijinks may seem sophomoric and the carnage harmful, there is a lot of wit and cleverness that fuels this and that goes a long way to make this a fun and wild ride that sticks with you longer than, say, yet another Avengers movie.

Related Reviews:
Now in Theaters: Avengers: Infinity War • Life of the Party • Tully • Solo: A Star Wars Story
Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick: Zombieland • Life • G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Ryan Reynolds: Woman in Gold • The Proposal • Buried • Adventureland • Criminal | Josh Brolin: Men in Black 3 • The Goonies
Kick-Ass • Black Panther • Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Directed by David Leitch: Atomic Blonde

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Reviewed May 16, 2018.



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