Everything about Wade’s latest misadventures is bigger, goofier, a helluva lot bloodier than the (not so) surprising 2016 hit. Best of all, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick – with a bit of help from Reynolds himself – managed to seamlessly instill a dash of maturity into ‘Pool’s chaotic narrative, but not without The Merc with the Mouth experiencing a glut of tragedy, bereavement, and smorgasbord of pain from his latest nemesis, the time-traveling take-no-prisoners hardass known simply as Cable.
While the overall storyline is a pleasant balance between the gore and pop culture zingers machine gunned throughout the first movie, and a familiar yet effective quest for revenge and redemption, Deadpool 2 doesn’t push as many buttons like before. However the subjects of Wade and his co-star’s snideness and ridicule are cut deep with their quick one-liners. Still and all, DP2 is mostly a different animal we’re dealing this go-around. The first Deadpool was successfully branded as a subversion of the well-trodden superhero genre; it attempts to give off that vibe in the sequel, but Wade has slowly become a part of the institution whether he likes it or not.
When we meet Wade again, he’s not in the best of moods and decides to literally blow things up to start anew. In the weeks before, life couldn’t have been better for a nigh-unkillable mutant assassin with a face that resembles expired hummus. Wilson had made bloody stumps out of countless bad guys, his relationship with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) couldn’t have been better, and Dopinder (Karan Soni) is still being Dopinder. Unfortunately the good times cannot last (he’s an assassin after all) and what occurs completely shatters his world. While best pal Weasel (T.J. Miller) and ex-roommate Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) do their best to help their unusually despondent bud, it’s Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead that make the biggest effort in giving Wade a new purpose in life. Again, it doesn’t take long for Deadpool to muck things up and before you can say “Hugh Jackman”, he and a kid named Russell (Julian Dennison) are locked up in an isolated prison built specifically for high-powered mutant criminals.
Amid the hijinks, Cable arrives from the future gunning for Russell, who is a mass murderer in his timeline. Like his stint as Thanos in Infinity War, Josh Brolin truly brings it as the singularly focused, militaristic cyborg badass. Brolin’s Cable isn’t built to crack wise like ‘Pool but draws the very best out of every action sequence thanks to David Leitch’s direction in creating visceral, creative fight scenes. The precision and brutality of Brolin’s mocap work for The Mad Titan was transferred into Deadpool 2 with ease: future tech and cybernetics enhancements aside, no one was prepared for the martial skill and unyielding determination of that damn silver-haired menace.
Naturally, Wade decides to recruit other mercenaries for his “forward-thinking, gender neutral” X-Force, which turns out as well as one expects when Deadpool is your ersatz leader and bankroll. Over time, Wade developed a conscience (of sorts), believing if he can save Russell from Cable, in a way he’ll make up for all his transgressions. It’s a bit on the nose (and everyone not Wilson realizes this), yet it’s enough of a motivating factor to make ‘Pool finally do the right thing after constantly berating Colossus for his sympathetic demeanor. If anything, the assembling of eccentrics and subsequent rescue operation provided the audience a grand spectacle headlined by Zazie Beetz’s Domino, a mutant who repeatedly claims to ‘Pool during the mission that her power to manipulate luck is a very real thing. Eventually Domino, DP, and Cable get on the same page as Russell teeters close to the edge of no return once the film’s real big bad appears.
By film’s end, everything is wrapped in a big bloody bow after some seriously uplifting scenes between characters about the importance of love and family. It was an admirable conclusion that required a delicate touch, which one would never expect from such a raucous franchise in the making. Of course, it wouldn’t dare close with a saccharine ending and provides just enough WTF-ness for Deadpool’s enthusiastic fandom.
For the casual fan and X-Men aficionado, Deadpool 2 is everything one anticipated, though slightly refined to introduce larger, complex themes the first outing lacked. While it is nowhere near the typical superhero film we throw our money at every few months, the fledgling series has grown leaps and bounds without sacrificing the pluck and mockery that makes Wade our favorite regenerating degenerate.