Monday, May 21, 2018

Deadpool 2

Two years after the box office record-setting Deadpool (2016), especially for an R-rated movie, Fox has released a sequel, Deadpool 2, previously teased during the post-credits scene of the original. In that time, director David Leitch took over for Tim Miller, who had left after creative differences with lead actor Ryan Reynolds. In spite of this, Deadpool 2 is true to the spirit of the original, though perhaps a little too true to the original in some minor areas.

In the two years since the ending of Deadpool, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) has been killing people all over the world as an international hitman. One time, however, he fails to kill a target and pays the price for it. He recovers at the X-Mansion and assists Colossus (Stefan Kapičić) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) in stabilizing a standoff involving a young mutant named Russell Collins (Julian Dennison), aka Firefist, though Wade’s intervention does more harm than good. At the same time, a man named Cable (Josh Brolin) travels back in time in an effort to change the past and undo a dystopic future.

Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) briefly becomes an
X-Men Trainee, only to make things worse.

The story of Deadpool 2 features a more complex plot due in part to its larger cast of characters and three running plotlines, one each for Deadpool, Cable, and Firefist. Thankfully, however, the movie is still easy to follow and the plotlines all actively contribute to the running theme of “Family”. As such, Cable’s backstory is kept simple and to the point, which helps greatly with time travel involved; on that note, the time travel logic is also kept simple and consistent. The pacing also effectively helps the nearly two-hour runtime breeze by.

What also helps is that like the original Deadpool, Deadpool 2 has a good sense of humor. The scope of the jokes is greater this time, now including a number of meta jokes that poke fun at not only other Marvel movies, such as a reference to Josh Brolin’s role as Thanos, but also the DCEU and other Fox films. At the same time, however, the sexual humor is a little raunchier this time around and, in some instances, they seemed to stick too closely to the style of the original by recycling a handful of jokes. Though they didn’t repeat these jokes wholesale and introduced enough variation on them that they could still elicit a laugh, it was still hard not to notice the repetition.

The action also has an increased scope this time around, with one sequence creating collateral damage across a small stretch of a city. However, the damage is relatively minimal compared to superhero films with a larger budget and I appreciate the fact that the final fight once again takes place in a controlled area, this time a small plot of land. The special effects and choreography are also very impressive, especially one sequence which perfectly demonstrates Domino’s (Zazie Beetz) luck-based mutant ability.

All of the returning actors do an amazing job reprising their roles, especially Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, since he’s the most prominent. Newer characters are also portrayed very well by their respective actors, including Josh Brolin as Cable and Zazie Beetz as Domino. Brolin’s Cable effectively communicates the loss he felt from his decimated future and his relentless quest to find the one responsible for it while also giving him a sense of depth and emotional growth. Beetz’ Domino is fun to watch due to her interactions with Deadpool as well as her confidence in her mutant ability, though she is fully capable of fighting seriously when the situation demands it.

Josh Brolin gives a great performance as Cable.

Deadpool 2 is largely an example of how to properly do a sequel, increasing the scope of its story without feeling overly ambitious or hollow and effectively maintaining its style of humor. In exchange, however, some of the jokes are raunchier and some minor story beats, and nearly entire jokes are lifted straight out of its predecessor. This doesn’t, however, prevent the movie from being thoroughly entertaining and I highly recommend it to people who either liked the first movie or have been keeping up with the superhero genre and want something that’s sure to stand out (or want the tonal opposite of Avengers: Infinity War). As with the original, however, Deadpool 2 has an R rating for a good reason and parents should seriously take this into consideration before deciding to bring kids along, especially with the more explicit nature of the sequel.

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