Deadpool 2 is a crass, immature, sometimes vulgar movie which also happens to have a huge amount of heart to it. Quietly, I felt that a lot of the reason the first Deadpool was so successful was because of how unexpected it was: a fresh take on the genre that also wanted to rip it down. Going into the sequel, I was always kind of worried that Deadpool 2 would be a lazy, more of the same, kind of movie. I’m happy to say I was wrong.
My worries weren’t purely borne out of my dogged pessimism. Losing Tim Miller as director, who had been strongly pushing for the sequel to go in a vastly different creative direction, seemed liked the first red flag. Him leaving over creative differences with Ryan Reynolds screamed of a diva star taking creative control away from the director. However, David Leitch was a more than capable replacement, notching up Deadpool’s 10 to an 11.
While there is a lot of content in this sequel that does feel very similar to the first, it is by no means a carbon copy. In reality, the movie might be the studio’s greatest love letter to the source material that we’ve seen out of them. Going even deeper down the referential rabbit hole than even the MCU does. Creating a movie that isn’t just good in its own right, but feels like a true comic book fan’s movie.
After the revenge bender that was Deadpool 1, it seems like Wade Wilson has settled down into a happy life with Vanessa, traveling the world and killing all kinds of interesting people. However, when the movie begins by killing her off, I was worried that it was slipping well worn movie cliches. While the makers claimed they were unaware of the “fringing” trope, it turned out they were playing the with cliche without even realising it.
The rest of the movie follows Deadpool’s fall into despair, trying (and failing) to kill himself. Before he’s given the metaphorical message that he needs to get his heart in the right place before he can truly pass on. He goes through the motions of trying to join the X-Men, then giving up again and eventually realising he needs to live for other people. Leading up to him finding his new “family” without Vanessa.
A satisfying final conclusion to the emotional arc of the movie, hilariously undercut by a post credits scene that undoes her death entirely, making the entire arc pointless. That’s a good thing this particular head case.
All of the performances are spot on, Reynolds seems like he was born to play the part of Deadpool, his general personality seems to gel with that of the character anyway, only with less murder. Brolin is amazing as the tortured, very 90s, gritty Cable. And the supporting case of T.J. Miller, Zazie Beetz and Julian Dennison just top it off.
The movie could have very easily ventured into realms of being a boilerplate action movie at parts, but it’s the impressive performances of Brolin as Cable and Dennison as Russel Firefist that bring most of the legitimacy to the movie. They counteract Reynolds constant chatter and 4th walls breaks. Coupled with a soundtrack that ranges from the heartfelt power ballad to hilariously derailing dub step. It manages to work in the context of the scene while never feeling out of place thanks to the wild changes in tone the movie makes.
While the tonal shifts do feel a little extreme at times, the entire movie is one of extremes and going from heavy emotional moments to a series of T.J. Millerisms in minutes. It can be jarring, but this movie is unconventional most every other way. But it’s pros outweigh its cons by a mile in this case, the burgeoning (slightly erotic) relationship between Deadpool and Colossus is one of those throw away things from the first movie that ends up being one of my favourite things about the sequel.
Speaking of which, there is a lot more meta humour in the sequel than even the first movie. And usually I’d worry that this would derail a lot to the story. But it consistently works, as other characters barely react to the bizarre, 4th wall breaking lines coming from Deadpool’s mouth. I was even catching references in the background which I’m surprised they’d even go that far. In fact, This movie is the closest to the 90s X-Men that we all remember that we’ve ever seen Fox manage.
It’s such a huge leap from Fox’s history of trying to distance themselves from the trashy, comic book nonsense their big franchise is actually spawned from. The movie seems to make a point to get characters more right than they’ve ever been in an X-Men movie before and then makes fun of them for it. It takes stabs at the likes of Shatterstar and even Rob Liefeld who created most of the characters appearing in the movie, as well as his dated style of 90s edge in his writing.
I should just love it along for making the effort to get Juggernaut right, and then make fanfare about it. What makes the movie work so well, and probably one of the best movies Fox have produced from the comics is just how irreverent is all is about the source material.. In the end, Comic books are stupid and movies have been afraid to delve into that stupidity for a long time, Deadpool’s ability to poke fun at itself and this material is the final step in finally realising what a true comic book adaptation should be.
Deadpool is certainly Fox’s best property right now. Despite the fact it’s taking shot at everyone and everything , it’s also incredibly faithful to its source material at the same time. It’s a movie with a ton of heart that still makes a ton of vulgar jokes and pop culture references. This is a unique movie in that regard as the very nature of Deadpool as a comedic character allows us to really look at how silly all these stories are.
And what makes it ultimately work so well is that it’s actually a very smart movie under the facade of a very dumb one. While I would have still liked to have seen what Tim Miller’s vision for Deadpool 2 would have been, the Deadpool 2 we ultimately got was a very good one. And one more step in ensuring that this Super Hero train is no stopping any time soon.