Rating: 4 outta 5!
*Non-Spoiler* Short Review
(scroll down past the comic for spoilery full review!)
That damn Merc with the Mouth does it again in all his gun totin’, sword slicin’, fourth-wall breakin’ glory. As Downey is to Iron Man, Reynolds has become the living embodiment of Wade Wilson in Deadpool 2 - the humor, the action and everything we loved from the first film is there plus all the chimichangas. Deadpool 2 is a guilty pleasure everyone needs to find some time to indulge ASAP.
I’ll be the first to say- before these Deadpool movies, I was *not* a fan of the character. I still have my personal grudges against the comic book version (HE CAN’T BE KILLED I DON’T UNDERSTAND ITS LIKE A WISE ASS NINJA “SUPERMAN TYPE” FOR MARVEL), and what I felt like to be 100s, HUNDREDS, of Deadpool/Deadpool Mix cosplay I saw over the few years I vended at comic conventions- I thought the character had oversaturated the market.
That being said, Deadpool 1 changed the game for comic book movies. Bloody action and foul language are staples of the Deadpool Universe, and needed to be in the cinematic adaptation- which has now led to us having more Rated R movies including, finally, a Wolverine movie- which should’ve been allowed to be Rated R in the first of all those appearances years ago.
Ryan Reynolds’ passion for this character is what makes this character. And its impressive fun. Its gahdamn, fuckin’ impressive fun.
Movie opens in classic Deadpool fashion: Some fourth wall breakin’ shot (a hilarious shot at the movie, “Logan”) followed by some audience catch up of current events. Glorious glimpses of Deadpool killing baddies flash on the scene- leading back to Deadpool returning home to his apartment where his fiance Vanessa awaits him. Talks of the future and baby Deadpool (“We’re not naming our baby Todd!”) are interrupted by that one generic criminal dude that escaped in the previous Deadpool killing baddies scene, who accidentally shoots Vanessa instead of Deadpool, killing her instantly.
As tragic as this scene is, we’re instantly reminded in a gradual crescendo of transitioning tones that this movie is a dark comedy action flick (Deadpool himself comments how he needs to be “the star of the show”). Note: Previous to writing this review, I did read over the "fridging" controversy (the killing of a woman close to the hero lead to advance the plot/give motive), but I would counter that Vanessa's greater purpose has been to symbolize normalcy in both movies. Granted, her role in the first movie could definitely be classified as "Damsel in Distress", Deadpool's main purpose, as a comic book character and now in the movies, is to play the jester- to be THE "anti-standard super hero movie" through the 4th wall breaking bits, and the dark comedy. All regular plot devices & elements serve only to the black humor of the movie - literally everything should be taken lightly in this movie- and with as much fun as possible.
I personally love Colossus and him having way more screen time in these Deadpool movies than I expected has been a great experience. Colossus playing the straight man to Reynold’s over the top Deadpool plays well. The amount of clever meta and fourth wall breakin’ humor in Deadpool can be a bit over the top- but I feel is paced well- a favorite moment: Deadpool ranting around the Xavier Mansion, complaining about the absence of X Men cameos because of character copyrights as Beast quietly closes the door to a room he’s hidden in, along with Storm & a few others. This self deprecating humor that is commonplace in the Deadpool comics works way better for me in these movies- and the shots taken at the Marvel Cineverse & the DC Cinerverse (amongst others) are spot on.
The Cable tie-in (Brolin making that MAD Marvel money! TWO major Marvel Characters?! Holy Thanos) is just enough back story on Cable to work for this movie- though, it *is* waverly annoying that his origins are not explained- just his motivation. Brolin is always a tough bad ass type- and in this movie? A tough bad ass type with a “Winter Soldier Arm”. Deadpool’s gradual realization he needs to protect “Firefist”, the unstable mutant plot developer, parallels well with Cable’s dead daughter motivation - something I would never expect to see in a Deadpool movie- Deadpool caring for a kid- and it actually works. Julian Dennison’s portrayal of Firefist is the perfect amount of innocence and teen angst for a Deadpool movie (the whole “butt pen” thing, great comedy). The classic themes of Man Vs Mutant are brought in via Firefist, Deadpool even briefly commenting on this, saying it all was an analogical cover on racism in the 60s.
All the X Force scenes in this movie are comedy gold. Pulling such obscene references (AND actual marvel comic characters!) and having most of them killed in that parachute landing sequence (Brad Pitt cameo!) - dark comedy genius- and a clever way to showcase Domino’s influence over luck (though, I really, REALLY was rooting for Peter). Like any comic nerd, pulling away from a character’s overall design for a movie always makes me nervous- but Zazie Beetz’s interpretation of Domino is so fun - I hope we get to see more of her character in the future. I’m glad to see stronger female roles in these comic book movies- we need this to be a continued and strengthening trend! So many cool girl comic characters out there.
The mid-movie reveal of The Juggernaut being “The Monster” was what put this movie over the top for me. After that awful Vinnie Jones “I’m the Juggernaut Bitch!” interpretation, I never thought we’d get Juggs on the screen again- much less an actual GOOD interpretation of him- and outta nowhere like that shiv outta Firefist’s butt, we have a Juggernaut in a Deadpool movie! I’ve always thought the Juggernaut to be more of a “force of nature”, and he’s made to look and act so in this movie. The fight between him and Colossus is one of my personal favorites from the movie, even the dirty but humorous end to that fight.
What makes Deadpool work so well are all the characters Deadpool gets to play off of- unique characters played by a very strong cast. Especially in a standalone hero flick, the hero isn’t always necessarily the most interesting character- and with such a over-the-top, almost parody comic character like Deadpool, the balance between characters could have easily been thrown off- but I found myself equally intrigued if not at least amused by Deadpool and everyone else on the screen, including the return appearances of Weasel (the bartender) and Dopinder (the taxi driver).
Deadpool is good adult superhero movie fun. Yes, Adult Superhero movie. Probably not one to take your kids too, Parents- but definitely get a babysitter, grab a beer and check this out in theaters as soon as you possibly can.