“X gon’ give it to ya!” in Deadpool 2, the highly-anticipated sequel to the 2016 smash hit that redeemed both Ryan Reynolds’ comic-book-movie career and R-rated superhero movies as a whole. The first Deadpool is a tough act to follow, but I’m happy to report the sequel matches (or exceeds) the original in every way.
I was very skeptical of this film after seeing the trailers. I thought it looked unfunny and boring, and that it would be standard with very few surprises. Thankfully, Deadpool 2 proved me wrong around every corner and I found myself surprised at how great it was, especially for a sequel. It’s rare we get a sequel on par with the original, especially in comedies. Deadpool 2 reminds me a lot of 22 Jump Street, in that it takes everything the audience loved about the first movie and amplified it.
Deadpool 2 picks up shortly after the first film. Wade Wilson (Deadpool) has to put together a team of mutant rogues to protect a young, powerful mutant from the brutal time-traveling assassin, Cable, who has traveled from the future Terminator-style to kill the boy.
Obviously, Deadpool 2 is a comedy, first and foremost. I felt that many of the jokes landed throughout and thought it was frequently hilarious. The film could have fallen apart under its fourth wall-breaking jokes, but thankfully there’s the right amount of them that it stays afloat. Everyone has some killer lines in the film, with Deadpool, Cable, and Weasel providing some of the funniest one-liners. The visual gags, while more infrequent than the quips, are usually fantastic (two sequences in particular in the second act come to mind).
What really surprised me was the amount of emotion in the film. There are some moments where I found it fell a little flat (the beginning didn’t land for me), but for the most part, the film is (shockingly) genuinely touching. Obviously, I won’t get into spoilers, but I was shocked at the amount of emotion this super-silly sequel had.
Much like with the first movie, there are a lot of parts that make Deadpool 2 great. However, one shining light is Ryan Reynolds. His passion for the character is a sight to behold, and he performs him masterfully. I believe that Reynolds has the kind of passion that elevates the performances and work of the entire cast and crew, as everyone seems to give their all for Deadpool 2.
The direction was solid, but nothing spectacular, save for a moment or two. Having the John Wick director pick up the reigns here got me far more excited than it should have, as barely any of the action ever reaches the heights of the two John Wick films. I don’t want to say that Deadpool 2 should have been given to someone else, I just would have liked to see David Leitch take more of an approach to the action that made the first John Wick and Atomic Blonde so good. Deadpool 2 has frequent cuts in the action, but I would have liked to see longer takes and shots throughout. It’s what made John Wick feel so visceral. I think that’s just personal preference though.
It’s adequately shot and the original score does its job (both of those aspects could have been a little better), but Deadpool 2 really shines in the characters and the acting. Everyone plays their roles very well, with the non-Reynolds standouts being Josh Brolin’s Cable and Julian Dennison’s Russell. Coming fresh off of Infinity War, Brolin’s Cable is another villain with real motives that has a real arc throughout the movie; another hit for Brolin. Dennison (who you can also see in the fantastic Hunt for the Wilderpeople) yet again shows pure comedic talent, grounding Deadpool’s character at times and elevating the film’s emotional core to new heights.
I wish I could talk more about some specifics in Deadpool 2, but to do that would ruin some of the film’s finest moments. The trailers did a great job misleading the audience into thinking certain moments are going to go one way (but it goes another), or thinking certain plot beats are going to happen (when they don’t at all). It’s best to just go see the film for yourself, as it is super enjoyable.
Deadpool 2 Overall – 4 out of 5
At the end of it all, Deadpool 2 is a great sequel that matches or surpasses the first film. If you liked or loved the first, you’ll like or love this one. If you didn’t, you’ll probably not like this one either. For me, the jokes and performances all were great, and the movie had a surprisingly emotional core that took it from a “you liked the first so here’s more of that” to a legitimate sequel that improves on its predecessor.
For showtimes of Deadpool 2 or any other film released this week, check out our weekly theatrical post. Loved Deadpool 2 and already know you want it on home media? Well you can already order the 4K UHD and Blu-ray today so you won’t forget!