It’s been less than a month since Avengers: Infinity War tore our soul from our bodies. However, with bleak heartbreak comes glorious fun, and there’s no better way of finding that than watching the latest installment in the long-running X-Men franchise. The first Deadpool film was a huge gamble for Fox, the character being a violent, profane deviation from the family-friendly Marvel Studios fare. That being said, it was a massive success, and a sequel was pretty much guaranteed. Leading up to its release, it had an admittedly bad marketing campaign, not even giving fans a realistic synopsis. After seeing the film, I can say with absolute certainty that it does not disappoint. Deadpool 2 is an extremely fun and entertaining film that delivers on all levels and subverts all expectations, quickly becoming one of the best superhero films of the last few years.
Deadpool hasn’t changed a bit since the first film. He’s still the wise-cracking, ass-kicking, fourth-wall-breaking anti-hero that we remember him as, and that definitely contributes to this film’s success. Most sequels have a hard time balancing new elements and keeping the strengths of the original. However, this manages to remember what made the first so popular, in addition to building upon the world and characters. It also sticks to the tone established in its predecessor, not drifting too far from the comedic path, while still venturing into uncharted territory, delving into Deadpool.
Cable (Josh Brolin) shows up about a third of the way through the movie. He finds his wife and daughter incinerated, and uses his tech to travel through time and attempt to kill his family’s murderer before he becomes one. This kid, played by Julian Dennison (Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople) is a mutant that has the ability to shoot fire from his hands. Deadpool vows to protect him from Cable, leading to the formation of the X-Force. This team includes Domino (Zazie Beetz), Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård), and Peter (Rob Delaney).
The way the movie integrates the X-Force into this universe is really adventurous. Considering how stubborn Deadpool was about joining the X-Men in the first film, it serves as a weird landmark that he set up his own team. That being said, it’s hilarious how it plays out. Each of the team members is diverse in their own right, and it’s really cool seeing them all band together. But when they do, it’s a shocking departure from every expectation you could’ve ever had. No spoilers, of course, but it’s one of the craziest scenes I’ve seen all year.
The standout of the team was by far Domino. Aside from Deadpool, of course, she’s definitely the most interesting out of all of the X-Force members. It would be amazing if she got her own solo movie because seeing her “luck” powers in action was one of the film’s highlights. In this case, all of the crazy stunts her character pulled off actually makes sense.
The action sequences are just as crazy as you’d expect from a Deadpool movie. The film is doubly as gory as its predecessor. It’s packed to the brim with fast-paced, thrilling chases and brutal hand-to-hand combat scenes. The final fight near the end is especially savage. Cable’s ruthlessness is always on full display, and bullets are shot left and right. The visuals are much more vibrant than the first film and are an incredible stylistic choice. Most likely the best example of this is the environments in Cable’s future, reminiscent of films like Ghost in the Shell and The Matrix.
Tonally, this is a partially inconsistent film. At its heart, Deadpool 2 is a comedy movie. It has a lot of great jokes, every one thrown in at the right time (though the film could’ve done without the racism gags). However, there are points where the emotional bits feel shoe-horned in. They don’t always feel like they were needed, and in comparison to the first film, this is much bleaker. There are points where Deadpool has hit rock-bottom (he acknowledges it in the opening scene, of course), and it just doesn’t feel natural how he can bounce back so easily. Still, this is a really great movie.
Deadpool 2 somehow manages to be that rare sequel that improves on the original. It’s funny, ten times more intriguing, much more character-focused, and seems to take itself even less seriously than its predecessor. The action sequences are frantic, and will definitely hold your interest if you are bored with the more talkative parts. The X-Force is introduced spectacularly, and out of that comes one of the greatest scenes in a superhero movie. But this film also teaches us the meaning of having your heart in the right place and proves to be even better than I expected. Even if you didn’t like the first film, check this one out. You won’t regret it.
Deadpool 2 stars Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Jack Kesy, Stefan Kapičić, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, Shioli Kutsuna, Terry Crews, Lewis Tan, Bill Skarsgård, Rob Delaney. Directed by David Leitch.