“Deadpool 2”- Movie Review

 

In the late summer of 2014, early test footage featuring the popular merc-with-the-mouth was leaked to the public. People lost their minds. Massive fans of the Deadpool character were still trying to wash the fowl taste of X-Men Origins: Wolverine out of their mouths (I for one enjoyed the movie when it first came out in 2009, but truth be told, I haven’t seen it for a long time). Reactions to the footage were so positive and so enthusiastic that the studios were convinced it was time to bring Deadpool back to the big screen…but in the right way. Fast forward two years, and the Deadpool movie is a massive success, becoming the ninth highest grossing movie of 2016. So obviously a sequel was in the works. Skip ahead another two years, and here we have a second installment that promises to up the ante.

Directed by David Leitch this time around, Deadpool 2 sees the return of Ryan Reynolds as the titular antihero. Wade Wilson’s life has been pretty good since the events of the first film. His relationship with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) is going strong, and his career as the masked mercenary Deadpool is flourishing. Things seem to be going well…for a short time at least. One failed mission turns everything to pieces, and when a young and powerful mutant appears (Julian Dennison), Wade makes it his new mission to protect him at all costs from a time-traveling cyborg named Cable (Josh Brolin). But he can’t do this alone. He puts together a team made up of the lucky lady Domino (Zazie Beetz) plus a slew of strange mutants and goes head to head with this new  adversary.

As with most people, I was taken aback by just how much I enjoyed the first Deadpool movie. It was funny, it was widely entertaining, it was cool, and it was surprisingly romantic. It hit just the right notes. And for the most part, the sequel does the same. Deadpool 2 takes an extra step, widening the scope of its story and elevating the playful absurdity of its universe. The film throws joke after joke at you, and while the majority of them spurs plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, some of it certainly falls flat. There’s a heavy reliance on self-referential humor toward the beginning that thankfully simmers down as the film goes along, and some bits (one involving baby legs and another a death scene) go on for far too long. Though the stuff that’s good outweighs the bad.

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Much of what’s good is infused in the action scenes, which in turn makes the sequences all the more fun and interesting. Director David Leitch goes a great job at capturing the choreography, which isn’t too surprising since his past directorial credits include Atomic Blonde and John Wick. There’s an especially hysterical scene involving the X-Force and their first mission that caught me so off guard that I had to lift my jaw of the floor. I won’t dare spoil it here, but let’s just saw its one of the unexpected highlights of the film.

Would it surprise anyone if I said Ryan Reynolds is pitch-perfect as Deadpool? Probably not. To say he was born to play this role is starting to become a little clichéd. But it’s the absolute truth. Just like how Robert Downey has practically transformed into Tony Stark, Ryan Reynolds owns this character. Between his physicality, his on-point comedic timing, and the passion he puts into the role, it’s made it hard for us to imagine anyone else as Deadpool. Josh Brolin is fantastic as Cable. His character is a bit of a blank slate. He’s given a standard tragic backstory without any explanation of the world he comes from or how he became a cyborg. Regardless, Brolin works well with what he’s given, and he finds a balance between comedy and seriousness.

Zazie Beetz as Domino is a welcome new addition to this universe. What I love about her is that her abilities essentially make her invincible, but she doesn’t act like it. She’s confident without being cocky, and she always keeps her focus on the task at hand. I would’ve loved to see more of her. Julian Dennison’s performance as Russel Collins is also very strong. I remember being impressed with him a little indie film called The Hunt for the Wilderpeople (which I definitely recommend by the way!), and it’s nice to see him be given a chance to sink his teeth into a juicier role. Although his and Reynold’s performances are solid, the bond that’s supposed to form between their characters is faulty. Sometimes it feels genuine, other times it feels forced. Sometimes Deadpool feels motivated to help the kid, other times his motivation is directed toward something else. Its purpose is to be the moralistic core of the film similar to how the romance between Wade and Vanessa was the heart of the first. Though the inconsistency of Deadpool and the kid’s relationship causes rift within the fabric of the story, making it seem like two different storylines were mashed together.

If I have to choose which Deadpool movie I like best, I’d have to say the first one takes the cake. Deadpool 2 has the same outrageous personality as the first, with the same foul humor, and violent action. Though unlike its predecessor, it gets bogged down by a clunky narrative and a moral compass that feels a bit contrived. Nonetheless, I still had a lot of fun with it. If you’re a fan of the first Deadpool, then you’ll surely enjoy this one. If you didn’t, then don’t even bother. What you’ve seen is exactly what you’ll get.

Cosmic Grade: 3.8/5 Stars

 

 

 

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