After Thanos snapped his fingers and turned our collective hearts into dust in Avengers: Infinity War, it’s time for something a bit more lighthearted. This time, Josh Brolin only wants to kill one person, not half the universe. He’s also significantly less purple but still has a bit of a hard-on for time travel. I gotta ask: has anyone checked on Josh lately? Does he need a hug? Because he’s out here causin’ all kinds of chaos, and it ain’t cool, man.
This review does not contain any true plot spoilers, but if you want to go in totally and completely innocent, there are some little details here you might not want to read about yet. The choice is yours.
The Delicious Chimichangas
You know how when you look at Robert Downey Jr., you say to yourself, “That is Tony Stank—sorry, Stark.” The same, my friends, is true for Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.
Actually, I should’ve said Hugh Jackman as Wolverine instead of Robert Downey Jr. that’s what Deadpool would’ve done. Pretend like I said that.
Basically, the thesis I’m presenting to you is that Ryan Reynolds really is the merc with a mouth, and he should be for the rest of his career. Or at least until his contract runs out and we start theorizing whether or not his character is going to die in a giant galactic war.
Speaking of actors who embody their character: Mutha. Frickin’. Josh. Brolin. Seriously, can we get that confirmation on whether or not he needs a hug? He kills it as Cable, grizzled and dangerous and completely annihilating anyone who’s dumb enough to cross his path. When you watch him punch someone, you feel that punch from your seat, wincing and wondering how someone’s jaw would survive being smacked by a fist like a semitruck. If you thought Bane breaking Batman in Dark Knight Rises was too much to swallow, then Cable versus Deadpool will be like torture porn for you. (Trust me, with all the DC jabs in the film, Deadpool would be proud of that assessment. But don’t worry, Martha, our boy Wade pokes fun at the MCU, too.)
I also wanna give a shout out to Zazie Beetz, our lady and savior, Domino. I need to see her in more films, please. (Wade can come too, I guess) The only word I can think of to describe her is cool. I wasn’t sure going into it how her power of “luck” would play out—and neither was Wade—but Domino is basically the human embodiment of a combat savvy rabbit’s foot, or whatever lucky superstition you believe in. On top of being a solid character, her interactions with Wade are great. So are Cable’s. Our two new characters give great performances on their own and with Mr. Pool.
As for the other characters . . . I’ll get to them in a moment.
First, let’s mention the thing that makes Deadpool stand out: his sense of humor. Deadpool 2 brings the big laughs, for sure—like, you’re gonna miss some of the jokes because you’re laughing too loud to hear them. The creators took the humor from the first film and turned up all the notches, because I swear, Wade rams an entire wrecking ball into the fourth wall.
“Wrecking Ball” is still a relevant reference, right? I’m sure it’s fine. Wade references dubstep, after all. (Spoiler alert, I guess.)
The action is more intense this time around, too, with enough blood and brutality to make Ed Boon of Mortal Kombat notoriety blush. This isn’t just because Deadpool is slicing and dicing enemies, either. He also takes heavy amounts of damage himself, too; way more than he did when he went up against that cleaning-product bad guy, Ajax. The violence will make you wince, but much like the Mortal Kombat franchise, you’ll find yourself laughing at how ridiculous it gets.
Does that make us sadists?
The Lukewarm Leftovers
That said, as funny as Deadpool 2 is, not all of the jokes land. Some of them drag on for way too long, leading to moments of dead silence because the movie thought you’d be laughing for longer than you actually did. Sometimes it’s like your dad nudging you in the side to say, “See? That’s the joke. Ha ha.” All you can do is let out a groan and slap your forehead because, in these bits, dad is trying a bit too hard to be funny.
The fight scenes, for the most part, are the very definition of popcorn flick. Turn your brain off as these superpowered characters throw down in the middle of a moving vehicle. There are some fights that get a bit too silly, and some of the effects ain’t the greatest, but when you have a main character who announces the big CGI fight it kinda puts a smile on your face no matter what.
Speaking of CGI, let’s talk about Colossus and the other X-Men. Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) does have a bigger role than he did in the first film, which is great since he keeps trying to be Wade’s conscience as Wade praises metallic Jesus for those sweet, sweet Colossus butt cheeks. Unfortunately, Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) isn’t in the movie as much as I wanted her to be. I’m just forever salty because my girl crush is always underutilized. The same can be said for newcomer Yoiki (Shioli Kutsuna). However, I will give credit where credit is due, because the movie flat-out states that they’re girlfriends (something that was confirmed on Twitter back in March). In a world where we’re constantly having to guess whether a character is queer, it’s nice that Deadpool 2 was like, “Naw, they’re dating. End of story.” As for the other character staples that we met in the first movie, they’re fine. There’s no real growth with them, as they pretty much repeat their parts . . . and jokes.
Except for Dopinder (Karan Soni). That dude is still a show stealer.
Then there’s Russell, the main focus of the movie, the fiery kid Wade wants to protect from big ol’ Cable. He is . . . annoying as balls. He’s that edgelord kid you’re supposed to feel for, but as soon as you start to, he opens his mouth and says something that makes you (and Wade) roll your eyes in exhaustion. At some point you end up wondering why Wade’s been sentenced to hang around the mutant personification of what folks think Hot Topic is. Then again, with a film as self-aware as Deadpool 2, that may have been the point: congratulations, Wade, you have to protect this asshole kid. Have fun!
Past Its Expiration Date
It pains me to say this, but in addition to Russell, I don’t like the plot overall, either. At all. It’s basically a rehash of X-Men: Days of Future Past only with more profanity, violence, and sex jokes. Cable is Wolverine, going back in time to stop Russell from making a kill that changes the world—only Cable’s plan is to put a bullet in his head, none of that “Let’s talk it out” stuff. So really, I suppose he’s more like Magneto, with Deadpool playing the part of “Let’s talk it out,” which is a bit surprising considering his penchant for shooting first and asking questions later. Colossus would be proud.
It’s not just the plot that’s a by-the-numbers adventure. The movie repeats a lot of the same motifs from the first. Deadpool having a flashback to catch us up to speed. The self-aware opening credits. Weasel (TJ Miller) even has another monologue on what Deadpool’s face looks like. Some of these moments are charming, while others leave you feeling like you’ve seen them before—and they were funnier the first time. In addition to the plot being cliché, Deadpool’s motives are cliché. The lesson he learns is cliché. It’s all been done before, which is painfully noticeable when you have a unique character like Wade Wilson taking center stage.
And then there’s, sigh, the X-Force. They are a huge letdown. I was so excited to see the likes of Terry Crews and Lewis Tan in a superhero adventure, but honestly, they shine better in the trailers than they do the actual film. At least we can watch Terry on Brooklyn Nine-Nine (bless NBC!). Sadly, the character letdowns don’t stop there. Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), the love of Wade’s life, really gets the shaft in her second go-round. I won’t give away any details, but her story with Wade is actually a bit rage inducing, especially when you get to the post-credit scene. She deserved better. The X-Force deserved better. And Peter, brave, dear Peter, deserved better.
But here’s the weird part: the movie knows its shortcomings and points them out. You start to question a plot decision and then Deadpool looks you straight in the eye and says, “I know,” and even, “I’m pissed about it, too.” Is that better or worse?
While Deadpool 2 doesn’t quite capture the same magic of the first film, there’s still enough good to make it worth the price of admission. Unfortunately, there are some really poor decisions made in the plot, even if our (anti)hero is well aware of how dumb they are. With heavy hitters like Infinity War still in theaters, and Black Panther now available for watching in the comfort of your own home, there’s some stiff competition out there for our red-suited, smack-talking mercenary.
That being said, Deadpool 2 is, at the very least, fun. It’s something to watch with your friends who don’t mind crazy action, dirty jokes, and more angry Josh Brolin.