Having gained everybody’s attention with his genre-defying debut feature, Marvel’s self-aware, foul-mouthed mutant has made a rather predictable return to the big screen. A pleasing return it is too, for the anti-hero has sought to improve upon his childish ways by producing an experience of greater substance, one which even the predecessor’s naysayers can enjoy.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) has spiralled into a state of despair, seeming to have lost all purpose after suffering a very traumatic loss. Upon reaching rock-bottom, Wade is rescued by his old sparring partner Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and taken to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters to recuperate. Wanting to help Wade further in his recovery, Colossus makes his alter-ego Deadpool an official member of the X-Men – albeit a trainee – and accompanies him on his very first mission.
On said mission, the X-Men are to calm a teenage mutant named Russell Collins (Julian Dennison, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) who is struggling to maintain his fire-producing abilities. Being the hothead that he is, Deadpool only manages to enflame the situation, his actions landing both himself and Russell in a remote prison for mutants. All prisoners at the facility wear a collar that rids them of their powers, meaning Russell and Wade have little chance of escape.
Barely a few days into their incarceration, the facility is infiltrated by Cable (Josh “Thanos” Brolin), a mutant with a metal arm and a bevvy of heavy weaponry. Cable has time-travelled from a future where mutants are waging war with humans, resulting in the murder of his wife and daughter; he claims that Russell is the one responsible for their deaths, and is seeking revenge by killing Russell’s teenage self. Wade, feeling responsible for Russell, wants to protect him, yet feels powerless against the might of Cable.
Deadpool 2 is a movie caught between two approaches, wanting to appease fans of the first film and those who were… ambivalent towards it. Once again, the franchise distances itself from the many other examples in the superhero genre with constant swearing, bloody violence and a protagonist who constantly breaks the fourth wall; yet steps have been taken to distinguish the second Deadpool from its previous instalment, such as the substitution of director Tim Miller for Atomic Blonde’s David Leitch.
As a result of Leitch’s involvement, Deadpool 2 is far smarter than the original movie is. Whilst the violence is more graphic, it is also more exciting, with the choreography and cinematography being a tad more professional than last time; the comedy extends beyond references and acknowledging clichés to deliver clever gags, such as an opening title that spoofs the James Bond series, and great one-liners – a handful of which had this reviewer in stitches.
Efforts have also been made to develop Wade Wilson’s character, who has softened his nauseating persona to become somewhat more likeable – at least, when compared to before. Sure, he still mugs for the camera, and carries himself in an obnoxious manner, but in looking-out for Russell, he demonstrates that he can behave as a selfless, caring and compassionate individual, rather than one guided purely by his own interests. While this change in attitude does not make him a role model by any means, it does make him tolerable.
Although Deadpool is the star of his self-titled sequel, it is the supporting characters who deserve to be the main attractions. Julian Dennison, as Russell, brings a quirky vibe to proceedings, whereas Josh Brolin takes a diametric approach as Cable, being gruff, sincere and a fantastic foil for Deadpool’s juvenile antics. Yet by far the most welcome addition is Zazie Beetz (of TV’s Atlanta fame) as the charming Domino, whose superpower of “Good Luck” allows for some rather amusing scenarios.
It looks like this satirical superhero franchise has found its feet with Deadpool 2. The Merc with the Mouth’s second outing is a significant improvement over its predecessor, bolstered by better fight sequences, better jokes and an expanded, talented cast, perhaps indicating that the series has better days ahead of it.
One thought on “Review: Deadpool 2”
I watched the trailer yesterday when I went to see the Avengers movie and I thought it looked ok. I am glad to read it’s an improvement over the first one, which had a lot of style but lacked substance.
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