Sequels are a tightrope walk. Superhero sequels are one thing, but comedy sequels are a whole other animal. Comedy is like a magic trick – you can surprise people more easily when they don’t see the trick coming, but you can be sure they’re going to be scrutinizing your every move come the second time around – arms folded, wearing their big floppy skeptic hats, as if to say, “Great, you got me. You can try to do it again, but I doubt it’ll work, Copperfield.” In general, so few sequels work because of a myriad of potential issues: the creative teams misunderstand what people loved, they assume you just need to make the same movie but twice as big, they go too far off the beaten path, or they reference the first film too much.
With Deadpool, the trick was so specific and smart (and yet, so, so dumb) that I had a hard time believing Ryan Reynolds and his merry band of nitwits could produce anything that stands up to the sheer R-Rated, meta, hyper-violent joy that was the first film. So, there it is – my bias is revealed. I loved the first Deadpool and, as much as I wanted it to be good, I doubted we’d get something as re-watchable, tight, and hilarious as the first film. Yes, I’m one of those assholes sitting there with their arms crossed, wearing their floppy skeptic hat, and bracing myself for the worst. It is with great shock and joy that I get to say that Deadpool 2 took my skepticism, stomped on its face and then forced open its eyes and heart to bear witness to its glory. Deadpool 2 isn’t just a good superhero movie or sequel, it’s one of the best times at a theater you’re likely to have, period.
With all of that said, if you didn’t like the first Deadpool film, you’re not likely to be won over by Deadpool 2, as it doubles down on everything you likely hated (and I loved) about the original. Deadpool 2 takes the previously mentioned trap of “do everything from the first but twice as much” to such a level that it proves there is an exception to that rule. There’s more jokes, more action, more heart, more filth, more characters, more plot, and more meta brilliance. It’s a movie that understands its audience so well and rewards their twisted and warped minds for living so deeply in the gutter.
As if it’s any surprise, there’s not a single flaw to be found in the film’s cast. Reynolds keeps proving himself to be one of the strangest and filthiest comedic minds – no big shock here. The piece that really makes DP work is the heart he brings to the character. Yes, Deadpool is insane, but in a very loveable way – you empathize with his plights. Part of this is thanks to Reynolds, part of this is the natural chemistry he has with Morena Baccarin (Vanessa). This time around his chemistry extends to his new co-stars, Julian Dennison (Russell), Josh Brolin (Cable), and Zazie Beetz (Domino) – all of whom completely nail their characters, as well. The old crew of Karan Soni (Dopinder), Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead), TJ Miller (Weasel), Stefan Kapicic (Colossus), and Leslie Uggams (Blind Al) are all back, too– and all get their perfect moments to shine. The balancing act isn’t quite as complicated as the recent Avengers: Infinity War, but it’s just as effective.
Which brings us to the capable hands of director David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde and, most notably,, Celine Dion’s Ashes video), who takes his excellent eye for action and effortlessly merges it with the writers (Reynolds, Wernick, and Reese) sick minds to create a film that doesn’t skimp on either the action or the comedy, and, in turn, somehow outdoes the original in almost every category. It looks better, it makes you laugh harder, it makes you care more about the characters, and it makes you feel the stakes more fully.
As for the plot, the less you know about the plot and the little surprises in the film, the better off you are. I’ll simply say it’s about Deadpool being Deadpool amidst Cable and Domino. And, you know, some stuff happens that leads to other stuff. You’ll have a good time, don’t worry about it.
When it comes to issues, I honestly have very few gripes with Deadpool 2. It’s hard to be upset with a film so gobsmackingly ridiculous and entertaining. Usually, with a film like this, the villains are fairly two-dimensional. There are a couple of those, but there’s also a real effort to empathize with what amounts to the films main “villains.” In a way that makes them both protagonists in their own right, which is admirably ambitious for a superhero movie – especially for a movie with Deadpool in it.
There’s also Morena Baccarin’s Vanessa, who, while a terrific fit for good ol’ DP, is still a character that’s very much in complete service of our hero and nothing else. Yes, she’s her own person, but barely. She loses much of the feistiness she had in the first film and is simply there to pine for and motivate our hero.
Even with those small gripes, Deadpool 2 is so much better than it has and business being, placing it effectively shoulder-to-shoulder with the best super-sequels of all-time (The Dark Knight, Captain America: Winter Solider, Spider-Man 2 – yeah, I said it). It takes the characters you loved and makes you love them even more, all while introducing you to new ones to love just as much – on top of that, it’s throwing action scenes and jokes at you so fast your head (and Deadpool’s head) will spin. The audience was constantly exploding with laughter and cheers throughout my screening, making for a truly fun and increasingly rare experience at the movies.
So, is Deadpool 2 good? You bet your ass it is. Should you see it in theaters? GO! You’ll have a great time. (and stay for the credits, both for the mid-credits scenes and the truly ridiculous music)
BRING ON THE X-FORCE!
Directed by David Leitch, the film stars Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Jack Kesy, and Karan Soni.
Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool joins forces with three mutants — Bedlam, Shatterstar and Domino — to protect a boy from the all-powerful Cable.
Deadpool 2 hit theaters on May 18. Get your tickets now!