By Contributing Writer- Brandon Gray.
Deadpool 2, directed by David Leitch, takes all the best parts of the original and balances it with terrific characters, a solid plot, brilliant action, and tons of humor.
I will be the first to admit 2016’s Deadpool wasn’t my favorite film. While the action scenes were great, and the acting was on point, some of the lackluster jokes, constant puns, and hit/miss humor came together to form a film that was a little too much for me personally. While I don’t deny the impact Deadpool had on pop culture, it didn’t resonate with me in the same light. All of that changes with Deadpool 2. David Leitch’s interpretation of these characters came off much better and the plot was serviced in a way to make fans and general audiences alike stay captivated throughout. Needless to say, the expectations were sky high for Deadpool 2 to begin with. The additions of Zazie Beetz as Domino and Josh Brolin as Cable were just a few of the high profile additions to the franchise.
Following his incredible performance as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, it looks like Josh Brolin is on a roll. Cable steals the show in this film and is captivating in every scene he is in. Cable looks, sounds, and acts like he was pulled straight out of the comics. Leitch did a fantastic job in bringing this character to life and Brolin perfectly executed his vision with a Cable that encompasses everything that fans wanted to see from him. I do have minor complaints about his use, but they only extend as far as we could have seen more from him. Having a dedicated backstory, and more exposition about his past would have been welcome, but it is assumed that more of his character will be thoroughly explored in a future X-Force film. Older characters also make appearances in Deadpool 2. Colossus returns and his personality continues to provide great humor in scenes alongside Deadpool himself. A fan favorite, Teenage Negasonic Warhead, also returns and is given more depth and character development.
Deadpool 2 raises the bar set by its predecessor in every way. The film is funnier, bloodier, and filled with higher stakes and multi-layered humor. Played once again by Ryan Reynolds, Wade Wilson has never been more hilarious, and constantly breaks the fourth wall to deliver pointed jokes about his own franchise, comic book films in general, as well as rival films and studios. No character, actor, or moment is left without a joke jabbed in its direction and in my opinion the film does a much better job balancing that level of humor than the first.
As mentioned before, the action scenes in the Deadpool franchise have always been spectacular but Deadpool 2 raises the bar here as well. Not shy about any of its characters’ respective superpowers, Deadpool 2 allows these characters to unleash their full comic book potential. Whether its Deadpool himself, Cable, Domino, or any of the other X-Force members, the action and choreography were amazing throughout and serve as the highlights on the film.
Deadpool has never been one of my favorite Marvel characters, his humor never resonating with me either in the comics or on film. It is for this reason that Deadpool 2 really impressed me. The film constantly throws jokes at you in classic Deadpool style, and while there were still a few jokes that fell flat, it does a fantastic job in other areas as well. This film is ultra violent, makes full use of its R rating, and doesn’t hold back in letting you know it. In a franchise like Deadpool, you should know going in that it isn’t one that focuses on a deep plot with multiple layers of meaning. Rather, Deadpool 2 is simply about having a good time and a couple of laughs. That being said, the actors and their respective characters are the ones that truly stand out. Domino was incredible, and is one of my personal favorites. Cable is brutal, ripped straight out of the comics and is treated really well, minor quibbles aside. Colossus and Teenage Negasonic Warhead bring familiarity and some new layers to their characters. Finally, Ryan Reynolds continues to absolutely own the Deadpool character. Very few times does an actor completely blend in with his/her role but Reynolds effortlessly plays Deadpool and is even more comfortable wearing that mask in the sequel. This is a film that is absolutely carried by its characters.
Overall, Deadpool 2 is a much improved sequel and entry into the franchise. It takes the best parts of the original, adds more to the formula, and creates a superior film. While it is not perfect – some poorly timed jokes, flat moments of humor, and occasional poor visual effects plague this film throughout – Deadpool 2 still manages to have more highs than lows. The film takes risks with its characters, doesn’t shy away from larger messages, and of course, delivers on the humor, violence, and laughs that Deadpool is known for. It is a worthwhile sequel to the franchise.