A Heartfelt Yet Darkly Humorous Sequel
The Good: Perfect acting, witty dark humour, emotional story, relatable character development, well written script with a deconstructive slant, explores deeper themes related to loss, family and belonging
The Bad: instances of shoddy CGI, rapid cuts leading to some erratic fight scenes
DEADPOOL 2 is a family movie, or so claims our titular protagonist. An extremely violent, witty, fourth wall breaking family movie. At its core is a tale of loss, a tale of wanting to belong, of failed father figures, and the cycle of vengeance all wrapped in a message of overcoming personal tragedy to be better individuals. It mixes genuinely funny comedy, pop culture references and lovable characters with a deeper more personal tale of the Merc with a mouth .
Wade Wilson has found true love and a fulfilling mercenary career. What looks to be just a repeat of the first movie soon takes a tragic turn as all that Wade treasures is stripped away. Lost and alone, Wade tries to fit in with the heroic X-men but his violent ways during his first mission lands him in a prison called “The ice box” with a young orphan pyrokinetic Mutant named Russell.
Meanwhile, a cyber enhanced soldier from the future named Cable is hot on their heels, on a mission to terminate the young rotund runaway. Sounds like TERMINATOR? Well not quite (Even though this is the Terminator movie we need right now.)
As with the first movie, DEADPOOL 2 defies genre and subverts viewer expectation at every turn. Each time a “typical” story beat or trope is brought up, it is soon subverted and deconstructed in the most clever way possible. An escape plan right out of PRISON BREAK? Does not end well for Wade and Russell. An action packed vehicular chase through the city? Very different from what one would expect. A team up with a bunch of superpowered allies to form X-Force? Yup, definitely not how one would think it would go. In fact, DEADPOOL 2 subverts all expectations of what Deadpool should be about.
Even the characters undergo this subversive deconstruction. The poor abused boy who’s supposed to be running scared? He’s starting to show the makings of a serial killer. The part man part machine time traveler Cable? He is the embodiment of “generic 90s comic badass” taken to its logical extremes, complete with tragic motivations, growling voice and eternal scowl. And it all works in the context of the franchise’s self referential humour.
Deadpool himself is slowly revealed to be a stepford smiler, using humour as a means to bury the pain he feels while he undergoes the various stages of grief. Ryan Reynolds effortlessly channels both Deadpool’s funny and dramatic side, bringing an earnest portrayal that serves as the heartfelt emotional core of the film. The narrative does venture into some heavy territory, showing the initially self serving Wade subconsciously subjecting Young Russell to the same emotional neglect that his own father put him through.
The script, courtesy of Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Reynolds himself is masterfully written, full of wit and charm. Jokes come perfectly timed where appropriate, segueing into drama and back again without coming across as jarring. It even improves on the musical aspect.
The score, now composed by Tyler Bates (WATCHMEN), sounds much more epic and unique compared to the previous work by Junkie XL. The choices of songs, peppered throughout the movie, have lyrics that run parallel to what is happening in the story itself; cleverly used to heighten the emotional impact of many scenes.
This is an amazing movie and a great sequel. Not perfect though. The steady clear shots and fluid fight choreography that Director David Leitch brought to movies like JOHN WICK is missing here. Instead it is replaced by rapid fire cuts and some erratic editing which, in hindsight, may have been a cost cutting measure considering how some of the special effects, particularly on some fully CGI characters, look spotty at times.
Nonetheless, nitpicking aside, DEADPOOL 2 takes its titular character to new depths, ups the ante on everything that made the first movie such a hit, and then goes beyond with bigger action, dark humour, a new cast of unique and relatable characters, all while keeping it intimately personal. Truly a movie to add in the list of great sequels.
Replay value: B+