“Deadpool 2″ is bigger, better and badass-ier!”
When Ryan Reynolds stepped onto the silver screen as Wade Wilson in 2016, nobody knew how the first R-Rated Marvel superhero flick, Deadpool, would fair, but after hauling $738.3 million (domestically) for 20th Century Fox, it became a bonafide sensation. Reynolds tried his hand at superhero stardom before (as Hal Jordan in 2011’s DCEU live-action adaptation of Green Lantern), but the film didn’t do nearly as well as anticipated. With a second chance at solidifying a role as an already established comic hero, Reynolds’ true-to-character adaptation of Wade Wilson/Deadpool kick-started a blockbuster movie franchise we just can’t get enough of.
Directed by Tim Miller (Thor: The Dark World) and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland), the first Deadpool movie played out like a bloodthirsty game of catch-up featuring unconventional characters and scathing comedic relief. It became a pop culture classic, boasting a large haul at the box office, a rockin’ soundtrack, killer action sequences, and cleverly hilarious one-liners roasting everything and everyone from the X-Men to FOX Studios.
Former Special Forces operative, Wade Wilson, works as a mercenary in the first film. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Wade is desperate to cling onto his life and newfound love interest, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin, TV’s Gotham), but his world comes crashing down even further when the evil scientist Ajax (Ed Skrein, Maleficent 2) tortures and transforms him into the hard-to-look-at Deadpool. The rogue experiment leaves Deadpool with advanced healing powers (à la Wolverine), a twistedly outrageous sense of humor (à la Jim Carrey), and – with help of mutant allies Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) of the X-Men – uses his new “powers” to hunt down and kill the man who’s responsible (à la Liam Neeson in Taken).
“You look like an avocado had sex with an older, more disgusting avocado,” Wade’s comedic confidant, Weasel (T.J. Miller, TV’s Silicon Valley) describes.
“A testicle with teeth,” Wade adds, then drifts off, thinking of what his alias should be.
“Captain Deadpool,” he suggests, excitedly.
“That sounds like a franchise!” Weasel laughs!
Cue the sequel! Directed by the acclaimed David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, V For Vendetta) this time. Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have returned but are now joined by Ryan Renolds which gives the film some added Canadian flair. Deadpool hails from Regina, Saskatchewan, and Reynolds is from Vancouver, British Columbia, which so obviously inspires an underlying praise for the True North Strong and Free throughout the film’s 1 hour 59 minutes running time. Nods to Canada are placed throughout the film, including one of the Deadpool theme songs, performed by Canadian royalty Celine Dion (the music video features a dancing Deadpool in heels). It goes to show, you can take the superhero out of Canada, but you can’t take Canada out of the superhero.
At this point, the live-action Deadpool is a near-perfect depiction of the comic book character, not unlike Hugh Jackman’s Logan/Wolverine (another Canadian superhero). When you think of Wolverine, it’s impossible not to think of Hugh Jackman’s adaptation, and the same goes for Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool. And after just two films! From the red and black suit to the tarnished face behind the mask, the actor and the hero have become synonymous.
Deadpool 2 takes its predecessor’s popular recipe – action, comedy and gore – then cranks up it a notch or two (or three)! From the opening sequence, Deadpool is high-flying and extraordinary, cracking jaws and jokes like it’s his job, which it kind of is. The storyline plays out similarly to the first, where audiences jump back and forth between timelines in order to fully grasp the story, but this time around, the foul-mouthed Deadpool brings together a team of fellow mutants to protect a mutant boy named Russell (Julian Dennison, Hunt for Wilderpeople) from the time-traveling, terminator-looking Cable (Josh Brolin, Avengers: Infinity War, The Goonies).
You guessed it! The team of mutants bring us the live-action debut of X-Force, a team derivative of the X-Men, but without all the bells and whistles. Many characters in the comics (including Deadpool) have been a part of both the X-Force and the X-Men, so to see mutants from both squads in the same movie is a bloody cherry atop a killer action movie sundae. Along with Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna, The Outsider) of the X-Men, we see Domino (Zazie Beetz, TV’s Atlanta), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan, Iron Fist), Vanisher (Brad Pitt), Bedlam (Terry Crews, TV’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and a random human named Peter (Rob Delaney, Key & Peele) come together to form the X-Force for the very first time on-screen! Saying anything beyond that would be too big of a spoiler but I will say that you will probably never look at skydiving the same way again.
Spoilers definitely run rampant throughout the entire film, so it’s impossible to get into any sort of detail without giving away some major surprises, but each and every character bring their A-game to the X-teams, especially Domino, Colossus and Cable. Josh Brolin’s Cable debuts just weeks after the release of Avengers: Infinity War, where Brolin has been praised for his portrayal of the supervillain Thanos. There are even jokes about it in Deadpool 2, where Deadpool calls Cable “Thanos” and “One-Eyed-Willy,” referencing Brolin’s stint in the MCU and his early days as an actor in Steven Spielberg’s The Goonies. Some other savage commentary from Deadpool includes his thoughts on Disney’s Frozen, 20th Century Fox’s X-Men, the DC Extended Universe (Batman imparticular), and Star Wars! Side-splitting one-liners, I’m telling you!
Last but definitely not least, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool manages to finally and flawlessly play up the comic book character’s pansexuality. Physical and verbal comedic relief run amok, and the writers were not afraid to go where no other mainstream superhero movie has gone before: over the rainbow. Deadpool flirts with Colossus without shame, and even comfortably fights the enemy in a wig and heels! Not to mention the sexually ambiguous promotions leading up to the film’s release this weekend. We see a more sexually fluid Deadpool, and if that’s not enough, we get to see the first-ever Lesbian superhero couple when Negasonic Teenage Warhead announces that Yukio is her girlfriend. It’s acknowledged several times throughout the film with Deadpool directly recognizing them as a couple, something previous X-Men movies, as well as the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), have failed to do repeatedly. And it’s about time! It might not be enough to keep afloat, however, with a FOX/Disney deal up in the air, the fate of Ryan Reynolds’ kick-ass movie franchise Deadpool is yet to be determined; catch him while you can!
“You’re welcome, Canada!”
Tip: There are TWO extra scenes during the end credits, in true Marvel fashion.
Also, a 4DX / IMAX experience is well worth the ticket price for this one!
4.5 Popcorn Kernels out of 5.
Watch the trailer:
About the Author
Joey Viola is the Co-Founder of MoJo Toronto and an LGBTQ community leader who utilizes his passion and flair for the art of writing by bringing a fresh perspective in reviewing entertainment and advocating for equality, tolerance, and social/political justice.