The Reviewinator: Deadpool 2 (2018)

Deadpool 2? What the sh**?! Oh right. Deadpool 1 was a financially orgasmic experience for Fox and Marvel. Maybe because it hit all the right G’s in all the right spots. So of course they were gonna pull a number 2 out of their ass. But there’s always a bit of worry with sequels (especially the superhero kind), so let’s see whether or not this number 2 goes right in the sh***er.

Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is ready to be a dad. But an attack from one of his targets throws a wrench into his family planning which leads him to killing a child-care worker (because Deadpool), an act that gets him locked up in a mutant prison. But he did it all for an angry kid named Russel (Julian Dennison), a young mutant with fiery powers who was recently abused in an orphanage. Enter Cable (Josh Brolin), a half-cybernetic soldier from the future who’s travelled back in time to kill Russel, who, in Cable’s time, is a mass-murdering monster. So Deadpool steps in to protect Russel, while simultaneously trying to keep the kid’s anger issues at bay so he never grows up to be the villain Cable travelled back in time to kill. Can somebody say “Dadpool”?

One thing that made Deadpool likable in the first movie was that, under all that toilet humor and violence, there was a real person there. He cares about what’s right even if he doesn’t show it, he feels real love for Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), and so you couldn’t help but root for him every step of his journey. And that likability is expanded upon here with 14-year-old Russel, who Deadpool protects like a surrogate father. And he cares for the boy surprisingly well, even when he’s pretending not to care about him at all. Where the first movie was a “love story”, this one is a “family movie”, and like the first, it works, albeit on a sick and twisted level, especially when Deadpool assembles a team of mutants that’s entirely different from the X-Men, and even gives it a totally original name: “X-Force”. Yeah, okay. Go Deadpool!

Like many sequels, there’s a slight bit of rehashing going on, but it’s mostly in the first act.  Once the real story begins, it becomes an entirely different movie. The humor and violence are non-stop again, which is both exciting and redundant at the same time. In the first movie, the filthy sense of humor, brutal violence, and self-referential jokes were unusual for a superhero, which is what made it so entertaining. But here, because all those things are expected by the viewer, the novelty is worn off before the movie even starts. Still though, you can’t take your eyes off the screen for a second. Watching Deadpool get hurt will never get old, and his insults are the stuff of quote legend. Cable might not say much, but he’s a compelling villain who’s motivation is to save his family (<–“family movie!”). And Russel is a good tortured character who’s “fiery” temper is justified more often than not (because who doesn’t want to see child abusers burn for their atrocities?).

If I had one major complaint, it’s the obviousness that this movie’s raison d’être is simply to set up the next movie (or movies). The story wraps up quite nicely and believably, so it’s not all F-words and tea-bagging, although that stuff is prevalent. Like the first movie, Deadpool 2 isn’t perfect, but it’s jam-packed with great stuff. It’s supremely entertaining, with an impressive counter-balance of real emotion. Some of the supporting characters from the first movie get pushed to the side, but it’s to make way for the handful of new characters who really make this sequel shine. X-Men jokes make a comeback (especially in the post-credits scenes), and there are some truly great cameos to be on the lookout for. And introducing time-travel anywhere near someone like Deadpool? You don’t even have to see the movie to know he’s going to do something hilariously crazy with that. Deadpool 2 is a different-but-the-same kind of sequel. And for better or worse, it works.

4 out of 5

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