Deadpool 2 (20th Century Fox/Marvel/Kinberg Genre/Maximum Effort) Cert 15, 119 mins
Hmm. How to write a spoiler free review of Deadpool 2 without going into detail about some of the jokes and insane things which happen…this is a tough one! The good news is that I think I missed quite a lot because I was too busy laughing my head clean off so it shouldn’t be too much trouble.
Deadpool 2 as the title suggests is the sequel to the beloved romantic comedy which defied expectations to romp home with a huge $783m take at the box office worldwide after an epic battle to be made in the first place. And having landed a place in everyone’s heart the big red idiot from Canada makes a more than welcome return in a film that’s twice as silly, dark, funny and deliciously insane.
For those unfamiliar with Deadpool or who may not have seen the original (all five of you) he’s a Marvel comic book character created by Robert Liefield and Fabian Nicieza. Making his first comic appearance in 1991 Deadpool aka Wade Wilson quickly became a firm fan favourite thanks to a wickedly mischievous blend of humour, irreverent attitude, wise cracks, being a kick ass mercenary for hire and his habit of talking to the readers. And himself.
The kicker is Deadpool knows he’s in a comic book. He’s a bit mad to the say the least. But there’s a reason for his wild manner. As Wade Wilson he was an ex-special forces gun for hire who ended up with terminal cancer and in a last resort to be cured let himself be experimented on by shady types. The experiment gave him superhuman abilities and healing power but those abilities caused his cancer to mutate rapidly and his body ends up constantly fighting it. Pretty much scrambled his brain. Deadpool ends up involved in all sorts of situations – a mercenary who can’t be killed has a good business model! He fights time travellers, aliens, dictators and even current big bad MCU villain Thanos. All with that trademark humour and can do attitude.
His comic book antics have a dedicated following and Deadpool is one of most revered Marvel characters despite the fact he’s not your average hero. Fans have been campaigning for years to get Deadpool to the big screen and back in 2009 it looked like X-Men Origins: Wolverine would deliver our first piece of action featuring Mr Pool. Ryan Reynolds had signed on which had everyone very excited. Reynolds was well known as a huge fan of Deadpool and it was hoped a separate franchise for him would follow.
Unfortunately the makers of that movie were idiots. The opening appearance of Reynolds as a pre-mutant Deadpool showed some of the humour and wise cracking fans loved and then they went and threw it all away. They sewed his f**king mouth shut. I mean if you’ve got a character who relies on his mouth to get himself into and out of trouble then why wouldn’t you do that? It’s like making a Godzilla film and saying “you know what guys? Let’s do something different and make him three feet tall. And instead of atomic breath maybe he can blow bubbles?? Good job, that’s lunch everyone.” Honestly. Grrrr.
Fans were outraged at the take on the character and rightly so. It seemed the one shot at getting Deadpool on screen had failed but did Ryan Reynolds give up? Did he think his chance at superhero glory had gone up in smoke? No he did not. He picked himself up and he starred in…Green Lantern. Whoops. So with a hated version of Deadpool on screen and a calamitous DC movie under his belt it looked like curtains for the merc with the mouth. But did Reynolds give up? No he did not…
Back in 2014 leaked test footage of Reynold as Deadpool hit the web and the internet went nuts. While the effect were rough it had all the key elements – Reynolds having a ball in full on Deadpool mode, great lines and that wicked sense of humour. A full movie was soon given the green light and in 2016 Deadpool came, saw and conquered.
Fast forward two years and it’s inevitable sequel time. No complaints here. Given the first movie was made on what by Hollywood standards was a shoestring budget of around $55m and made insane money it was no surprise it got the nod before the first film even left theatres.
And I am very pleased to say that Deadpool 2 takes everything beloved from the first movie and ramps it up to another hilarious action packed level. Having established the character the returning writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, John Wick director David Leitch and Ryan Reynolds (who also gets a writing credit) really let themselves go and bring a true sense of the comic book Deadpool to the screen. The sequel shows Mr Pool having his healing abilities pushed to the limit in some very dramatic and entertaining ways and it’s funny funny stuff.
There’s plenty of fourth wall breaking as Deadpool addresses the audience, references the fact that Josh Brolin who plays Cable is also starring as Thanos right now and a whole host of other jokes at the expense of others. DC may wish to put their fingers in their ears at certain points. But it’s nothing personal – nothing and no-one is safe from the sarcastic anti-hero.
Amazingly the writers managed to fit a story between the jokes and there’s some terrific action set pieces which again make the most of Deadpool’s skills as a mercenary and the fact that he can take a lot of punishment. And he takes a LOT of punishment at times. Director David Leitch really brings the action up a level and it’s great to watch.
At the heart of the story is the appearance of Cable who in the comic books is a time travelling mutant from the future. There’s an entire comic book series dedicated to Cable and Deadpool which if you are interested in comic books and haven’t read I can highly recommend. Cable has come back in time to take out a young mutant called Russell (played the awesome teenage New Zealander Julian Dennison who previously starred in the quirky and very very good Hunt for The Wilderpeople with Sam Neil) whose blossoming powers are spiralling out of control. But Deadpool despite being of questionable character is in his heart a good person and he’s having none of it.
To help battle Cable plans are laid to recruit a team of heroes. With a mind on future films in the X-Men universe (although Deadpool is a Marvel character the Fox studio hold his rights so he lives in that universe. For now…) Deadpool forms an early version of X-Force (Google it, I’m pushing the word count as it is) featuring amongst others lucky assassin Domino, dazzling alien Shatterstar and Peter. Yes that’s right. Peter. If you’ve seen the trailers you know who he is. I won’t go into too much detail but Rob Delaney is just too funny as the non-powered X-Force member who applies simply because he saw the ad.
Ryan Reynolds excels as Deadpool. It’s the role he was born to play. He delivers line after line of often morally questionable content with glee just the way it should be done and it’s quite glorious. He’s ably supported by a great cast including Brolin as Cable, Morena Baccarin returning as love interest Vanessa and Zazie Beetz as Domino. The supernaturally lucky Domino’s chemistry with Deadpool is a real highlight. Also back from the first film are Dopinder (Karan Soni) the best cabbie in the world, X-folk Colossus and Negasonic Teenage What the What Now, TJ Miller as sidekick Weasel and Blind Al. Oh man there’s so much I want to say about what they all get to do!! But I shan’t.
Early reviews by more learned critics than I are split down the middle on Deadpool 2. Some think it’s nothing like as good as the first. They think the meta references, nods to camera, jokes at the expense of other movies and the like are already tired. But that’s Deadpool. It’s the entire reason he’s been so successful. That’s what the ticket buying public are paying for and want to see! It lines up exactly with my sense of humour and if you liked the first movie you will love the sequel.
And for those wondering about it there is one post credit scene. Once the one you will see ends then that’s it. You don’t need to wait till the lights come up. But oh my goodness you must stay for the scene. It is quite genuinely one of – if not the actual – best post-credit scenes of all time. It’s a work of genius and I am still laughing thinking about it.
Violent, laugh out loud hilarious, emotional in places and just about as much fun as you can have in the cinema. I lost track of the film at points because I couldn’t breathe for laughing. I will see this again and again until I see everything and that will not be a chore. I really want to say lots about some of the spoiler points but to even hint at them would ruin some terrific things and I’d have ran a sword through anyone who did that to me.
It fills my heart with joy to have more Deadpool on the big screen especially when it’s done how it should be. Deadpool 2 is a joy to behold and I absolutely f**king loved it.
Sorry about the swears. He brings it out in me every time. Darn it Wade!!