May 14, 2018

GENRE | Ryan Reynolds Knocks 'Deadpool 2' Out

"Kiss me like you miss me."
Ryan Reynolds Josh Brolin David Leitch | Deadpool 2

Take a listen to Episode 169 of the Vertical Viewing Podcast (available on iTunes) for our deep dive audio review of Deadpool 2 and hear us chat about the latest in movies with regular host Scott Willson and guest Dan Nicolls. (1h15)

Deadpool 2 is a super-sized anti-superhero sequel and so much more movie than the first Deadpool. The filthy and charismatic as ever Ryan Reynolds returns for a higher dose of self-referential antics skewering the current state of superhero movies and the X-Men universe. This time around, stuntman turned John Wick co-director David Leitch films the madness with a more polished yet frenetic visual style.

Deadpool was a fairly straightforward yet scrappy love and revenge story told in refreshingly unconventional ways that proves a fairly lean thrill ride that felt fresh and subversive. Deadpool 2 basically blows that up and consistently beats you into submission with a relentless amount of genuinely raucous jokes and ultraviolent action until you simply give in and enjoy the craziness. It tries to outdo itself in every single way.

If anything, there are just too many new characters to set up, juggle, and invest in with little time for each. A ripped Josh Brolin as Cable—his character here feels like a mashup of Terminator and The Punisher—co-stars in a time-travelling revenge role that's painfully serious enough to make him a decently mismatched but affable antagonist/buddy partner to Reynolds.

Zazie Beetz, is electric and charismatic as the lucky superpowered Domino. However, she gets almost no introduction save for a montage alongside the other barely-there X-Force members including a burly Terry Crews.

Ryan Reynolds Zazie Beetz Terry Crews David Leitch | X-Force Deadpool 2

The original supporting cast in Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić, Leslie Uggams, and even Karan Soni as taxi driver Dopinder return in mostly smaller, superfluous roles to make the sequel more of a messy ensemble feature. Kiwi actor Julian Dennison, as a troubled young mutant anchors the crux of the film's plot as Deadpool forms a quick fatherly bond with him and sets off to protect him from Cable in a story ripped directly from the film Looper.

Reynolds gets co-writing credit alongside original writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and his fingerprints show all over with more one-liners and digs at his own real-life Hollywood personality. The film really doubles down on all the Marvel Comics references and fourth-wall breaking commentary.

Like the overstuffed Avengers movies, Deadpool 2 squeezes in so much more of the same jam-packed action into the sequel. Many of the scrappy charms of the first are gone while even more of its humour and references are dialled way up.

There's an exhausting amount of the wise-cracking and infinitely crowd-pleasing elements over the lean, hyper-focused adventure of the original. It's so stylish and fun that it sort of beats you relentlessly with all of its raunchy gags until you give in and enjoy the R-rated madness.

Update: Deadpool 2 was re-released with new footage in a PG-13 cut re-edited as Once Upon A Deadpool.

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