It’s time to make the chimi-f@#$%&@-changas! The eagerly awaited Deadpool 2 has hit theatres. Can the Merc With A Mouth deliver after his stellar appearance in his first go-around?
When the first Deadpool film made its way to a staggering $783 worldwide box office performance back in 2016, a sequel was a no-brainer. Ryan Reynolds was able to bring to life a character from the comics unlike any other superhero that we’ve seen to date. Filled with extreme violence, crude jokes and plenty of toilet humor to spare, Deadpool was an instant fan favorite that left big shoes to fill for its eventual sequel. Now that the marketing push has come to an end and the film is here for our viewing pleasure, let’s take a look at some of the positives and negatives.
Seriously, what’s NOT to like about this film? From start to finish, Deadpool 2 is filled with gut-busting jokes peppered in between a great narrative, intense action, gore and even many heartwarming moments. Though the trailers didn’t reveal too much regarding the film’s plot, it’s a pretty straightforward story with twists and turns along the way.
After a visit to Hong Kong and killing some baddies along the way, Deadpool returns home to Vanessa to celebrate their anniversary. In a pure gut-punch, Vanessa is murdered in front of Wade, seemingly putting him on a path of revenge. Wade’s visions of Vanessa would take him in another direction, however, as he sees a news clip of a young mutant in trouble and decides to help. The boy, Russell (Firefist from the comics) is revealed to have been continuously abused and experimented on in the Essex Mutant Orphanage (or something to that degree). Deadpool wants to help the boy as he believes it will help reunite him with Vanessa in the afterlife.
At this point we’re introduced to the time traveling Cable, who travels back to kill Russell, as he’s eventually responsible for the murders of his wife and daughter. Throughout most of the film, Deadpool and his new X-Force team are tasked with stopping Cable at all costs. Speaking of X-Force, let’s meet the new team: Domino, Bedlam, Shatterstar, Negasonic, Zeitgeist, The Vanisher, and Peter. In humorous scenes, Wade, Weasel and Dopinder recruit the new team members and plan Russell’s rescue before most of the team is killed off in hilarious ways almost immediately.
The inclusion of these characters may seem like fan service for comic fans since they appear and are killed off right away, but we’ll swing back to this topic later. One of the coolest characters to make their return to the big screen is that of Juggernaut. Yes, the evil half-brother of Charles Xavier is being kept prisoner in the “Ice Box“, a high-security mutant prison in which Deadpool and Russell are being held in until Cable wreaks havoc in his murderous attempt on Russell’s life. Juggernaut would eventually make his way on-screen in the third act, helping Russell to try to kill the head of the orphanage.
Aside from the actual plot, the beauty of Deadpool 2 lies within its character interactions. Each of the characters play so incredibly well off of each other and the chemistry between them all is wonderfully done. Whether its Deadpool and his third wall-breaking quips, Russell’s childish antics, or crude sex humor, the comedy in this film is well-placed and embodies what the comics portrayed on the printed page. At no point in the film are there any wasted moments or sequences as everything is germane to the plot and character development. Even amongst the jokes, gags and call backs to the first film, Deadpool 2 also contains moments of tenderness, mainly with Wade’s relationship with both Vanessa and Russell and with Cable’s love for his own family.
The best new additions to the film come from Zazie Beetz’s Domino and Josh Brolin’s Cable. Both of these characters added a lot to Deadpool 2 and were a lot of fun to have incorporated into the fray. Domino’s luck powers are consistently mocked by Wade but come into play multiple times. Brolin’s Cable is a seriously badass character that certainly needs more screen time moving forward. And yes, Wade’s Thanos joke really hit home after Avengers: Infinity War just dropped a few weeks ago.
The slew of pop culture references are consistent along the way, with nods to other X-Men films, MCU films and even DC films. These references are consistent with both the first film and with the comics, as Wade is aware that he’s a comic book character and of real-life pop culture, though those around him have no idea what he’s talking about, making scenes even funnier for viewers.
There’s not much to dislike with Deadpool 2, and if you came into this film expecting something different from what you thought you were getting, you bought a ticket for the wrong film. Sure, most of the X-Force team was killed off almost instantly, but the post-credit scene showing Negasonic and Yukio repairing Cable’s time travel device. Wade is able to use it to travel back and “course correct” the timeline, but we’ll talk about that soon.
There are only a few small gripes here, chiefly with some of the CGI. Colossus doesn’t look all that great and though Juggernaut is a badass character, he looks very animated and a bit out-of-place. With the consistently funny moments, it may be hard to hear all of the jokes over the rest of the audience’s laughter, so this is one that you’ll have to purchase on Blu-Ray once it gets released to pick up on things you may have missed.
Deadpool 2 is chock-full of Easter Eggs if you know what to look for:
- The Essex name is in reference to Nathniel Essex, better known as Mr. Sinister. Though Sinister himself doesn’t appear in the film, this is the second time his name is mentioned, as we previously had him mentioned at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse. Since Russell is trying to kill the head of the Essex home and his path leads to the destruction of most of the planet in Cable’s future, it’s unclear if the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past tie into this at all or if it’s a new timeline.
- The X-Force team consisting of Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Vanisher (yes, it’s Brad Pitt), Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard) are all comic characters that have been members of the X-Force team in the comics. Shatterstar also mentions that he’s from the planet Mojoworld. Though most of these characters are killed off, Wade does time travel, seemingly saving these characters from death. It’s still up in the air if they did get brought back and will eventually come back for a standalone X-Force film.
- Negasonic is shown with a girlfriend named Yukio, though she only appears sporadically throughout the film and once in a combat sequence. It’s still a mystery if she’s the same Yukio shown in The Wolverine, although played by a different actress.
- Cable’s daughter, Hope Summers, is shown in the film. In the comics, Hope is the first mutant born after the House of M storyline where mutants have all but disappeared from the world. Cable makes a passing remark to Deadpool saying that in 50 years he’ll be dead along with the rest of mutantkind.
- Throughout the film, jokes are made as to why the other X-Men aren’t around just like in the first film. However, a few of them are quickly shown as Professor X (James McAvoy) Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) are off in another room of the X Mansion.
- Hugh Jackman makes an appearance in a post-credit scene, as Wade uses Cable’s time travel device to “correct the timeline”, which is a reference to FOX’s confusing timelines throughout the X-Men franchise. Wade winds up killing the X-Men Origins version of himself in front of Jackman’s Wolverine before killing real-life Ryan Reynolds, whom is shown finishing the script for 2011’s Green Lantern.
Deadpool 2 delivered every expectation that I had for the film. Never taking itself too seriously while at the same time still delivering a cohesive story and plot is one of the film’s greatest strengths. The additions of new characters bolstered the roster of available mutants in this R-Rated X-Men world and hearing Colossus say the F-word was hilarious. Though Ryan Reynolds is unsure about a Deadpool 3 and with the impending sale of FOX, it remains to be seen what will happen to this franchise moving forward. If it does wind up in the hands of Disney, let’s all hope they let Deadpool be Deadpool. I’m sure I missed plenty of other Easter Eggs after this first viewing, so if I missed any feel free to post them in the comments section along with your thoughts on the film.