DEADPOOL 2 review by Mark Walters – Ryan Reynolds forms X-Force & meets Josh Brolin’s Cable

DEADPOOL 2 review by Mark Walters – Ryan Reynolds forms X-Force & meets Josh Brolin’s Cable

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As a comic book fan, I never honestly thought we’d see Deadpool work as a movie. The character created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza is just so crazy that I’m sure the producers were scared to death even giving it a try. After a failed attempt to introduce him in the lackluster X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE film, it looked like 20th Century Fox may have dropped the ball in a big way. Then Ryan Reynolds, who at that point had two failed superhero attempts (if you count Deadpool in that production, and then GREEN LANTERN), did something rather brilliant. He helped put together a short test film that showed what Deadpool could be as a movie. Fox decided to give it another shot, and it worked big time. In 2016, DEADPOOL became a box office hit, making a sequel inevitable. This weekend we get DEADPOOL 2, which amps up the most fun aspects of the first movie, and in some ways actually manages to become an even better movie… maybe.

The indestructible Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) has become a regular superhero, fighting criminals across the globe while his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) waits patiently for him at home. She also hopes for the potential of making their home life into that of a family by having a kid. But when some of Wade’s enemies show up looking to get revenge, Vanessa ends up catching the worst of it, and now Wade is rather suddenly widowed… don’t yell “SPOILERS!!” at me, this happens within the first few minutes. At first Wade looks for comfort in the arms of his X-Men buddies Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), and then in his reluctant friend Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), but is eventually distracted by a flame-handed mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison), who has nicknamed himself “Firefist.” Russell busts out of his orphanage in anger, and looks to be a definite threat to society. He and Deadpool end up being captured and imprisoned together, but their worries are just beginning as a time-traveling mutant from the future named Cable (Josh Brolin) is coming to kill Russell for something he won’t do until decades later, and this guy won’t let anyone get in his way. In the carnage that follows, Russell escapes, and Wade realizes he must get him back before Cable succeeds with his mission. After talking to his bartender buddy Weasel (T.J. Miller), Wade decides he must form his own X-Men-esque super team, which he dubs “X-Force”, which is made up of mutants with odd powers, and even a guy with none at all. Now he must find his young and dangerous friend before the angry guy from the future finds him first.

In several ways DEADPOOL 2 is a whole lot funnier than the first movie, sometimes relentlessly so. The jokes fly left and right, and you’ll likely miss half of them from laughing so hard. But despite the intense comedy, the film actually has a surprising amount of heart and emotion in it, and an underlying message of the importance of friends and family. Considering how raunchy and off-the-wall the subject matter is and what audiences will go in expecting, it’s refreshing and even a bit shocking when those warm moments occur. It’s almost as if the filmmakers thought after the first movie succeeded in being ridiculous and crazy in its presentation, that now was the time to not just do more of that but actually inject a little something more… and it works.

Ryan Reynolds is so comfortable in playing the title role, it’s at the point where it almost feels like he’s become Deadpool and transcended beyond just playing a character. But considering his real life personality and acting style, this really is the most perfect part for him to play. It’s a little sad to see Morena Baccarin take a lesser role this time, but her character’s fate serves a purpose and drives the story here, and thankfully she appears throughout the film thanks to Wade having some dream-like visions of her in the afterlife, so she’s in more than just the beginning sequence at least. The big add in this outing is Josh Brolin as Cable, a very popular character from the Marvel comic books. He’s basically playing the straight man to Reynolds clown, and it’s a competent though somewhat ordinary performance. I’m not sure what I expected Cable to be in the film, but it’s just a typical Terminator-like tough guy who keeps butting heads with our heroes, although there are a few unexpected surprises with him in the final act that almost redeem the character’s shortcomings. Zazie Beetz plays Domino, a badass tough girl who ends up working with Deadpool, and uses her “power” of being lucky to survive unbelievable peril. Beetz has fun in the role, and is one of the better characters in the film, but she’s received some fan animosity because she looks quite different from her comic book counterpart… which is silly, as she’s great. Julian Dennison is okay as the tortured Russell, and an inspired choice, but probably needed a few more moments to really shine. There’s great comedy bits with Stefan Kapicic as Colossus this time, and Karan Soni gets to do a lot more in this outing, but sadly we don’t get nearly enough screen time with the X-Force members played by Terry Crews, Lewis Tan, Bill SkarsgĂ„rd and Rob Delaney, though once you see the movie you’ll understand why. I also hoped that Brianna Hildebrand would have more to do here, but her involvement is very limited. There is a very surprising blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo moment that is sure to have comic fans howling, and a few other cameos that help elevate this production into epic status.

David Leitch (JOHN WICK) serves as director on this one, and does a great job orchestrating the incredible action sequences, while managing to keep things consistently funny. Leitch has a background in stunt work, and his extensive experience really adds to the intensity in almost every fight scene. The screenplay by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds is relentless in its humor, and really feels like an evolution for the character. The self-referential jokes are turned up twice as much as they were in the first film, and it’s done in such a way to where we the audience feels like we’re in on it and not just watching it. Even the score by Tyler Bates is exceptional and daring, especially with a particular choral track filled with expletives. DEADPOOL 2 may not be a better movie than the first DEADPOOL, but it’s absolutely more entertaining, and overall a more effective cinematic experience. And one thing it does significantly better is give us what might be the best end credits stinger I’ve ever seen… it’s that funny, so don’t leave early and miss it.

DEADPOOL 2 is scheduled to be released May 18, 2018

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About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. From 2002 until 2015 he managed the Dallas Comic Con, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days events in the DFW area. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Show conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.