A little over two years after Deadpool got the live-action treatment it deserved, Ryan Reynolds returns for the sequel. While Deadpool 2 remains hilarious and a unique piece among a sea of superhero movies, something’s missing. It might just be the element of surprise from the first installment.
Infamously, Reynolds had already played the Merc with a Mouth before, on the universally loathed X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But that was completely erased from sight once the first Deadpool movie hit theaters, except for a few jokes. That’s why the new iteration, though also starring Reynolds, was such a complete surprise to audiences.
The marketing campaign for the first Deadpool movie was huge. The character appeared on a multitude of short films, mocking the superhero genre. In the comics, Deadpool is aware of the fact that he’s a character, and this was translated to the screen. He’d make fun of his first appearance, of Reynolds’ ill-fated Green Lantern, of every other superhero out there.
It was fresh and exciting. No movie since Iron Man had subverted superhero tropes like this one, and Deadpool still pushed it much further. It was also a true joy to watch the film come to fruition after a decade in development hell. Plus, it was clear that it was the role of a lifetime for Reynolds, who was born to play Deadpool.
In all, the first Deadpool film took the world by surprise. While we know it’d be an R-Rated superhero comedy, we were not ready for that jelly.
But, of course, we were ready for the sequel.
Deadpool 2 stands tall in the shoulders of its predecessor, with nothing to be ashamed of. It’s still hilarious, with the right amount of Fourth Wall-breaking, though perhaps some misplaced drama. The film definitely goes to a darker place than the first Deadpool, which sometimes can feel out of place. Once again, Wade’s relationship with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) is what moves the plot forward. But this time, it feels a little less smooth, a little more dramatic in one than you’d expect.
Reynolds, who shares a writing credit in this film, continues to shine as the Merc with a Mouth. Other returning cast members include Baccarin, Leslie Uggams, T.J. Miller, and Brianna Hildebrand and Stefan Kapicic as mutants. But it’s the new actors that give the film its edge.
Josh Brolin, who plays the villain in Avengers: Infinity War (a fact Deadpool loves to point out), is also great. The funny guy versus straight man dynamic between them is priceless, and seemingly real, judging by joint interviews. Atlanta actress Zazie Beetz brings new life into the movie, as lucky Domino. Side characters include the ever-hilarious Terry Crews, Rob Delaney and It star Bill Skarsgard. Not to mention a few hilarious and on-point cameos I will not spoil.
Is Deadpool 2 as incredible as its predecessor? It’s not, and I think that’s an unfair approach: it couldn’t possibly have the same cultural impact. It’s still a fine superhero movie and a great R-Rated comedy, albeit a bit more dramatic than expected. And be sure to stay for the hilarious mid and post-credit scenes!