Funny, kid-unfriendly hero returns for more in Deadpool 2. Note: DO NOT TAKE YOUR YOUNG CHILDREN TO THIS FILM.
Like Liam Nissan in Taken, Deadpool possesses a very particular set of skills. Unlike Liam Nissan, however, Deadpool’s skills have less to do with tracking down kidnappers than they do with punching, shooting, stabbing, killing bad guys, cracking wise, breaking the fourth wall, getting beaten up and/or dismembered, and swearing. A lot. That said, Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, aka the most potty-mouthed superhero in existence, returns for seconds in Deadpool 2, showing, with great effect, that if a formula’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it. Deadpool 2 does less to break the formula than blow it — and it’s main character — to smithereens. No worries, though. He gets better.
Deadpool 2 brings back Ryan Reynolds as the “merc with a mouth,” beginning with a tragedy even before the film’s opening credits, which themselves are designed with a distinctly 007-style presentation (complete with a song by Celine Dion). Even when Deadpool’s trying to do himself in, he still retains much of his irreverent, if dark, sense of humor. This time around, the plot involves an angry 14-year-old mutant named Russell (played by Julian Dennison), a fire-wielding mutant whose powers are growing out of control. Deadpool’s preference to the problem would be to simply eliminate him, but he’s currently an “X-Man” trainee under the mentorship of the well-meaning metal-skinned Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), and the X-Men have rules against killing people. When Wade learns Russell has been abused by the staff at the home for young mutants (not Xavier’s Mansion) where he lives, he violates X-Men protocol and starts killing some of the staff. Also, against X-Men protocol. This leads to Russell and Deadpool being put into a kind of prison for mutants, wearing power-dampening collars.
Meanwhile, in another part of the movie, Cable (Josh Brolin), a soldier from the future appears in the present Terminator-style with a mission to kill Russell for something he may or may not do in the future. To try and stop him, Deadpool assembles a team of his own, X-Force, the majority of whom are featured for comedic purposes, but one standout is Domino (Zazie Beetz), a fighter whose power is being lucky — a power which Deadpool doesn’t believe is a real thing, and which is played to great effect.
Also returning in Deadpool 2 (although in limited roles) are Wade’s blind roommate, Al (Leslie Uggams), his weasley bartender friend, Weasel (T.J. Miller), and his taxi driver/assistant, Dopinder (Karan Soni). Given how closely Ryan Reynold’s public persona is to that of Deadpool himself, this movie, like the last, delights in blurring the lines between fiction and reality, taking shots at Marvel and DC movies, and everything in-between. The self-referential jokes come often and fast, like bullets from Deadpool’s guns, sometimes so much so that the movie comes close to toppling under the weight of its own meta-gags.
The action scenes are impressive, as are the fights, stand-offs, and other set pieces, always punctuated by Deadpool’s sarcastic commentary and the franchise’s over-the-top (if not cartoonish) violence. The slowest moments in the film, injected for the sake of character motivation, are those between Deadpool and his girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), although these allow the audience time to catch its breath from laughing at everything else. For all the adult content and violence, Deadpool 2 is indeed very, very funny.
Ultimately, Deadpool 2 works at its best when it walks the line between being a straight-up superhero movie, and a parody of one: goofy, chaotic, action-packed, and always with a sly wink to the audience not to take everything too seriously. Deadpool 2 is rated R for abundant harsh profanity, a lot of vulgar dialogue, graphic violence, and gratuitous use of dubstep.