Maximum Effort Strikes Back
Chris Kavan - wrote on 05/23/18
Sequels so often fall short of expectations, I can probably count on both hands how many are worthy. Deadpool 2 is going to join that list. As violent, crude, hilarious and fourth-wall breaking fun as the original but with the added benefit of some kick-ass new characters including Josh Brolin's time-hopping mercenary Cable, Zazie Beetz luck-based Domino and Julian Dennison as the overlooked and angst-filled Firefist - throw in some fantastic cameos, one-liners and just enough heart to hold it all together and Deadpool 2 is a sequel worthy of your time.
Deadpool 2 doesn't take any time in throwing in references, with a nod toward Logan right at the start letting you know the wink-wink jokes about those other superheroes (from X-men to Avengers to even the DC universe) are going to come fast and will be both brutal and hilarious. After Deadpool unceremoniously blows himself up, we take a bit of time to catch up with our "hero" who has spent a lot of time taking down the worst of the worst in a montage of katana-wielding fury, bullet-flying baddassery and explosion-laden excellence. But just as his life with girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) is about to reach the next level, it all falls apart.
At the lowest point in his life, his old pal Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) comes along to help make him an X-Men trainee, despite his violent nature and overall reluctance. Along with Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and her new girlfriend Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna). The three find themselves at an orphanage for wayward mutants. An overweight and rightfully pissed-off Firefist (Julian Dennison) is in a standoff with the police and headmaster (Eddie Marsan). Just when it seems things are going to calm down, Deadpool realizes the true nature of this orphanage and a violent outburst gets both him and Firefist sent to the Icebox, along with some power-suppressing collars. This, of course, means our hero is now once again laden with cancer and can do next to nothing. But this pales in comparison when our time-hopping mercenary Cable (Josh Brolin) shows up, Deadpool thinks he's the target but, no, it is Firefist he is after. Having a soft spot for the kid, he saves him - but also leaves him behind. As the Icebox gets packed up and ready to move to a new, secure location, Firefist makes a new friend with literally the biggest, baddest prisoner while Deadpool, with the help of his pal Weasel (TJ Miller) puts together his own crack team to rescue him.
The X-Force includes Domino (Zazie Beetz) a luck-based mutant, Bedlam (Terry Crews) who can control electricity, Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård) an acid-spewing mutant, Vanisher (cameo spoiler alert) who is invisible, Shatterstar (Lewis Tan) an alien with a superiority complex and, uh, Peter (Rob Delaney) some guy who saw the ad and is accepted for Deadpool reasons. Those hoping for an X-Force spinoff in the future... well, I'll just say don't hold your breath on that one. Despite a few setbacks, the mission is somewhat a success, but Cable shows up while Firefist and his new friend make a break for the orphanage where some real justice is about to be served. Cable informs the crew that this is where the angry teen gets his first taste of killing - one that extends to the future, including Cable's family. He gives Deadpool one shot to change his path.
The story is actually really good - Dennison, Beetz and Reynolds have a great rapport with each other, and Brolin is the steely-eyed badass. While the characters standout, its the rapid-fire delivery, including a ton of gags (both spoken and site) that makes this standout. That fourth-wall-breaking fun is back, from throwouts to the Batman v Superman "Martha" moment, to Black Widow's calming Hulk line in the Avengers - you don't have to be a comic movie geek to enjoy it, but it helps. The films does also not shy away from the vulgarity and violence of the original, either, and that R-rating is still well deserved. Can is be juvenile? Oh, yes, but that's half the fun.
I find it odd that original director Tim Miller left over concerns the higher budget would mean the film would lose what made the original film standout. Far from that, David Leitch has taken everything good about the original and just goosed it. The music choices, the character beats, the slo-mo - it's all back and better than ever. Even the credits (pre and post) are just as fun. Speaking of that - while there is not true end-credit scene, stick around for the mid-credit madcap where Deadpool fixes a few issues. I can't say much more about how fun this is except to quote Deadpool himself: Maximum Effort!