Lightning strikes twice
Deadpool 2 is more of the same, and that is a very good thing. The higher budget is obvious; those who liked the first movie will love it, but the film offers nothing new to those who didn’t. Unlike the myriad other Marvel movies twisting and contorting themselves into mediocrity to fit a general audience across the age spectrum (I’m looking at you Black Panther), Deadpool 2 stands out. It is a refreshing reminder of what an R-rated X-Men made for the more involved comic book fan can look like.
Unfortunately the particular cinema I was in, on opening night, also featured the cringiest part of any marvel movie; the crowd participation:
The film starts off high-energy, with a montage of Deadpool slicing gangster’s limbs off in a high-rise to Dolly Parton’s Nine to Five. It sustains this all the way through, never idling in one scene for long. By the end of the first 15 minutes, the story is in a very different place, figuratively and literally, than where it began.
The most notable difference from the first film is the shared focus on characters other than Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool himself. With Reynolds being such a charismatic leading man who portrays his character so expertly, you would expect this to be a weakness. But the new additions — Josh Brolin as Cable and Zazie Beetz as Domino — are perfect juxtapositions to Deadpool’s dynamic. Domino’s fluid and effortless success in everything she tries is hilarious against Deadpool’s endlessly tragic and boulder-up-the-hill struggle, and Cable’s deadpan seriousness is the perfect plaything for the writers against the jester quality of the star. While having the shit pummelled out of him by Cable, Deadpool gasps “You’re so dark…. Are you sure you’re not from the DC Universe?”.
I adore the script. There is no wooden dialogue. Reynolds delivers the lines like he wrote them himself. His driver, Dopinder (who you’ll remember from the first movie) asks “Mission accomplished?” and he offers “In a George W sort of way.” The movie relishes in playing with current events and making on-the-nose cultural references; Tinder, Grindr, Cultural Appropriation, Jared Kushner, the list goes on. It takes every liberty that regular superhero movies just can’t and makes the absolute most of them.
It leverages its R-rating for gags with a shock factor that brings about a rare and brilliant slapstick black comedy. During the hysterical plane jump scene, I was laughing for a good few minutes straight as the jokes, in both physical gags and spoken lines, pile up relentlessly.
Right at the saturation point of superhero movies, Deadpool 2 proves the genre still has more to give. It’s not that the film is groundbreaking, but it is a film where the cast and crew’s passion in making the film oozes off the screen to the benefit of the audience. It’s also unpredictable right through, which is refreshing against the predictable rhythm of the overpopulated core Marvel series like January’s Black Panther. The film’s bombastic personality perfectly accentuates what Deadpool as a character has always been about. In this way, Deadpool and its sequel are among the most pure and authentic adaptations from comic page to screen there have ever been. I have virtually nothing bad I can say about the film, so I’m giving Deadpool 2 a perfect score.