Film Review for Deadpool 2 (2018) by Eric Maier
Official plot summary for Deadpool 2 (before the release):
“After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.” Forbes Magazine Feb. 10, 2018
This might be the official version; the reality is a tiny bit different…
Once again Ryan Reynolds slips into the role of the big mouthed antihero “Deadpool”, the “mercenary with a heart of gold” and no respect for anything, especially dangerous situations. Along with his sidekick “Weasel” (T.J. Miller), the two X-Men; “Colossus”( Stefan Kapičić) and “Negasonic Teenage Warhead” (Brianna Hildebrand), the Cyborg “Cable” (Josh Brolin) and “Domino”(Zazie Beets), the girl with an inexhaustible supply of luck, Deadpool artistically kills his way through a maximum security prison and downtown New York with the cynical and sarcastic wit of an immortal man facing mercenaries and abusive authorities, always mocking everything and everyone.
The movie so far has grossed 734 million dollars worldwide, making it the 6th highest grossing film of 2018, right after Mission Impossible-Fallout. The director David Leitch, known also for John Wick, an action thriller starring Keanu Reaves that provides lots of similarities to Deadpool in terms of stunts and choreography, has definitely put all his experience, his distinguished style and preference for fighting scenes into this movie.
The second film follows on front its prequel. Wade Wilson alias Deadpool lives his daily life, going about a job which involves killing off the Yakuza, gun traders and basically every bad guy he can find for money. On their anniversary, he and his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), known from science fiction series like “Stargate” or “Firefly”, decide to start a family. Shortly after this decision, Vanessa is killed by an arms trader who tracked Wade down. After Vanessa dies, Wade instantly avenges her by killing the responsible shooter. Deadpool falls into a depression; he decides to end his life – but fails. What follows is a vision of his beloved Vanessa, who encourages him to continue his journey.
Wade is taken in by Colossus and becomes a “trainee X-Man”, as some form of therapy for his inner conflicts. The standoff between a young rampaging mutant who calls himself “Firefist” (Julian Dennison) and the authorities of the orphanage where the boy was kept drags in the police and the X-Men. Deadpool being who he is mocks the boy for his silly name, finds out, that he was abused by the orphanage staff and solves the situation by killing one of them. Colossus stops him from killing anyone else, but he and Firefist alias Russell Collins, are sent to the Icebox (a maximum security prison for mutants), where Russell tries to bond with Wade. Cable travels back in time and attacks the Icebox. He tries to murder Russell, to stop the “future Russel” from killing his family. Deadpool confronts Cable, there is a fight between them and a standoff entails. Deadpool tries to understand Cable´s motives for killing the child. Russell observes the scene and sees how Deadpool denies him and their relationship. Wade pulls the pin of a grenade from Cable´s chest and both are ejected from the prison, rolling down a snowy slope and falling into an icy lake. Wade experiences another vision of Vanessa, who suggests he should help Russell.
In an attempt to save Russell, Wade rallies a team of “specialists”, the “X-Force”. This newly founded unit consists of well-known heroes of the Marvel Universe such as the “Vanisher” (Brad Pitt), “Bedlam” (Terry Crews), “Shatterstar” (Lewis Tan) and “Zeitgeist” (Bill Skarsgard). Oh, yes there is also “Peter” (Rob Dela) who has no superpower; he “just saw the ad”. and came along.
Despite the weather forecast that predicted a storm, Wade and his team parachute into New York to advance upon the convoy which is transporting Russell to a new facility after the Icebox has been destroyed. The storm forces the parachutes into deadly obstacles like the rotor of a helicopter or the blades of a gardening shredder. Basically the whole X-Force is killed off in one minute. This is also the only time that the Vanisher is visible when he flies into a power pole, gets an electric shock and the audience sees that he is played by Brad Pitt. The whole X-Force dies, except Domino, whose superpower is “being lucky”.
After the convoy is stopped, Wade has to fight Cable again. “Juggernaut” (David Leitch) is released and he and Russell escape and make their way to the orphanage to take their revenge. In the meantime Wade and Cable align and collect Domino, Colossus and Negasonic to save Russell from becoming a killer and to overwhelm Juggernaut.
At the orphanage they are overpowered by Juggernaut while Russell attacks the headmaster, until Colossus arrives to distract Juggernaut. As Deadpool fails to talk Russell out of his rampage, Cable shoots at the young mutant. Deadpool catches the bullet while wearing the Ice Box collar (which neutralizes his powers) and dies, to be reunited with Vanessa in the afterlife.
When Russell sees this sacrifice, he decides against further killing. Cable uses the last charge on his time-travelling device, which he actually needed to return to his family, to go back several minutes and save Wade. Afterwards, the headmaster is run over by Wilson’s taxi-driver friend Dopinder (Karan Soni).
The closing sequence shows Negasonic repairing Cable´s time travelling device and Deadpool travelling back in time to save Vanessa, kill the first flopped attempt of Deadpool and kill Ryan Reynolds who is reading the “Green Lantern” script.
Deadpool 2 is a straightforward superhero action movie, with tons of great combat scenes, created by the experienced action director David Leitch. Deadpools big mouth and his loose interpretation of rules are the features that shape the movie and make it special in comparison to other Marvel Productions like the Avengers or the X-Men series. Ryan Reynolds once said in an interview that he read Deadpool comics as a child and got them out again, when he heard that he had the role. Well I can say that Reynolds reading paid off, he seems to actually be the character, not just an actor playing it.
In contrast to the prequel, this film shows Deadpool as a character who wants to team up with other mutants, he forms the X-Force and does something which he never did in the first movie, where he is displayed as more of a loner. The idea behind the introduction of the X-Force might have been the introduction of a new franchise, which is totally understandable as a way of increasing the movie´s profit. However the surprising, absolutely hilarious and strange thing about the introduction of the X-Force in this movie was that 90 per cent of them were killed in the very next scene. Nobody would have expected that and this is why it was such an original idea on the part of the writers.
Co-Star Josh Brolin (Cable) has already proved himself to be a great and charismatic actor in films like “No Country for old Men”, “Sicario” and “No Way Out” and proves himself again in Deadpool 2. Even though Brad Pitt was originally meant to play the role of Cable, Josh Brolin gives no reason to regret the change.
The most fascinating character to me is Domino, the heroine, whose superpower is “to be lucky”. She seems to just walk through to whole plot, virtually invulnerable. She is the most interesting character because the audience learns very few details about her past. We learn that she was an orphan and that she goes wherever she “feels” is right, but what did she do before? How did she become who she is? Domino is intriguing because we lack the knowledge necessary to properly understand her. Hopefully there will be another sequel or even a spin-off.
The movie is riddled with cinematic self-reflection from minute one onwards. Deadpool comments on the whole superhero movie genre, including stupid Superhero pseudonyms like Firefist or Negasonic Teenage Warhead, he comments on the movie itself, the financial aspects of the film, the discrimination of overweight people who want to become superheroes and he also mocks the actors and other figures not actually in the movie, like Wolverine ( Hugh Jackman). A new thing about the cinematic reflection in Deadpool 2 is that even the advertisement mocks the movie and embodies the spirit of Deadpool, as exemplified by the “official plot summary” in the Forbes Magazine before the release, at the beginning of this review.
Deadpool 2 is a classic sequel, the method of “more”, “better” and “faster” is well-known and is nothing new, but Deadpool 2 is as good as its prequel and has no reason to hide. The jokes are very clever, even though background knowledge is needed to enjoy them properly. The combat scenes are spot on and the CGI looks very high-class and offers exciting possibilities for fight scenes. The great CGI and top-class cast are only what you´d expect though, considering the budget of 110 million USD, which is nearly double the amount spent on the prequel.
To end with a small sequence:
“Deadpool and his companions enter the yard of the orphanage, they make ready for battle, checking their equipment, and Cable gently touches Deadpool´s chest to hide a piece of lead under his suit. Deadpool says: “Oh, somebody swiped me to the right.“
This clearly being a reference to Tinder, Cable would probably swipe Deadpool to the left, but this film deserves a swipe to the right, because it is a must-watch for Marvel fans and friends of witty jokes and straightforward action. I highly recommend Deadpool 2.