Movie Beat: Ryan Reynolds kills it with absolutely fantastic “Deadpool 2”
By Jenniffer Wardell
Rated R for severe violence, sex and profanity
Written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds, based on the Marvel comics by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza
Directed by David Leitch
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Julian Dennison and more
Grade: Four stars
If you liked “Deadpool,” then you’re going to love the sequel.
“Deadpool 2,” which could easily feature the tagline “They actually gave us a budget this time,” is bigger, deeper, more emotional and still just as funny as the original. Both absolutely madcap and somehow more faithful to comics canon that several of the more “serious” comic-based movies out there, it’s one of those rare sequels that manages to be better than its already fantastic original. Clearly, Ryan Reynolds is just an alternate-universe version of Wade Wilson himself, and if Hollywood ever tries to take the character out of his hands again then audiences need to riot.
I can’t tell you much about the plot – it would be wrong to deprive you the pleasure of watching it unfold for the first time – but it’s both a natural extension of the first movie and a hundred times wilder and crazier. There’s several nods to various storylines from the Deadpool comics, not detailed enough to alienate non-comic fans or slavishly devoted enough to twist the movie around to fit (I’m looking at you, “Civil War.”)
The movie is absolutely hilarious, full of everything from whip-smart comedic asides to long set pieces where you can’t quite believe you’re laughing but can’t make yourself stop. There are a few beautiful digs at the comic book industry, more at other comic book movies, and a gloriously hilarious wish-fulfillment sequence that I have no doubt that Reynolds fantasized about for years before he got to make it happen. With “Deadpool 2,” it’s even more important than usual to stay through the credits – it’s got some of the best scenes in an already great movie.
Surprisingly, there’s also quite a bit of depth and angst to the movie. Reynolds makes it even more clear here than in the first movie that Wade Wilson is far more than a joke machine, digging deep on more than one occasion to deliver some absolutely gut-wrenching moments. Deadpool will definitely make you laugh, but this time there’s a pretty good chance he’ll also break your heart a little bit.
No matter what direction the movie takes, however, this is definitely one of those times where the R rating should be taken very seriously. If anything, “Deadpool 2” is even more lewd than the original, with frank discussions about sexuality and jokes that make full use of pretty much every portion of the anatomy. There’s also a ton of blood and violence, both played seriously and for comedic value, and while the movie never dwells on the gore there’s a lot of it to go around.
Josh Brolin has a slightly different take on Cable than comic fans might expect, but it fit well and had a surprising amount of depth. Zazie Beetz was great as Domino, easily the coolest character in the whole movie. “Deadpool 2” even managed to take full advantage of her powers, which is something even most of the comic books she’s been in haven’t been able to do.
Hopefully, “Deadpool 2” will make a ton of money and Hollywood will let Reynolds make a dozen more Deadpool movies. I’ll watch every single one of them.
(Photo ©20th Century Fox)