Movie Review: “Deadpool 2”
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is trying to find his place as a superhero while balancing his romantic life with Vanessa (Moreno Baccarin). In joining the X-Men as a trainee, Wade tries to subdue a young powerful mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison), who is causing chaos at his school. Wade is trying to be a better hero. One who does not kill and who his girlfriend would be proud of. He needs to save this boy before someone gets hurt, but he soon learns that he is not the only one with targets set on the boy. There is also a time-traveling mutant trying to kill Russell.
Cable (Josh Brolin) comes from the future, where Russell has become a mass murdering evil mutant. He is on a mission to find and kill the boy in 2018, before he gets the chance to hurt someone. Cable believes the boy is beyond help, while Deadpool believes the boy can be saved and set on a better path if they can stop him from making his first kill (his abusive teacher). Is Deadpool right to have faith in saving the boy despite the warnings of a time-traveling mutant from the future? The only way to find out is to get to Russell before Cable does.
The Pros & Cons
Domino & X-Force (+6pts)
ICE Collars (-2pts)
Cable & Russell (+6pts)
The Time Travel Paradox (-4pts)
Pro: Deadpool (+8pts)
The Merc with the Mouth is back! If you liked the extreme violence and unique comedic style from Deadpool in the first movie, then you will be a fan of this movie as well. This movie does not “raise the bar” when it comes to this character, but it definitely delivers more of what we loved from the first movie. The action was bloody, and gruesome but it is the comedy (from the first movie) that will have audiences coming back for more.
Fortunately the comedy is on par with what audiences expect after seeing the first movie. This character is profane, witty, and never takes anything too seriously. The jokes come fast and do not let up until the credits start rolling. I would like to give examples but will refrain to avoid spoilers. What I can say is that (when compared to Deadpool) this movie was more of the same in the best way possible. The action was awesome and the comedy had me laughing from beginning to end.
Con: Vanessa (-4pts)
There was a lot about this sequel that I liked a lot, but I felt that the filmmakers struggled with what to do with Vanessa. In the first film, Morena Baccarin’s character was kidnapped and was the focal point of the movie. In the sequel, the filmmakers were kind of stuck. If they just had her kidnapped again, the plot would feel redundant. However, there is nothing ”super“ about the character so it is not like she can help.
The filmmakers did not have a place for her in this movie, and the filmmakers could not just break them up (because then the first movie would have felt like it was for nothing). The direction that the filmakers went in worked well in the beginning of the movie, but they kept coming back to this character. The character did not need to be in this movie after the beginning, but the story comes back to her repeatedly. This does nothing but interrupt the pacing of the film. Every one of her scenes feels like unnecessary filler, and audiences will just be wishing that the story would move on. Vanessa was a necessary character in the first movie, but the filmmakers dropped the ball with her in the sequel.
Pro: Domino & X-Force (+6pts)
When I saw the big X-Force presence in the trailers, I will not lie, I was concerned. I feared that, by introducing too many characters, the filmmakers would take focus away from Deadpool and the sequel would lose some of what made the first movie so great. I will not give away why, but i will say that you do not need to worry if you shared my concerns. The X-Force were a lot of fun and they did not distract from Deadpool at all.
The X-Force recruitment process was pretty entertaining and the sky-diving scene was an absolute comedic blast, but Domino was definitely the standout of this group. The concept of luck being a superpower was one that the filmmakers play with throughout the movie. This provided for some unique comedy and awesome action sequences. Nothing bad can happen to this character and she knows it. She is lucky, confident, and a badass who has fun chemistry with Deadpool. We see a lot of this character, and it was all awesome, so I am definitely looking forward to seeing more of her in the future.
Con: Mutant Collars (-2pts)
The mutant collars were a blatant plot device if I have ever seen one. Deadpool has mutant healing, which means he can survive virtually anything that happens to him. He is also fully aware that he cannot be killed. So how does a movie raise the stakes when it’s main character does not fear death? How does a movie make its protagonist appear vulnerable when they are seemingly immortal? The mutant collars were this movie’s answers to both of those questions.
These collars were a restraint device used to nullify the mutant abilities of the mutants who wear them. In the case of Deadpool, his healing factor is gone. This felt like lazy writing. Whenever the writers wanted Deadpool to seem vulnerable, the collar ends up around his neck. As soon as Deadpool having his powers was more convenient to the writers, they write the collars off. I like the concept of these collars, but they were only introduced in this movie which felt too convenient for the story and they seemed to only pop-up when it was easier for the writers for Deadpool not to have his powers. This just made it feel like a lazy plot device.
Pro: Cable & Russell (+6pts)
Have you ever thought about the concept of nature versus nurture? Have you ever thought about what you would do if you could go back in time to when Hitler was a child? That is essentially the plot of this movie. Cable is a time-traveling mutant from the future. In the future, Russell is a mass murdering mutant, so Cable goes back in time to when Russell was a child (which just so happens to be present day).
Cable is a no-nonsense, time-traveling, mutant soldier who aims to kill Russell in present day. Deadpool believes Russell‘s future is not set in stone and that he can be raised better than in Cable’s timeline. Cable believes in nature, while Deadpool believes in nurture. This gave the movie a unique dynamic. The two characters are essentially racing to Russell. Both are trying to save lives and are desperate to stop each other as they each strongly believe that the other is wrong. To both characters, letting the other succeed will result in the loss of innocent lives. The whole thing is so interesting because (while most will agree with Deadpool) audiences will completely understand Cable.
Con: The Time Travel Paradox (-4pts)
Time travel can be a messy concept for a movie to take on, because of the time travel paradox. If an event occurs that causes a character to go back in time to prevent, does that event still occur? If the character was successful in stopping said event, nothing would have made him go back in-time to stop the event so would it happen anyway? The problem with a plot that centers around time travel is that the writers need to be addressing all of these questions, but more often than not, lazy writers make up their own (extremely convenient) time traveling rules to avoid addressing the paradox.
Rather than fleshing out the story and addressing the time traveling paradox, this film resorted to lazy writing. Why can’t Cable go back in time as many times as he wants? The answer is lazy writing (just because Deadpool comments on it, doesn’t mean it is no longer a valid point). How do they know if they had any impact on the future? More lazy writing. It seemed that time travel was necessary to introduce Cable, but the writers used it as one big plot device that was used whenever they needed one and they ignored the whole concept when it was convenient for them to do so. The writers clearly did not have as much time to work on the sequel as they did with the original, and how poorly they handled the concept of time travel was evident of that.
Grade: B+ (85pts)
Deadpool 2 had a lot to live up to. It came out just weeks after Avengers: Infinity War and had high expectations after the high praise of the first movie in 2016. The bar was set high but fortunately, the sequel delivered the film that audiences expected. It would be inaccurate for me to say this movie was better or worse than the first, but Deadpool 2 was definitely on-par with its predecessor. If you liked the comedy and violent action of the first movie, then you will enjoy yourself in this one. Deadpool 2 has the same comedic style and graphic violence that we loved two years ago, but this movie takes it up a notch by introducing new mutants.
Domino was a cool, badass, female character that I definitely want to see more of. Then the introduction of Cable and Russell gave a storyline that is equivalent to going back in time to kill a child, mutant Hitler. It was a unique story and the dynamic between Deadpool and Cable was fun to finally see see on-screen. We have the incredibly efficient time-traveling mutant soldier who can (and will) kill anyone in his way, but we also have the loose cannon who does not take anything seriously and literally cannot he killed. The movie suffers from some lazy writing (with respect to how the writers used time travel and the mutant collars), but most audiences will look past these relatively minor issues. At the end of the day, this movie has its plot issues but is a fun, action packed, comedy featuring our favorite Rated-R superhero and is worth seeing whether you have seen the original or not.