Ryan Reynolds' Family Film: 'Deadpool 2' Review
Deadpool 2 continues the exploits of Wade Wilson, also known as Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), a mercenary as quick with a kill strike as he is with a smart aleck remark. On one hit, his target eludes him, then tracks Deadpool to the apartment he shares with his fiancee, Vanessa Carlisle (Morena Baccarin). Vanessa pays a high price for the oversight, which is followed by a suicide attempt by Wade. Their apartment is destroyed, but Colussus (Stefan Kapicic) collects the pieces of Wade and reassembles him. Colossus tries to convince Deadpool to be an X-Man like himself and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). That idea gets shelved when the three to a standoff involving mutant teen Russell Collins (Julian Dennison) and the staff of a mutant reeducation facility. Also known as Firefist, Russell unleashes his talent on others as Deadpool tries to bring a peaceful solution to the situation. That goes wrong when Wade discovers that the reeducators have abused the boy, and he shoots one of them dead. The standoff ends with Wade and Russell's arrest and fitted with collars that inhibit their mutant abilities.
They are shipped to a mutant prison known as the Ice Box. There, a time traveler named Cable (Josh Brolin) attempts to seize the opportunity to address a potentially dangerous situation. He storms the Ice Box, which results in chaos. Aiming to kill Firefist before the mutant himself starts killing, Cable misses the chance when Russell goes into hiding and forms a bond with the most dangerous inmate there, the secluded Juggernaut (voiced by Reynolds). The fighting, though, causes Deadpool's collar to break, allowing him to escape. The surviving guards round up the remaining prisoners as Deadpool exits. He eventually contacts his friend Weasel (T. J. Miller) to get together mercenaries to stop cable. That team includes Domino (Zazie Beets), who has luck on her side. That team has some problems of its own, but Deadpool, Domino, and his X-Men friends try to stop Cable by seeing if they can change the history the time traveler has known.
Deadpool 2 is a lot of the same from Marvel's flawed hero, but this sequel does show a person with some sense of compassion. Wade recognizes the disturbing part of Russell's life, and embraces the darkness within himself to react. Remembering the plans he had with Vanessa, he starts thinking about family when he meets Russell and deals with the legitimate concerns of Cable. The fight sequences, as usual, are well done by director David Leitch (who also provides the body for Juggernaut) as Wade tries to change the world to his liking and save a young man from his darkest impulses. Reynolds also had a hand in writing the script, but has inconsistencies in Deadpool's connection to the X-Men. Several members of the X-Men Origins series have a cameo, including James McAvoy as Professor X and Nicholas Hoult as Beast. None of those X-Men seem to have aged a day, however, in the decades since the setting of last Origins film. In the opening sequence, Deadpool gloats over the events of the movie Logan, even though that time setting comes after the Deadpool 2 time setting.
Even though Deadpool 2 has a solid supporting cast, I still remain unimpressed by Reynolds in the lead role. As I watched, I wished that either Bruce Willis or Bill Murray were still young enough to play this role. They know how to play a wisecracker in a more engaging fashion than Reynolds has ever shown. Deadpool's remarks simply grow as tiresome here as they did in the first film. The supporting cast, however, does a better job with the material. Brolin shines as the troubled adversary Cable, whose mission becomes more complicated because of his timing and his encounter with Deadpool. It's not that Wade doesn't understand, but he advocates against simply eliminating Russell. Dennison also shines as the troubled Firefist, a boy who should not know the realities he has already faced. Beetz provides better sass than Reynolds as Domino, the X-Force member who always proves to be lucky. Kapicic is funny as Colossus, a bring always befuddled by Wade's impulses to kill. Leslie Uggams has a cameo, reprising her role as Blind Al, who gives Wade a place to stay, and tries to help him with Cable. Hugh Jackman appears in archive footage as Wolverine.
Deadpool 2 shows a supporting cast that brings more interest than the main character. While Wade Wilson does show more of his humanity here, he still revels in his own sense of humor and his constant pop culture references more than I could stand. Since he considers his allies his family, Deadpool shows he, at least, has a little bit of good in his life.
On a scale of zero to four stars, I give Deadpool 2 2.5 stars. Wade Wilson plays with fire.