Deadpool 2 review Ryan ReynoldsYear: 2018
Director(s): David Leitch
Writer(s): Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds
Region of Origin: USA

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Rating: R
35mm, Digital, Color, 119 mins

Synopsis: Time travel, jokes, fun, action, serious stuff. 

Deadpool’s long road to theaters was a well-publicized one, producing a leaked VFX test and a final product that didn’t live up to its promise. Though the original Deadpool worked in spurts, it ultimately felt like half of an idea – or, one, uninteresting action sequence elongated by clumsy flashbacks. It was also a bombastic satire that failed to transcend what it was making fun of. Faults aside, Ryan Reynolds’ had absolutely found the role he was born to play, and now, Deadpool 2 hits the ground running. This time out, the film has enough story to support its runtime, smarter jokes, and a lesson about family for its foul-mouthed merc. The real draw, however, remains how director David Leitch and co. throw up a huge, flaming middle finger to the superhero genre. Nothing is sacred, and no stone will be unturned in this parade of gleeful excess.

When we catch up with Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), he’s traveling the world, ridding it of its worst criminals and leaving behind a trail of mayhem and dismembered body parts. This all comes to a halt after a personal tragedy leaves DP reeling, and without purpose. After confiding in a few of the X-Men, he crosses paths with a disgruntled orphan named Russell (Julian Dennison). Still, saving Russell from his abusive caretakers isn’t enough. The boy soon finds himself the target of a time-traveling super soldier named Cable (Josh Brolin). Learning that he and Russell are two sides of the same lost coin, DP assembles a new team (X-Force) to aid Russell and prevent a chain of cataclysmic events from coming to pass.

Ironically, for a film that thrives on pushing its limits, Leitch and co’s greatest asset is an understated balance. Amidst a relentless barrage of farcical action, Leitch’s strength is knowing when to roll back, especially in the face of DP’s unexpectedly serious arc. There’s grave loss, sacrifice and actual learning involved, which, does immerse us into the madness and give us a reason to care. This ultimately gives the film an innate poignancy and heart, no matter how fleeting or brief. Don’t worry though, the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, throwing a curveball at us whenever things start to settle. That the film is able to keep things light without undermining its weightier aspects is impressive. Ultimately, this film nails what it wants to be. It’s a hail of gunfire and gore, and proudly stands as a self-effacing black sheep alternative to the Avengers universe. Bottom line, if super-powered action and sadistic popcorn fun is your thing, this delivers and then some.

Deadpool 2 review Josh BrolinGiving the film its color, is a wicked ensemble who’s game for anything. As the titular ringleader, Reynolds is again putting in 200%. Reynolds just owns the role, embodying insanity while still being able to turn up for the film’s more sobering moments. If anything, the entire thing is a testament to Reynolds’ uninhibited charm and range, which the film couldn’t survive without. We also get two new members, Zazie Beetz’s Domino, and Josh Brolin’s Cable. Both give the film some major versatility, boasting wholly different fight styles and powerful personalities for Reynolds to bounce off of. Julian Dennison, fresh off of Hunt for the Wilderpeople is also a perfect addition. The kid is absolutely a talent on the rise, giving his scenes a sincerity and swagger that are irresistible. Brianna Hildebrand’s Negasonic Teenage Warhead is wasted this time out, and for the sake of not giving everything away, let’s just say there are plenty of surprises in terms of who else is involved.

Though Deadpool 2 never gets too heavy, it’s way better than it needs to be, and honestly feels like a breath of fresh air. Leitch’s ability to orchestrate and capture this brand of cinematic madness gives us a film that’s infectiously absurd. From the bangin’ new Celine Dion track to the handful of gags that are already classics in the making, big budget fluff pieces don’t get any more entertaining than this. This is unbridled fun without any baggage, and without sacrificing the smarts. If this film proves anything, it’s that sky’s the limit with these boundless characters, and I’m all in for what comes next.