Deadpool 2 (Cert 15)
1 Disc DVD/ 2 Discs Blu-ray (Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) Running Time: Theatrical Cut – 118 minutes approx. / Extended Cut – 133 minutes
NB: This review is based on the Theatrical Cut
The original Deadpool film was considered a huge gamble for Marvel, being a superhero flick aimed at adults and not the usual family/teen demographic (not that this would stop most kids from seeing the home video release) but it was a success because it was a riskier film. So, here is the inevitable sequel.
It opens with the masked anti-hero alias of Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) committing suicide by blowing himself up after his fiancée Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) was killed by a vengeful criminal and he can’t live without her. However, the scattered body parts are discovered by Colossus who reconstructs Wade at the X-Men facility and encourages him to redeem himself by joining the X-Men.
Deadpool, Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) try to calm a young mutant Russell aka Firefist (Julian Dennison) causing havoc at an orphanage claiming the staff are abusing the mutant children. Deadpool ends up being arrested for killing some of the staff and, along with Russell, is sent to the Ice Box, a prison for mutants. Then Cable (Josh Brolin), a soldier from the future, arrives to kill Russell.
Chances are if you didn’t enjoy the first film you won’t enjoy this one. Whether it is the violence, overabundance of profane language (“c” words along with the stream of “f” words this time) and coarse material, or the gleeful deconstruction of the superhero genre, you’ll find more of the same here but with a brisker pace and more extraneous hilarity thrown in since there is no origin story to tell.
At the start of the film, which our hero narrates himself, wilfully breaking the fourth wall like in the first film, he explains that this is a family film. Now, we know the humour of Deadpool is irreverent, vulgar, off-the-wall, sardonic, and very Meta, and he makes this declaration over footage of him slicing, dicing and blowing baddies to smithereens, but in this instance he is actually telling the truth but I am not going spoil why.
The tongue-in-cheek sarcasm is doused with lashings of deliberate irony as the plot follows a number of conventions and clichés it mocks. This even acknowledged in the script just in case anybody misses the point about how self-aware this franchise is, yet there is still plenty of instances where playing the moments straight at the right time hooks the audience into buying into the very drama it is mocking.
Vanessa’s murder comes just after she and Wade are about to get down and start a family for that extra poignancy and pain to her killing. Wade gets his revenge against the killer in quick fashion but blames himself for Vanessa’s death, drowning his pain in the usual cinematic manner of drink, drugs, and violence. It is a pseudo-sagacious remark from Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) that encourages Wade to kill himself but he can’t even achieve that despite being blown to pieces.
Just to make it clear, this is not a direct X-Men crossover since none of the famed cast appear in full (aside from a very brief group cameo) and much comedy capital is made from this, notably a reluctant Deadpool wearing a yellow X-Men shirt on their mission. Russell becomes Wade’s redemption, at first disinterested in the boy until he learns about the abuse from headmaster (Eddie Marsen), but Wade is slow to accept this role despite Russell looking up to him.
With Cable arriving from the future (yes, Terminator jokes are abound) and stalking Russell, Wade has a change of heart but it is too late when Wade escapes prison whilst fighting with Cable, and Russell is left behind. Because Cable’s mission is personal, Wade decides to form a group of heroes to stop Cable called X-Force, providing one of the funniest sequences in the whole film.
It’s hard to discuss this without spoiling it but out of these heroes, it is a feisty woman named Domino (Zazie Beetz), whose power is “luck” that proves the most effective, as well as her ability yielding a series of Naked Gun-esque catastrophes to illustrate how it benefits her. In the wake of Wonder Woman, some might call for a Domino solo movie, and whilst that might be premature, an X-Force film with her featuring as a lead is in the works.
Just as its predecessor polarised opinion, this sequel will too, for being both too vulgar and self-referential or for accusations of being a clone of the first film in tone and content. Both are valid contentions but they also are what makes Deadpool stand out from the crowd, and that includes the spoofs out there which try too hard to be funny but just aren’t.
Ryan Reynolds, who also co-wrote the script, is on fine form again in the title role, still willing to poke fun at himself in a variety of ways. Josh Brolin is becoming ubiquitous in comic book films of late (cue a well-timed Thanos joke from Deadpool) and Cable is no huge leap from his other roles, but he provides a suitably gruff presence. Zazie Beetz as Domino is a great addition to the growing list of kick-ass female superheroes.
Just because this film has, fun at its genre’s expense doesn’t mean it can’t utilise its excesses to full advantage and the action sequences are every bit as crazy and spectacular as any other comic book adventure. In fact, I’d say they are more inventive because there is so much humour behind them, which extends to story developments requiring CGI to bring them to fruition.
Being an adult rated comic book film hasn’t done any harm to the Deadpool franchise or for Marvel’s coffers with this sequel currently the sixth highest grossing film of 2018. It’s not difficult to see why as it puts the fun back into the genre as well as delivering the high-octane action beholden to its nature. And don’t forget to stick around for the end credit extra scenes…
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1
English HOH Subtitles
Spanish and French Subtitles
English, French, and Spanish Commentary Subtitles
Blu-ray Disc 1:
Deadpool Family Values: Cast of Characters
David Leitch Not Lynch: Directing DP2
Deadpool’s Lips are Sealed: Secrets and Easter Eggs
Until Your Face Hurts: Alt Takes
Roll with the Punches: Action and Stunts
The Deadpool Prison Experiment
The Most Important X-Force Member
Chess with Omega Red
Swole and Sexy
Audio Commentary by Ryan Reynolds, David Leitch, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Theatrical Version Only)
Deadpool’s Fun Sack 2 – Videos and Stills
Blu-ray Disc 2:
Super Duper $@%!#& Cut
Rating – ****
Man In Black