(director: David Leitch; screenwriters: Ryan Reynolds/Rhett Reese/Paul Wernick/characters created from Marvel Comic’s Rob Liefeld & Fabian Nicieza; cinematographer: Jonathan Sela; editors: Craig Alport/Dirk Westervelt/Elisabet Ronaldsdottir; music: Tyler Bates; cast: Josh Brolin (Cable), Morena Baccarin (Vanessa), Ryan Reynold (Wade Wilson/Deadpool 2/voice of Juggernaut), Zazie Beetz (Domino), Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead), Julian Dennison (Firefist), Stefan Kapicic (voice of Colossus), T.J. Miller (Weasel), Terry Crews (Bedlam), Bill Skarsgard (Zeitgeist), Lewis Tan (Shatterstar), Rob Delaney (Peter), Shioli Kutsuna (Yukio), Leslie Uggams (Blind Al), Karan Soni (Dopinder), Eddie Marsan (Minister); Runtime: 119; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Ryan Reynolds, Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner; 20th Century Fox; 2018)
“If you liked the kookiness you probably liked the film, but if you found that wanting you probably wondered what was all the commotion.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The former stuntman, David Leitch (“Atomic Blonde”), helms this roughly hewn lurid sequel to the 2016 original (this was the 11th film in Marvel’s X-Men series). The original Deadpool was made on a budget of $58 million and grossed $783 million worldwide, becoming the biggest money earning R – rated film ever. It was also a rare Marvel Comics goofy comedy. Writers include the star Ryan Reynolds, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
The characters are based on those created by Rob Liefeld & Fabian Nicieza from Marvel. In the opening scene, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds, Canadian actor), a.k.a. Deadpool, the terminally ill from cancer foul-mouth loudmouth superhero with a face of burn scars, tells us as narrator — after eliminating a throng of bad guys — that Deadpool 2 is a “family” film. Meaning it’s not a film for children but one that shows the value of having a place to belong to such as a tribe. Wade is a former Special Forces operative turned mercenary, who gets contracts to knock off the bad boys anywhere in the world through the hitmen-only bar called Sister Margaret’s and its shady proprietor (T.J. Miller).
He has the superpower to regenerate, and wears a red and black superhero suit when in action. Wade’s squeeze Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) agrees to tie the knot with the potential family man. She barks out “I need you to pump a baby into me”. But before that line has time to be digested, some bad guys burst into their pad and kill her before they are eliminated. A hurt Wade is then being cared for at Professor Xavier’s estate. While there, the CG metal hulk, Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic), wants to stop Deadpool from killing people and tries to make him an X-Man. But on his first X-Man outing, Deadpool takes a liking to a troubled mutant youth, Russell aka Firefist (Julian Dennison), abused by a mutant-hating minister (Eddie Marsan) and who is now in danger from those zealots trying to take him down. Deadpool comes to his rescue alone and gathers his own X-Force crew (made up of the gladiatorial Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), the acid-vomiting Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard), the superhero who relies solely on luck Domino (Zazie Beetz) and the mind-bending Bedlam (Terry Crews), superheroes that he brings together as a tribal family to protect the rebellious teen. Josh Brolin, as the time-traveling cyborg named Cable, is one of those baddies that gets Deadpool’s attention. Like its predecessor, the sequel is filled with a raw humor, pain, sensationalist incidents, CGI action shots and mostly vulgar silliness.
It takes repeated swipes at the DC Comics movies (with some jokes that went by me since most of those comic book films never interested me that much).The most annoying character was the nerdy Indian stereotyped taxi driver Dopinder (Karan Soni), who hangs with Wade and whose failed superhero aspirations make him the butt of too many unfunny jokes. The first film flew under the radar, but this anticipated snarky one is from beginning to end an in your face take it or leave it narrative.
Any sense of a guilt-trip over the way the superhero was mistreated in his cancer treatment never registers in a movie that seems to be mostly about how many one-liner zingers it gets in and not about getting seriously personal. If you liked the kookiness you probably liked the film, but if you found that wanting you probably wondered what was all the commotion. As the film went on, its excessive cartoonish storytelling became exhaustive and its edge became increasing duller.
REVIEWED ON 1/1/2019 GRADE: C+