Deadpool 2, starring Ryan Reynolds, is a raunchy, rambunctious, and raucous rickshaw ride from beginning to end, slaughtering the competition by being a thrilling endeavor, complete with beautifully choreographed fight scenes, comically timed dialogue, and a foray into the world of mutant relations.
The film focuses on Wade Wilson, our titular hero, who gets thrown into armed conflict with the time-traveling bounty hunter Cable, portrayed by Josh Brolin. Cable is hunting a young pyrokinetic mutant who inadvertently becomes cellmates with Wilson in the mutant prison the Ice Box. To combat Cable, Wilson assembles a team of mutants and names them the X-Force—a derivative jab at the X-Men. These mutants include a human headache played by Terry Crews, an acid-spitting punk played by Bill Skaarsgard, and a very lucky mutant named Domino played by Zazie Beetz. As the film develops, lines are drawn and alliances are formed. In the end, Wade Wilson learns the power of the F-word: family.
Deadpool 2, at its heart, is a parody film. It takes classic film tropes and turns them on their heads— especially those that relate to the superhero genre. The movie also often plays with the concept of the “fourth wall”; on multiple occasions, Deadpool talks directly to the audience, giving us comical anecdotes or interesting little hints into the ins-and-outs of the plot development.
Another film trope that gets the parody treatment is the “deus ex machina,” or “God from the machine.” This is when a sudden and often impossibly unlikely scenario happens so that the main character can escape danger. These happen all over Deadpool, from the time travel shenanigans of Cable to the luck manipulation powers of Domino.
So much of this film is dedicated to making fun of other movies that the action scenes themselves become as humorous as they are beautiful. Throughout Deadpool 2, Deadpool and Domino argue over whether her luck-inducing superpowers actually count as such. These powers are put to the test when Domino is tasked with assaulting an armored prison convoy with nothing but her bare hands. She lands via parachute in the middle of busy rush hour. The various car crashes set off a chain reaction by which the urban environment around her makes it impossible for her not to enter the truck cab unharmed. She ejects the driver and remarks, “I’m in,” much to the surprise of Deadpool. The scenes demonstrating Domino’s abilities are the true hallmarks of the direction by David Leitch.
Much like the power suppression collars used by Deadpool throughout the movie, this film has one unfortunate suppressor. Deadpool 2 juxtaposes intimate drama laced with black humor and gory killfests accompanied by Dolly Parton and Skrillex alike, and these rapid cuts in the plot sequence can be quite jarring. The screenplay was written by five different people, including Reynolds and long-time Marvel Comic contributor Rob Liefeld, and it shows. These shards of story against one another don’t really do the film any favors and serve to confuse the audience of the film’s tone. In one moment, Wade Wilson and his wife are cuddling on the couch and the next Deadpool is defending against home invaders with kitchen utensils. This alone in the film’s first act sets the stage for these quick changes in sequence to happen again and again.
Wade Wilson’s latest adventure gives everybody something to enjoy. With that being said, Deadpool 2 is not a family film, and that’s not a bad thing. Deadpool 2 is a great example of how films with black humor toe the line between comedy and tone-deafness. The movie’s one-liner style dialogue is primarily observational comedy rather than more popular forms of black humor, such as jokes based on race or gender.
Deadpool 2 is a movie that fires joke after joke the same way its title character fires gun after gun. Deadpool 2 earns 4.5 bullet fired out of 5.