Deadpool is back! Whether you love him or hate him, Ryan Reynolds is probably going to be playing Deadpool for the rest of eternity, and you’ll never again be able to pretend that you don’t know the difference between him and Ryan Gosling. Deadpool made me love Ryan Reynolds (in small doses). Honestly, I don’t want to watch anything he’s in pre-Deadpool, as in the proper movie released in 2016, not the original appearance he made in the horrible X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Speaking of Wolverine, if you haven’t seen Logan, I highly recommend watching that and the X-Men film franchise before walking into Deadpool 2. It is unnecessary to run out to see Avengers: Infinity War in preparation for Deadpool 2 like I did. Use that money to buy Black Panther in 4K.
If you have not seen Deadpool, the quick summary is that a professional contract killer named Wade Wilson gets cancer. Someone does a bunch of torture tests on him and he now basically can’t really die, but his healing power is not quite as good as Wolverine’s. Wade dates a lovely lady, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), meets two other mutants, slaughters a bunch of people, and becomes a close friend to his taxi driver. It’s also a comedy. The end.
Now that you’re all caught up: Wade has gone international! A montage of undercover jobs plays, and one of his targets eventually catches up to him, resulting in a terrible spoiler of an incident. After the incident, Deadpool/Wade is lost in the world, and ends up being rescued by an old friend, Colossus, who puts him back together and helps him join a superhero club. Wade’s first assignment is to help a troubled young mutant before he sets fire to the orphanage.
The film is peppered with references to everything: The Terminator, The Dark Knight, Bambi, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Yentl. Appropriately for the character, it’s a movie for fans of popular movies, video games, and Barbara Streisand. The ragdoll physics of Deadpool’s flailing limbs as he is flung against vans and billboards rivals that of the Grand Theft Auto series, more specifically, GTA IV.
Oh, and somehow Josh Brolin manages to play the time-hopper Cable, while also starring in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Thanos? I don’t know how that’s supposed to work. When T.J. Miller’s bartender character meets Cable, he says, “I don’t know about this guy Cable, but I bet he hasn’t killed as many people as melanoma.” I watched Infinity War two days before this film, so it was a very jarring moment, and I wonder if it means that Deadpool’s next film appearance will somehow involve the glove snap trick.
But what does all of this really mean? Not a whole lot. It’s a very fun watch, if this is what you’re into. It’s similar enough to the first solo Deadpool film that it will definitely please fans, including my Mom, but if you don’t care for his style, he could quite possibly be one of the most irritating comic characters brought to the big screen. It doesn’t stop the movie from being good, though, and it skillfully explores more of the expanded Marvel universe without shoving it down our throats or requiring us to even like the other Marvel films. It belongs to itself and the comics, and that’s it. Deadpool owes you nothing, and yet he has a spectacular ability to deliver on the hinted potential anyway, unlike several of the disappointing sequels released in the last few years.
That’s actually a part of what is great about this character. If a remake is ever proposed, finding someone better suited to the role would be difficult, and Ryan Reynolds spent years trying to get the “correct” Deadpool movie out. The enthusiasm surrounding this character is such that Reynolds is himself a marketing machine, and he snags a writing credit as well as his producing credit. Ryan Reynolds is much smarter than us.