Deadpool’s comeback film is all about the “F word.” While it challenges itself to pack every scene with willfully stupid mayhem and meta references like its origin story, “Deadpool 2” widens its story arc by humanizing its characters and boldly trying to turn itself into a dark family action-comedy.
The “Merc with the Mouth” (Ryan Reynolds) doesn’t shed his antihero attitude. But he does learn to care about others outside his circle. When a super soldier from the future time-travels to end the life of an orphaned mutant, Deadpool takes on the responsibility to protect the child.
Deadpool forms the idiosyncratic X-Force to duel with Cable (Josh Brolin, seen playing his second Marvel antagonist this year). The warrior with a bionic arm wasn’t born to be a villain, but it is Cable’s paternal instincts that set him on this time-warping manhunt.
It turns out there’s another villain in the making: Firefist (Julian Dennison), as Russell Collins prefers to be called, is set to wreak havoc in the orphanage that abused him. The misguided teenager made an alliance with Juggernaut (also played by Ryan Reynolds), and it’s up to the X-Force (or what’s left of it) to do all it takes to pull Russell out of the track to darkness.
It might look as if the familial theme dilutes subversive hyper-wit, but “Deadpool 2” is able to juggle its snarky attitude with heart-wrenching moments, bringing together a bunch of misfits constantly denying the need to belong.
Under the movie’s spotlight are the newest cinematic gems with comic origins, Cable, Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Firefist. It also introduces the first gay couple in superhero flicks—Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Yukio (Shiori Kutsuna).
Grotesque action is still definitely part of the “Deadpool’s” gameplay, matching it with a ton of callbacks of self-deprecating antics from the first film. Its brand of unadulterated fun and bone-breaking humor is heightened as the fourth-wall breaking character becomes more aware of the movie genre he belongs to—going beyond his own comics and CGI commentaries.
The film cleverly aligns its punchlines with the superhero flicks that came before it (with “Logan” and “Avengers: Infinity War” taking the most hits), stirring the wildest commotion among the giddy geeks in the cinema. There’s also a constellation of jaw-dropping cameos you can miss if you blinked.
With his name reappearing for the film’s producer and writer credits, it is crystal clear that Ryan Reynolds made it one of his missions to become the definitive Deadpool—and that’s something we can tick off the list for him.
20th Century Fox’s “Deadpool 2” is now showing in cinemas.