Deadpool 2 (2018)
Directed by David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, John Wick) and screenwritten Rhett Reese (Life, Deadpool), Paul Wernick (Life, Deadpool) and Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, Green Lantern), who reprises his role as the titular anti-hero, Deadpool 2 is a sequel to the successful 2016 first film which helped prove R-rated superhero films could make just as much money as the others by becoming the highest grossing R-rated film in history. It is also eighth instalment in the X-Men film franchise after Logan (2017).
The film introduces many new familiar characters from the Marvel comics, most significantly Cable (Josh Brolin), a Terminator-like cybernetic soldier who travels to present time from the future to kill an innocent mutant kid named Russell Collins / Firefist (Julian Dennison) who’s abused by the orphanage and grew up to become a psychopathic murderer (opposite John Connor). Deadpool / Wade Wilson tasks himself to protect Russell from Cable and set the kid on a different path as he believes it’s the way to reunite with his girlfriend, Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin), in the afterlife. For the mission, he sets up a team of random mutants of his own called X-Force.
As Deadpool stays true to his ways of being a naughty smart-ass, making fun and criticising all things pop culture including Marvel, DC, actors and this self-conscious film itself, and frequently breaking the fourth wall, this is a worthy sequel that’s as hilarious as the first film despite certain jokes and moments being quite telegraphed and predictable. There are a number of effective surprises that are almost sure to crack fans of comics and pop culture. Particularly the brief cameo appearances of other characters of the franchise, and that one super popular actor whom I shall not reveal (not Stan Lee).
Despite all the hype of the introduction of Cable into the franchise, I was more intrigued by one of the other new additions, Domino / Neena Thurman (Zazie Beetz), a mutant whose power is simply being extremely lucky. Reynolds once again performs great as the comedic anti-hero, hitting home runs with his funny lines and sarcasm. Although Josh Brolin (Avengers: Infinity Wars, Milk) does a good job portraying Cable, I wasn’t particularly compelled by his mysterious backstory. Julian Dennison’s (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Paper Planes) role as Russell is not very engaging either. The direction of the film is clearly anti-drama and dark tragedy. Perhaps a downside that needs to be balanced out in future instalments.
However, the film does have a way less formulaic plot than the first film and it does feel more random as it is expected to be as a Deadpool film. The story also subtly ties up with the upcoming instalments in the X-Men film series without feeling bloated. The violent action sequences at the beginning with arms and heads being cut off are awesome, but it later becomes more or less the same thing we’d see in a typical superhero flick absent emotional weight or seriousness.
Post-credit scene: There are some hilarious mid-credit scenes and there isn’t one after credits.
Malaysian censorship: At the press screening, the film feels completely uncut with all the violence and vulgar language intact. Well it is rated 18 here anyway so the public should expect minimal censorship, if any.
Verdict: As fun and enjoyable as the first film with a much better plot and plenty of pleasing surprises.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Genre: Superhero action comedy
Running Time: 119 minutes
Director: David Leitch
Screenwriter: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Josh Brolin, T.J Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Zazie Beetz, Terry Crews, Karan Soni
Malaysia Release Date: 17 May 2018
Local Distributor: 20th Century Fox Malaysia
Production: Marvel Entertainment, Kinberg Genre, The Donners’ Company