It’s a pretty tall order to improve on a winning formula. When “Deadpool” released in February of 2016, it was one of those films that truly belonged to the fanbase that made the character in the comics so popular, and if they didn’t get it right, there was going to be rioting in the streets. Luckily, it bowed to great fanfare, so a sequel was commissioned almost immediately, with the creative team that made the first film such a smashing success in screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick as well as director Tim Miller re-teaming with Ryan Reynolds to bring Wade Wilson/Deadpool back for Round Two; however, Miller and Reynolds had a parting of ways over (say it with me folks: ”creative differences”) that led to Miller leaving the project and eventually being replaced by David Leitch, fresh off of last years “Atomic Blonde”. Could they replicate the chemistry that worked so well two years earlier with somebody brand new at the helm, or would it implode like an overheated chimichanga?
In this installment, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) has settled into his role as Deadpool two years after the events of the previous film with his unshakable fiancée Vanessa (Morena Baccarin,) and they have started to make plans to start a family. When fate intervenes, it catapults Wade into a collision course with Cable (Josh Brolin), a cybernetic mutant from the future with time travelling capabilities who is intent on killing a young mutant named Russell Collins (Julian Dennison) that calls himself Firefist. After THOROUGHLY ticking off Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hilderbrand), Wade is forced to cobble together his own team of misfit mutants including the always lucky Domino (Zazie Beetz) in an attempt to take down Cable and rescue Russell before it’s too late.
I had extremely high hopes for this film, but I had my doubts with the change in director and reports of woeful early test screenings. Fortunately, this film works every BIT as well as the original, and in SOME aspects even better. A sequel doesn’t has to operate under the burden of having to tell an origin story again, so the story has a lot more wiggle room to expand on the already established character development. Wade is still a reckless fourth-wall breaking wiseacre, but at this point, he’s OUR reckless fourth-wall breaking wiseacre. The team involved here plays to their strengths so incredibly well, that it’s still impossible to imagine anybody else in the roles their playing. The dialog is as hilarious as it’s ever been, the cameos are brilliant, and the credit sequence is worth the price of admission on its own.
I can’t imagine where we go from here, but I hope we keep getting more of these on a regular basis. There was no better palate cleanser for the weighty and downbeat experience of “Infinity War” than the in your face over the top hilarity of “Deadpool 2”.