It was two years ago that the superhero film Deadpool burst onto the scene like a breath of much needed fresh air in what had become a relative sea of stale sameness. The formulaic conventions inherent in most superhero films, both Marvel and DC alike, were scattered to the four winds in bringing the Deadpool character to life. It was a change of pace that could not have been more needed at the time. Two years on and the formula filmmaking that’s found in way too many films of the superhero genre remains unchanged. And it’s pretty obvious that it’s here to stay because, as the old adage goes, why break something that doesn’t need a fix?
Deadpool 2 has now arrived and those wondering whether or not the formula would be changed for the second installment need not worry. Like the previous entry, this is an R rated film that earns that restricted rating with loads of humor of an adult variety and a generous helping of the ol’ ultraviolence to spare. Also, like the previous entry, this is a film that, thankfully, doesn’t take itself so seriously and knows when to put a joke to rest and move on instead of bludgeoning the audience over the head with the same line ad infinitum. Unfortunately, Deadpool 2 does its thing a bit too well and comes perilously to collapsing from overkill in the final half hour. Still, it’s funny enough and involving enough on a consistent basis that it manages to make it to the finish line with its mark of freshness relatively intact.
The film opens with a relatively long pre-credit sequence that features some of the most emotionally resonant material found in the film. To say that what happens here is a complete surprise would be a misstatement, as anyone can predict the misfortunes that are certain to occur in the world of superheroes categorized as loners. Still, there’s good stuff here that sets up character motivations for much of what comes later. That credit sequence, set to a tune from 80s power balladeers, Air Supply, is also good for a few hearty chuckles.
The plot kicks into gear when Wade/Deadpool sets his sights on reforming a kid mutant (Julian Dennison) who’s out to use his powers to right a wrong that ruined the boy’s childhood. In the meantime, our hero must also contend with Cable (Josh Brolin), a warrior from the future who has traveled backwards in time to kill the young mutant for reasons that are of a personal nature. Most of the members of the gang from the first film return to help Deadpool in his quest to save the kid.
As enjoyable as it is there’s a certain danger here that can’t be avoided. Should there be a Deadpool 3 I think the creative talent is going to have to come up with something a bit fresher. Otherwise, this franchise will be in danger of being as much of a formula as its competition. It came very close this time around.
Deadpool 2 is playing everywhere.
Image: Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in Deadpool 2
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