Wade Wilson is back and while Deadpool 2 isn’t bigger, it’s certainly better! Ryan Reynolds and company return to deliver a sequel that isn’t just funnier than the original but also offers much more emotional depth. While the first film found Wade looking for revenge, this follow up sees the lovable mercenary seeking redemption and furthers his journey towards becoming a true hero.
Following the events of the first film, Wade is pretty much exactly where he wants to be. He got the girl, he’s making the world a better place (killing gangsters and criminals one slice at a time) and he’s finally back home overanalyzing the similarities between Yentl’s Papa Can Your Hear Me? and a certain Disney song. But after tragedy strikes and he finds himself unable to take his own life, his new mission is to seek purpose. Whether that comes in the form of finally taking poor Colossus up on his offer to join the X-Men or becoming the reluctant protector of a fiery youth, this adventure is pushing Wade into all new territory.
Much like the first film, the heart and soul of the story is anchored by Wade’s love for Vanessa (played again by Morena Baccarin). Their chemistry is just as strong as ever and you root for them to be together and happy, no matter what it takes. But Vanessa isn’t the only friendly familiar face as everyone from Negasonic Teenage Warhead to Blind Al are back to offer their support. Colossus also plays a bigger part this time around, offering more sage advice and perhaps being the best friend Wade could ask for.
They’re not alone however as the sequel wisely chooses to expand Deadpool’s cast of crazies with some important comic book compatriots. Making his much anticipated debut is Cable, brought to life by Josh Brolin hot off the heels of his menacing performance as Thanos. No one plays grizzled or manly better than Brolin who takes what could have been a one dimensional Terminator ripoff and makes him the perfect straight man to Reynolds’ goof. Also joining the party is X-Force. It’s impossible to talk about the team without revealing some major spoilers, but they serve their purpose well with Zazie Beets’ Domino being a clear standout, not just of the team but of the movie as a whole.
As fun as it is to see Wade’s world get bigger, make no mistake, this is still a Deadpool movie and Reynolds carries the load marvelously. Inhabiting the body of Wade Wilson like a second (horribly disfigured) skin, it’s hard to figure out where Reynolds ends and Wilson begins. Delivering his signature blend of humor and charm, there’s no one else that could play this part, and with every pop culture reference or fourth wall break, Reynolds reminds audiences what makes Deadpool 2 such a joy to watch. But it’s not just his usual wacky and fun portrayal that makes Reynolds a force to behold, it’s his ability to switch back and forth between the badass smart mouth Deadpool and the vulnerable and tender Wade Wilson. Jumping from jokester to tearjerker effortlessly, Reynolds deserves all the credit in the world for making Deadpool a truly three dimensional character and not just a guy dressed like a sex doll.
It’s no easy task crafting a super hero sequel, let alone a Deadpool sequel. The first film was an unexpected juggernaut and the pressure was high for director David Leitch to come in and steer the ship, but together he and Reynolds once again capture lightning in a bottle and deliver the rare superior sequel. The movie isn’t perfect as it could stand to be a little tighter in the second act and the story could be somewhat more focused, but this is a movie starring Deadpool so it almost feels like it’s part of the charm.
With a possible merger on the horizon between FOX and Disney, the franchise’s future may be in doubt, but we can rest assured that if this is the last time we see Reynolds’ and company, Deadpool 2 will leave fans satisfied with all the action, violence, comedy, surprise cameos and Celine Dion songs one could hope for.