When Deadpool debuted in 2016, it was a breath of fresh air for superhero movies, thanks in large part to its titular, fourth-wall-breaking character that allowed the film to follow convention while simultaneously sending it up. Though it was very much still a comic book action film, its humor and comedy were significant strengths that set it apart. So when plans for the sequel were announced, which would include the introduction of Cable and the X-Force, I remained cautious about it prospects. As the action (and budget) was sure to increase, would the sequel be able to maintain its balance with humor, or would it lean too hard one way or the other?
Well, even better than just maintaining, Deadpool 2 is the rare film that exceeds the original in every way. The most impressive feat of the film is its instinct to restrain itself in the busier parts. Most sequels by nature attempt to squeeze in more of what worked in the first installment–more characters, more jokes, more drama–and the main character and story usually get lost in all of these additions. (See Spider-Man 3.) Fortunately, Deadpool 2 avoids those traps. New mutants Domino and Cable (portrayed excellently by Josh Brolin) are welcome additions, and the film only gives brief explanations of their powers and abilities without spending too much time exploring their origins, allowing the story to stay more streamlined. Similarly, Deadpool spends little time talking to the audience, instead sparingly using his pop-culture awareness to the movie’s best effect: calling itself out. If the film has a predictable, derivative, or cliched moment, Deadpool is right there to comment on it as it happens. He knows that TJ Miller has a penchant for similes and metaphors, and he’s right there with you. It’s the film strongest suit.
But the most surprising aspect is the story’s rich, emotional heft. The relationship between Wade and his partner Vanessa is what drives most of the movie, and by the end of it, you feel genuine warmth and love towards the anithero. Additionally, the action is the one aspect of this film where more is certainly better. New director David Leitch of John Wick fame (which this movie will be glad to remind you) brings a thrilling and engaging edge to the movie’s largest moments; a big-rig chase scene never looked so good.
Deadpool 2 is pure movie magic, once again breathing new life into the overpopulated superhero movie genre. It has big heart, bigger laughs, and a plethora of genuine surprises that I wouldn’t even dare to spoil in this review. Don’t let anyone else spoil them for you either, and go see it right now.