Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 ★★★★½

I am a massive Deadpool fanboy (he is my favorite comic book character of all time), so it may be best to preface this by advising to take my opinion with a heavy grain of salt. I'll start off with this: if you didn't like the first Deadpool, then the sequel certainly isn't going to be any better to you. It's rife with the same self-referential humor and consistent fourth wall-breaking that made the first film so endearing to me. Much of the same wit that Ryan Reynolds carried with him through his first real outing as the merc with a mouth, and for the most part the humor lends itself to the same potency that the first film had.

The story isn't quite as compelling as the first one (despite the intriguing addition of Deadpool's rival/best friend Cable into the mix). Admittedly, Deadpool himself has less of a romantic motivation and different drives that weren't as interesting as they were the first time around, but the comedy that Reynolds throws into the mix more than makes up for that. Josh Brolin does double duty with Marvel this year as Cable, and I honestly couldn't have thought of anyone better to play him. His voice alone carries a booming menace, and the towering presence his persona has makes him all the more an ideal person to play him. He's the Terminator in this T2-style story (clear plot similarities to Judgement Day ring of either homage or riffs, but either way I'm pleased), and an interesting pseudo-villain for this story already packed with antiheroes.

Some complain that the Deadpool films think they're clever with their self-referential humor, but I offer the counterpoint that Ryan Reynolds and co. know full well that their humor is dumb. It's occasionally crude, sometimes risque, and ultimately loads of nonsense splashed up against a backdrop of high-octane bloody violence and chimichangas. Its self-references and fourth wall breaks are, as I mentioned when I first saw Deadpool in 2016, proofs of the comic book concepts (there is no fourth wall in the comic series- one story even had Deadpool literally coming out of the comic book pages and murdering the writers and artists) being lifted directly from the source and being put into a cinematic standard. For some unfamiliar with the Deadpool comics, that style is a major turnoff, but for me it's like a dream come true. For better or for worse, Deadpool 2 is bigger, badder, and far more ambitious than even the first film was- even if it doesn't quite reach the same heights that one did.

Extra half a star added for the opening credits sequence mocking the James Bond movies and for the brilliantly hilarious end credits scene.

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