Though Deadpool proved Ryan Reynolds was tailor made for the titular role (actually he proved that in X-Men Origins: Wolverine), the original film had its share of flaws. With respect to Ed Skrein, Ajax wasn’t the most memorable of villains, the non-linear structure, at least for me, was a bit too jarring.
With the origin story out of the way, Deadpool 2 flies in a much different and more liberating dimension. The merc with a mouth is still annoying (and at times funny) as can be, but this time out he has a worthy adversary in a tough guy from the future named Cable (Josh Brolin).
Determined to kill a powerful young mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison) for his own, understandable motivations, Cable is a force of nature who the seemingly indestructible Deadpool can’t even stop. After a botched mission with his X-Men buddies Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) to reign in Russell, Deadpool eventually bonds with the kid. Vanessa’s (Morena Baccarin) desires to start her own family brings paternal yearnings from our hero, so it’s easy to see why he’ll risk life and limb for this troubled kid.
After assembling a ragtag group he calls X-Force (Zazie Beetz as the luck infused Domino is particularly memorable), Deadpool is ready to save Russell, defeat Cable, and become the ultimate team leader in the process. Since Deadpool is unpredictable as they come, things immediately go south, leading to a ton of destruction and carnage in the process.
Fans of the character will undoubtedly love both films, but even if you get annoyed by Deadpool’s constant chatter (like most of his colleagues), Deadpool 2 is engaging and often eye-popping action fare. David Leitch, who directed one can’t miss sequence from the otherwise blah Atomic Blonde, takes over the directing duties of original filmmaker Tim Miller and does an excellent job. A chase sequence spearheaded by Beetz is bordering on sensory overload, and it’s terrific (the final fight, though not as memorable as the chase, is also finely tuned). Thanks to an excellent ensemble (though Leitch pays a bit more attention to the newer characters, the Deadpool returnees each have their small moments to shine) and a first rate screenplay (Reynolds is a co-writer), Deadpool 2 is a creative highpoint in the comic book genre.
Unpredictable to the core and filled with more easter eggs and self-referential jokes than one can imagine, Deadpool 2 succeeds on all fronts (the end credits are also to die for), proving that the sophomore slump isn’t part of the merc’s verbose vocabulary.