We Need to Talk
About Deadpool 2
By Mikhail Lecaros
The Merc with a Mouth is back! Ryan Reynolds returns with his signature blend of sarcasm, pop culture references, and graphic violence that made the 2016 original one of the most refreshing superhero films in years.
A CURE FOR YOUR INFINITY WAR HANGOVER
For anyone still suffering from post-Infinity War trauma, Deadpool 2 is here from Fox’s (non-MCU) X-Men movie universe as the perfect superhero palette cleanser. Four years after his first solo film, contract killer Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds, The Proposal) is back to wreak havoc on the genre that spawned him in the first place. Indeed, much as he proved it in the character’s first solo outing, the profanity-spewing, Fourth-Wall-breaking mutant assassin is the role Reynolds was born to play.
FROM THE PAGE TO THE SCREEN
Originally presented as a riff on (rival publisher) DC Comics’ villain Deathstroke (aka Slade Wilson), Deadpool (aka Wade Wilson), the unkillable star of this franchise has transcended his antagonistic origins to become one of Marvel’s most popular characters. Famed for his irreverent humor and frequent fourth wall breaks (he is one of the few comic book characters to know he is a comic book character) Deadpool is a character whose road to the big screen was as tortuous as it was convoluted.
Following a disastrous first outing as a supporting character in 2009’s absolutely godawful X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where he (played by Reynolds) was portrayed as a mouthless, blade-armed, laser-eyed freak WITHOUT A MOUTH, Deadpool was in limbo; despite a push form Reynolds and his collaborator, (eventual Deadpool director) Tim Miller, to get their vision made,
Fox wasn’t convinced that audiences would pay to watch a tongue-in-cheek R-rated superhero movie based on a character who had already failed once.
This all changed in 2014, when test footage for a proper film treatment leaked online. Thanks to an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the footage, combined with Reynolds’ considerably increased Hollywood status, Fox reluctantly approved the production of a “proper” Deadpool movie. For anyone curious, the test footage is still online, and actually formed the basis of the eventual 2016 film’s opening action sequence.
Deadpool would go on to become the highest-grossing R-Rated film of all time, after Passion of the Christ. Holy freaking hell.
Devastated by the tragic murder of his beloved Vanessa (Morena Baccarin, of TV’s Firefly, Gotham), and cursed with super-powered immortality, Deadpool struggles to find a reason to go on living. He finds his purpose in the unlikely form of Russel (Julian Dennison), a young mutant with a chip on his shoulder against humanity. But before the Merc with a Mouth can fulfill his quest, a wrinkle appears in the form of Cable, (Infinity War’s Thanos himself, Josh Brolin), a cyborg soldier from the future who’s travelled back to eliminate Russel before he becomes a threat.
THE GANG’S ALL HERE
Pretty much everybody is here for a second go-around, including the aforementioned Vanessa, Blind Al (Leslie Uggams, of TV’s Empire), hapless cab drive Dopinder (Karan Soni, Safety Not Guaranteed), and Weasel (TJ Miller, of TV’s Silicon Valley). While it is always refreshing to see familiar faces, one wishes that some of them were given something more substantial to do than essentially rehash gags from the first one.
Fortunately, this sequel isn’t lacking in new blood…