Director: David Leitch
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison
Thinking about it now, it’s funny how the first Deadpool wasn’t even supposed to have been made in the first place. The surprise hit of 2016 not only broke the myth that superhero films needed to be grim and serious (something DC seems to have learned finally), it also spawned more R-rated no-holds-barred films such as Logan, which the audience welcomed with open arms. Fast forward to 2018, the Deadpool sequel is here, and the budget, which has almost doubled now, has translated into better quality and some jaw-dropping surprise cameos.
After Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool is a casting choice we can hardly disagree with. The trash-talking, un-killable, regenerative merc with a bad mouth has come to be much loved. In this film, he’s more emotional than before — thanks to a rather melancholic start, which is followed by a James Bond-style credit roll that shows off Deadpool at his sexy best, because why not? Fan-favourite Blind Al adds melodrama to the desolation with lines such as, ‘Pain teaches us who we are’ and ‘You can’t really live until you die a little’, but it’s apparent this phase won’t last as long. Even during the credits, Reynolds is called ‘someone who doesn’t like sharing the spotlight’ and director David Leitch is referred to as ‘one of the guys who killed John Wick’s dog’ — referring to his role in the making of the Keanu Reeves-starrer.
Unlike the original Deadpool which, like many solo superhero films, had to first establish the character, here, the emphasis is on giving him a cause. He gets it in the form of protecting Russell Collins (who calls himself Firefist) from Cable (Josh Brolin, who played Thanos in this year’s Avengers: Infinity Wars), a time-traveling soldier who Deadpool likes to call a ‘grumpy old f***** with a Winter Soldier arm’. Not happy with the X-Men, for obvious reasons, Deadpool starts his own team named X-Force and recruits everyone from Vanisher, whose superpower is to stay invisible, to Domino (Zazie Beetz), who has the ability to manipulate luck. He goes on to call them family – more number of times than Vin Diesel does in the entire Fast and Furious franchise. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game until the characters, keeping in tradition with the comics, come together for the greater good. And oh, Karan Soni is back as Deadpool’s trusty sidekick/taxi driver Dopinder, and he makes brilliant use of the extended screen space he gets.
Director David Leitch succeeds in infusing the film with emotional moments and an interesting plot without letting go of the rude antics, sexual innuendos, bloody fights and tons of pop culture references that make a Deadpool film. On the downside, characters such as Negasonic Teenage Warhead needed more screen space and we could have done without the extra minutes spent in the over-dramatisation in the first half. Talking about fights, though astounding, the gratification the original film gave is somehow missing. Cost-cutting on the visual effects front is also visible, despite the bigger budget, and Deadpool breaking the fourth wall to call a fight between Colossus and a certain character (another surprise), a ‘big CGI fight’, doesn’t help matters.
Nevertheless, the dark humour and some memorable scenes make you forget these issues. And oh, the film’s post-credit scenes are some of the best to have come from a Marvel film. On the whole, Deadpool 2, I dare say, is better than the original, thanks to having its heart and humour in the right place.