It takes almost fifteen minutes to get to the opening credits, but once you’re there, it’s safe to say that everything seen so far is exactly what Deadpool fans of the first were hoping for. After the huge success of the 2016 film – a success that surprised no one other than a nervous studio – Deadpool 2 continues in exactly the same self-deprecating, violent, yet laugh-out-loud way as the first, just louder and with more velocity.
As with the 2016 release, from the get-go there are jokes made at Hugh Jackman’s expense accompanied by Air Supply’s All Out Of Love that would be criminal to repeat, except that the poster does it for you. From The Studio That Killed Wolverine it declares at the top. As with the first film, you can only hope that Jackman possesses thick skin.
Then the faster-then-lightening pre-credit sequence continues. Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) declares, “Hit it, Dolly,” and proceeds to slice and dice an endless array of bad guys, accompanied on the soundtrack to Dolly Parton’s Nine to Five. Once the battle is done and not quite won, Deadpool runs back to his awaiting taxi, dives into the back seat and yells at the driver to move. Was it mission accomplished, the driver asks as the taxi speeds off. “In a George W. kind of way,” the superhero replies.
Then there are the opening titles which, like the first film, has fun with the credits. Again, quoting too many lines from a movie that is built on nothing but quotable lines is a criminal act. In Deadpool, a spoiler alert has little to do with twists and turns of the plot, it’s repeating too many quips. But watching a parody of a latter day James Bond styled credit sequence while being told that the film was directed ‘by one of the guys who killed the dog in John Wick,’ is too hard to resist. The real credits will run at the end.
Once the titles are done, there’s a whole film to follow, but a description of what happens is hardly important. Besides, the studio itself has already asked reviewers at the screening not to reveal story secrets. What you’ll remember the most as you tell others of what you’ve seen is not so much the Terminator-like plot of a time-traveling cybernetic soldier, Cable (Josh Brolin) who’s come back from the future to stop an event from happening, but the jokes and stunts that surround the situations.
After a hilarious barroom scene where Deadpool drowns his sorrow with booze while singing Yentl’s Papa, Can You Hear Me? then comparing the line with Frozen’s Do You Want to Build a Snowman? the cancer-stricken superhero is off on another adventure, kicking butt and taking credit.
Nothing is sacred. There are references to Annie, Patrick Stewart, Michael Keaton’s Batman, Josh Brolin’s Thanos, and Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes, with a replay of the famous Say Anything scene with the boom box held above John Cusack’s head. When Deadpool battles with Cable for the first time, he declares, “You’re so dark. Sure you’re not from the D.C. universe?”
Deadpool 2 is a graphically violent, live-action, comic adventure; a parody of any Warner Brothers type animated short you’ve seen, lengthened to just under two hours. It’s an ‘R’ rated superhero movie with laughs among the mutilations that earns its adult rating. The film is as much a gift to those who have had it with the glut of superhero films as it is to the career of Ryan Reynolds, who, after several misfires has found his level with Wade Wilson. And at this point of the review, that’s all that needs to be said.
Jokes, quips, and fourth-wall-breaking asides are shot faster than bullets from an automatic weapon. Some hit, some don’t, but they keep coming. It’s an energy that never subsides. And even if, by the end, you can’t quite remember the details of the busy business and how it all occurred, it doesn’t matter. You’ll laugh just as much on a second viewing as you play catch-up with all the flash, bang, wallop you missed on the first.
MPAA Rating: R Length: 119 Minutes Overall Rating: 7 (out of 10)