It’s “Ryan Reynolds” Starring Deadpool, but what else are we expecting?
Updated: May 29, 2018
Deadpool 2 is filthy, smutty and vulgar; bawdy, barnyard and lewd; nigh on pornographic in its humour and explicit in its inglorious intentions. It takes a little while to find its feet, but when the dialogue and tone hit fifth gear Deadpool 2 has the audience rifling through a rollicking fest of dirt-humour, devilish demeanour and the downright depraved. In many ways it reads like a product upgrade: two years after the previous model has come out the fresh, more refined version has hit the shelves, with the same body and framework, sleeker and more focused but with a couple of clumsy flaws that come with the territory. Yet, for the vast majority of foibles and blemishes that puck the script like the face of the film’s namesake, Deadpool 2 has a refreshing tone for a Marvel Universe that often has to spread itself thin to accommodate its vast narrative and marketing needs. For Deadpool the appeal is simple, clear and devastatingly decadent.
In the same way that Van Wilder required direction, Just Friends a writer or Ryan Reynold’s an acting resume, here’s a run-down of the plot more out of obligation than insight: in the aftermath of his wife’s murder, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is detained at a detention centre for a separate murder with an angry teenage mutant called Russell (Julian Dennison) aka Firefist (yes, Firefist). Deadpool is thrust into the crossfire of a time-travelling, Winter Soldier-armed Thanos – I mean Cable (Josh Brolin - and, yes, those meta-references are in the movie) – who has sought to murder the kid to offset the future murder of his family. Breaking out of the detention centre and employing a rag-tag team of “X-Force” mutant outcasts (with a surprising Rob Delaney cameo and an even more surprising, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from Brad Pitt), Deadpool goes in search to save the kid in more ways than one.
The hard thing about writing a review for this film is that all the snarky, backhanded chides and sneers have already been appropriated ad infinitum by the film itself. The film is stuffed with an archive of self-deprecating Marvel and Ryan Reynolds gaffs. It is a living, breathing parody of itself, covering its flaws with a flood of self-awareness that makes genuine miss-steps seem anything but. The first two-thirds of the movie are a highlight reel of sarcasm and irreverence, scenes that are written to facilitate the humour rather than the story. It shows the quick-witted, ever-charming Ryan Reynolds at his very best. It is a Reynolds brain-fest splashed out on screen, with little distinction between a fun fair for its audience and a vanity fair for its lead.
The film does little to concern itself with the pastimes of plot and character development. It is at its gleeful best in the moments that take us away from the action – the snarky meta-references, the fourth-wall asides, the self-deprecating finger pointing – but, nevertheless, the film salvages its highlight reel of decadence by offering a raucous deliverance of what the Deadpool faithful have come to see.
The great Frank Capra once said, “there are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.” On that account Deadpool 2 is Oscar-worthy, a carnival of action and humour. 20th Century Fox bank accounts aside, Surely the sheer entertainment has enough pull that this is not the last we have seen of Deadpool, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Colossus and the rest of the merry team. If not for anything else, there are still too many Ryan Reynolds jokes that are yet to have their moment on screen.