Don’t worry mafakas. This review is absolutely SPOILER-FREE.
As far as comedies are concerned, it’s not often we get to see a sequel that manages to one-up the original. For every 22 Jump Street, there’s a Zoolander 2, Caddyshack 2, Dumb and Dumber To and the mother of all shitstorms, White Chicks 2 (I know it’s not out yet, but let’s not fool ourselves). These movies — if you can even call em that — are the reason why I wish a piano would drop on my head every time I walk out of the house. So, despite my childlike excitement, you can’t blame me for also being ever so slightly worried when FOX announced a Deadpool sequel.
Just like Marthin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, Deadpool was a middle finger up THE MAN’S ass. Yes, I compared a red spandex-ed crazy person to the dude who got independence for India without drawing blood or wearing appropriate footwear. No, I can’t promise you that I didn’t take seven shots of Tequilla before turning on my laptop. The point is, Deadpool changed the game, big time.
By expectedly becoming a hit among critics and unexpectedly becoming a massive box office success, it took a dump on conventional studio wisdom, a wisdom — as I said in my Deadpool review — that for the longest time suggested that comic book movies should always be PG-13, made to appeal to the widest possible audience; that comic book movies should be big budgeted extravaganzas; That ‘comic book’ is a specific genre with specific parameters.
But its success also meant that Deadpool 2 had an enormous burden to bear. It needed to fire on all cylinders or risk being called a one-trick pony and it needed to do so without the ‘the-world-has-not-seen-shit-like-this-before’ shock factor at its aid. Well, after two years of waiting, after months of keeping our fingers crossed, it brings me absolute pleasure to announce that
DP2: Deadpool’s Revenge Deadpool 2 is a certified boner inducer (and panties wetter cause #equality). Not only that, it is also a much better movie than the original. And that my friends, is saying something.
The geniuses behind Deadpool 2 — I’m going to give most of the credit to writers Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds, and some of it to director David Leitch — know that they cannot rely on the property’s novelty anymore (not that they “relied” on it in the first movie) and so they dial it back a little. The jokes don’t come at an AK47 pace and the occasional juvenile humour which is a slight taint on the original, is almost completely non-existent. Don’t get me wrong, this movie is just as balls to the wall, laugh till you drop funny as the first. Just like the original, this movie is all about ass-kicking, kicking ass, double katanas and F-bombs and crass fourth wall breaking humour. Did I mention ass-whooping? Cause there’s a lot of that too. But here, the writers exercise restraint. As a result, we have a more wholesome movie with a lot more room to breathe.
Anyway, the premise. Let’s just say that everything you’ve seen in the trailers, besides Cable hunting for a kid in a yellow prison jumpsuit, is joyously misleading and 0% spoilery. And so, for the sake of preserving your experience, I won’t say anything other than yeah, Cable is on the hunt for the kid and Deadpool, along with the X-Force must save him. The storyline isn’t as streamlined or straightforward as the original. There, it was a simple but effective revenge story, here, the narrative unravels in much more interesting ways.
The problem with the Deadpool character is that he’s virtually indestructible. Even if you burn him, he’ll rise from the ashes. Slice him in half and he’ll just grow his limbs back again. So, how do you make the audience invest in a character like that — If it’s almost impossible to kill him, why should we even bat an eye when he’s in a fight? By making it not just about him. And by making him question if his life is even worth living. Like I said, this is much more plot-driven than the original.
Just like in Deadpool, at the core of this grotesque violent R-rated comedy, is a love story, both tragic and beautiful. But here, love isn’t just romance but also friendship and kinship. We wouldn’t be able to relate to or care for Deadpool if the character is purely just a jerkoff who kills people while telling dick jokes. The character and essentially the movie works because Wade Wilson (once again portrayed to perfection by Ryan Reynolds), despite being an absolute prick, is a charming guy with a heart of gold (okay fine, silver). His love for Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) is unconditional and absolute. We also understand why Wade wants to protect the kid.
Deadpool 2 brings back all our favourite characters from the first movie — Vanessa, TJ Miller’s Weasel, Dopinder (Karan Soni), Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic), Negasonic Teenage Whattheshit Coolest Name Ever (Brianna Hildebrand) and even Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) — and introduces us to new ones, who together with Deadpool, form the X-Force. We have Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård) and, most entertainingly, Domino (Zazie Beetz). I’ve seen many complain that as a result, the movie feels a little overstuffed, with not enough focus on some original characters, particularly Negasonic who gets the short end of the stick. And perhaps there’s some validity to that. But frankly, it didn’t bother me, mostly because I felt that everyone got the right amount of screentime necessary to make this movie work, including Negasonic, who now has a mutant girlfriend #2018, but mostly because I was too drunk on the movie’s awesomeness to notice.
“How are the X-Force?” you ask? I’d rather not spoil anything, but let’s just say that collectively, they have one of the most WTF? DID THAT JUST HAPPEN? sequences in the film. But I can talk about Zazie Beetz’s Domino, who was my least favourite character going into the movie — her superpowers is luck, who cares? — but turned out to be the best character outside of Deadpool… including Cable. Domino is a legitimate badass and Beetz, who is extremely charismatic, is perfect in the role. And for those of us who wondered how a character whose superpower is luck can be at all cinematic, get ready to be bitch slapped by director David Leitch. Domino has the absolute best, most cinematically stunning sequence in the movie. Two words: Jaw. Floor.
And that’s exactly the kind of style and vision the director of John Wick and Atomic Blonde brings to the table. As far as directorial efforts go, Deadpool 2 knocks the socks off Tim Miller’s Deadpool. As expected from David Leitch, the action scenes are glorious. Not quite on the level of the Atomic Blonde stairwell fight, but there is a lot more choreography and usage of wide shots than the first movie, nonetheless. Leitch also ensures that despite the nonsensical nature of many of these action sequences, they still feel weighted. Together with his frequent cinematographer Jonathan Sela, Leitch has given us one slick comic book movie.
Deadpool 2 isn’t flawless. But just like Deadpool, this ballsy piece of beautiful trash is proof that we’re not even close to reaching superhero fatigue, so long as filmmakers continue to push the envelope. I can’t wait to catch this one again.
P.S: The opening credits sequence is just as good, if not better than the original.
P.P.S: Over the past couple of days, you’ve probably seen postings online that Deadpool 2 has the best post-credits sequence you’ve ever seen. I can confirm those statements. Trust me, it’s best you bring another pair of underpants.
Deadpool 2 is out in selected Malaysian cinemas now and will be wide released on the 17th of May.
Deadpool 2 is a certified boner inducer/panties wetter #Equality. Not only that, it is also a much better movie than the original.