By Khaleel Herbert
Time travel, roasts of the Marvel and DC universes, a kid with mutant powers and the same merc with a mouth only scratch the surface of “Deadpool 2.”
Since killing Francis, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) has taken his mercenary work abroad, killing crime lords in Hong Kong, Sicily and more. Upon his homecoming, Wade reunites with his girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) who’s ready to make babies. Suddenly, their apartment is raided by deadly thugs.
Wade apprehends all but one, spoiler alert, who kills his beloved Vanessa. While in a decapitating mourning period, Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) brings Wade to the X-Men mansion and nudges him to be part of the team. Wade is reluctant. But when a mutant child with the power to shoot flames from his body (Julian Dennison) erupts on the public, Wade steps in as an X-Men trainee with Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). You’d be correct to say this is a terrible idea.
Believe it or not, “Deadpool 2” is one big spoof of Hugh Jackman’s “Logan.” The kid mutant, Wade’s reluctance to help the mutant child and the big X-Men references. Sound familiar? This sequel just hits the funny bone more than “Logan” did. But I wonder, if “Logan” didn’t premiere last year, would the plot of “Deadpool 2” be completely different? I guess that’s one of those conspiracy theories fanboys and comic geeks will be at odds with for years to come.
Looking beyond “Logan,” this sequel has its funny parts with action and jokes aplenty. Josh Brolin gives an authentic performance of Cable, and frankly, I like him more here than as Thanos in “Avengers” because he’s more comical and the counterpart to Deadpool. There’s plenty of comedy and pop culture references on dubstep, Winnie the Pooh and Frozen. Plus super-newbies Domino (Zazie Beetz) Bedlam (Terry Crews) and Shatterstar (Lewis Tan) add to the laughter and action. Deadpool fans will find it hard to hold in their laughter for this sequel.
But here’s my beef with “Deadpool 2.” The first time I saw “Deadpool,” I was blown away because he was an anti-hero with spunk. I couldn’t believe the things that came out of his mouth and how he reacted to different scenarios. Remember that scene when he fought Colossus and damaged himself so much that he was hopping on one leg? Or when Colossus captured Deadpool to become part of the X-Men and he cut his own hand off throwing the bird? Or the way he put Negasonic Teenage Warhead in a box as the typical rude teenage girl? Or even how he almost killed a man with a Zamboni in order to find Francis? I liked how he played by his own rules. Plus he broke the fourth wall…a lot, which really drew me into his world.
Deadpool was to Marvel’s mutant world what Eminem is to the hip-hop world. He followed his own compass and broke the mold of the typical superhero film. But in this film, he gets soft. I blame the director change. Tim Miller knew what he was doing. David Leitch needs to stick to the “Atomic Blonde” and “John Wick” worlds and leave Deadpool alone. Plus, Stan Lee doesn’t grace the screen at all.
The merc with a mouth has his funny moments in “Deadpool 2,” but it doesn’t top his 2016 debut on the silver screen.
Studio: 20th Century Fox (2hr)
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Terry Crews, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, Leslie Uggams, Julian Dennison, Stefan Kapicic
Director: David Leitch
Story: Deadpool must use his mercenary skills for good to save a mutant boy from an emotionally-scarred time-traveling soldier.
Final Score: D