Reviews for the Easily Distracted

Reviews For The Easily Distracted:
Deadpool 2

Title: Deadpool 2

Describe This Movie In One Unforgiven Quote:

WILL MUNNY: Well, you sure killed the hell outta that fella.

Brief Plot Synopsis: Grizzled soldier travels back in time to prevent horrific future. There's also Deadpool.

Rating Using Random Objects Relevant To The Film: 3 pairs of white pants out of 5.

Tagline: "From the studio that killed Wolverine."

Better Tagline: "X [Force] Gon' Give It To Ya"

Not So Brief Plot Synopsis: Everything's coming up glitter and unicorn farts for Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), AKA Deadpool, who's enjoying a successful career striking terror in the hearts (and sphincters) of the underworld. He and girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) are even planning for the possibility of kids when tragedy strikes (not Captain Tragedy). Seeking solace with the X-Men proves unsuccessful, resulting in Wade's imprisonment alongside young pyrokinetic Russell Collins (Julian Dennison), whose future actions have earned the ire of time-traveling cyborg soldier Cable (Josh Brolin). Regretting a decision to abandon Russell, albeit for the boy's own good, Wade decides to put together his own super team to prevent an unpleasant fate for everyone involved.

"Critical" Analysis:
There are several rules for making your successful sequel, and chief among them (aside from not setting it in the Highlander franchise) is keeping what worked in the original and ditching what didn’t. Deadpool 2 mostly comes through in the first directive while faltering somewhat in the second.

Naturally, you want specifics. Our second dip in the Pool offers an abundance of what made the original Deadpool such a surprise hit. We get more 4th wall breaks, excessive violence (finally, some disembowelments), and Wade's ruthless skewering of his own genre’s conventions (the movie opens with a Logan gag, for crying out loud). It's good news for fans of the first movie, though maybe not so much for people wandering into the theater looking for Infinity War.

They'll get a similar body count, at least.

As in the first movie, Deadpool 2 also leans heavily into emotional territory, focused less on Wade himself this time while we follow him from early heartbreak to personal redemption as he tries to save Russell from his (according to Cable) genocidal future. These beats are much more prevalent here and don’t hit as hard or as effectively as the comedy, but they do serve as a buffer against the nigh unending dick jokes and cracks at the expense of the DCEU. Not that anyone could get tired of those.

Providing a grim counterpoint and straight man to Deadpool’s machine gun smart-assery is Cable. To his credit, Brolin is perfectly deadpan in the role, which is a big part of the movie's success. Reynolds and Brolin have undeniable chemistry together, with their burgeoning bromance being one of the best parts of the film.

Where the sequel truly outpaces the original is in its supporting cast. Sure, Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) are back, though sadly the former plays a much more prominent role, and other regulars return, for better (Leslie Uggams as Al) or worse (T.J. Miller as Weasel, who won't be returning to the franchise, according to Reynolds).

But also joining Deadpool this time around is the so-called “X-Force,” consisting of luck-enhanced Domino (Zazie Beetz), electromagnetically enhanced Bedlam (Terry Crews), ...expectorant enhanced Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard), the Vanisher (???), and … Peter. Played by comedian Rob Delaney, Peter is the everyman who inadvertently (and hilariously) wins the audience over through his eagerness in spite of clearly misunderstanding just how over his head he is.

It's Dennison who stands out the most, however. Most recognizable (?) from Hunt for the Wilderpeople, is at 15 and "plus sized" (Wade's words) an unconventional antagonist. He portrays Russell's justifiable angst in a way that balances the drawbacks of a main character who's effectively immortal.

DP2's abundance of excess, like the title character himself, can be wearying. The whole thing sometimes staggers under the tonnage of all the asides and in-jokes, but — as in the original — the action is inspired and the cast never give less than maximum effort. That, along with what might be the greatest mid-credits scene of any superhero movie ever, makes Deadpool 2 almost worth its weight in chimichangas.
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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar