Let me just start you off with the official synopsis:
“After surviving a near-fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the Yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.”
If that isn’t the most nonsensical, wacky, ridiculous, outta this world storyline description, I don’t know what is. In a figurative (and literal, in this case) nutshell, this perfectly encapsulates what the character Deadpool is all about. Total absolute unhingedness. In a cinematic world dominated by superhero franchises with meticulously planned universes and dumbed down narratives, the first Deadpool tore through the status quo and firmly planted its artistically tiny foot on the map. Deadpool was the fourth-wall breaking, chimichanga eating, cab riding, katana wielding, slice-my-wrists-off-but-still-get-my-rocks-off character, we never knew we wanted.
To put it simply and without major spoilers, our titular hero finds himself in a rather sad spot contemplating killing himself (ironic) after a terrible incident. After an obligatory pick-me-up narrative scene, he joins forces with a bunch of D-List X-men to find meaning in his life but ends up in an even bigger quagmire which, again, forces him to wrestle with his own twisted sense of morality. Also, Cable shows up and they duke it out by kicking each other’s exteriors and fully utilizing the R rating.
Look, the plot, while in itself fantastic and well thought out -except for certain dips in tone- is not why you watch Deadpool. We are all here for complete absurdity and David Leitch and Ryan Reynolds deliver this in buckets. Trying to form a drinking game out of references and easter eggs will surely result in an ER visit – and fist bumps with drips hanging out. Because of the source material and how it has evolved over the years, nothing is safe from being lampooned. From the obvious Marvel and DC digs to the insanely obscure Les Misérables nod (which I found out after going through forums), there is so much densely packed into this instalment. The magic is that it doesn’t feel at all too much or bearing the weight of its predecessor(s) – looking at you Infinity War.
Of course, given the first terrific proof of concept that brought in wads of cash, the green light to go big was given instantly. This feels longer (not by much apparently), has more obscure but fan favourite characters brought in, and due to having John Wick’s director replacing Tim Miller, the action feels a lot sharper and grittier. There is a scene where Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Vanisher, Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård) and Peter do a HALO drop that escalates so damn fast, it leaves you dizzy with several expletives running through your head wondering what the hell just happened. The only other scene to top this occurs later with Weasel, Blind Al and Dopinder and is a blown up (hihi) version of the first instalment’s ‘hand growing’ scene. It’s a masterclass on how to execute comedy. Absolutely sublime – if you can stop laughing your head off and focus on the rapid-fire events.
As with the first Deadpool, everyone brings their acting game and then some, all the while making it seem like the most fun set in Hollywood. Reynolds was born to play Deadpool, Zazie Beetz sinks into Domino and completely convinces everyone why her superpower of ‘luck’ is the best ever, Julian Dennison captures what exactly it is to be a kid with fire shooting out of your hands and Josh Brolin, who must be nailing the CGI roles, brings to life the all-around badass Cable with surprising effectiveness. Yet, the cameos are even more interesting. I swear to you, Brad Pitt is in there somewhere. That’s the only spoiler I can give here but trust me – he won’t be easy to spot *wink nudge*.
The first few scenes take a pretty weird turn and though it explains the Celine Dion soundtrack (which is fantastic by the way), they are also the only chink in the armour here. In an essentially self-aware film, the stakes aren’t going to feel as high and shifting gears into something gorier (there is a LOT of this – don’t take your kids) felt somewhat clunky and forced. Thankfully, the slick action and gore more than made up for it. There is obviously bias towards expertly done gore here. The other concern, that is really empirical, is how much of the winks, nods and nudges can we really have until it becomes a cliche in itself – meta self-awareness. The only other film that nailed this just as well was 22 Jump Street and it was a tightrope balancing act that thankfully left it at the second instalment (so far). This should never end up like the Taken franchise.
As a result of being chock full of little details, it’s incredibly hard not to reveal plot details by expanding more on it. A second viewing is also mandatory – ain’t no way to catch ’em all in one run. Deadpool 2, in conclusion, is a perfect vehicle to showcase what creatives can do when you throw them a bunch of money and just let them run absolutely wild. While throwing time travel. Minor spoiler; had to do it.