‘Deadpool 2’ Review

Meta-snark and nihilism at the cinema: a perfect night out

BY:

Hi kids; Deadpool here. Consider this a spoiler warning because Sonny, who's a real [redacted], is going to discuss plot points in this review, including in the [redacted]ing first paragraph. Who does that? It's like the lead character talking to the audience while they're watching the movie: too crazy to contemplate.

Deadpool 2 is the sort of movie where the heroes kill a guy—after spending the last act of the film saving that guy so one of the characters will learn a moral lesson—all in the hopes of scoring a quick laugh derived from the joys of knocking off religious zealots, while also using time travel during the mid-credits scene to erase a death that took place earlier in the film so as to avoid outraged howls from Internet folks about the wickedness of "fridging" tertiary female characters.

It's irreverent but also reverent, whiplashing rapidly between snarky fourth-wall-breaking sneers and making sure to hit all the properly progressive notes. While Solo‘s writers lament that they just couldn't quite get the stick-in-the-muds at Disney to let them include a gay character (and ramble on about how Lando is pansexual in interviews), Deadpool 2 puts its money where its motormouth is, making sure to include a lesbian X-Man.

Or is it, as Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) suggests, X-Person? Amusingly, the unkillable killer-for-hire Deadpool is so over-the-top with his Woke White Guy shtick that it annoys everyone else on his squad; he is dismissed as x-hausting by film's end.

None of this is to suggest that Deadpool 2 isn't amusing even if, like its namesake, it is occasionally exhausting. Wilson/Deadpool is sad because his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) has been killed by someone for some reason; Deadpool's buddy from the first film, Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), tries to get him to join the X-Men again to get him out of his funk. In the course of his first mission as an X-Men trainee, an effort to stop a mutant kid named Russell (Julian Dennison) from freaking out and killing a bunch of people, Deadpool goes rogue and, um, kills a guy they were trying to save. He and Russell get arrested, which is convenient since a time traveler named Cable (Josh Brolin) wants to kill Russell and Deadpool, needing a reason to go on living, decides to save the boy and stop Cable. To do that, he'll need a team: X-Force.

It takes a while to get to the X-Force/Cable stuff, but it's worth it, especially for people who grew up reading comic books in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I'm always up for a good Rob Liefeld-can't-draw-feet joke or a God-Shatterstar-was-lame joke, and director David Leitch and writers Rhett Reese, Paul Wenick, and Ryan Reynolds make most of the gags work even for those of you who weren't shelling out your cold hard cash for panels of footless superheroes doing battle whilst wearing pouch-laden belts. Of special note is Zazie Beetz's work as Domino, whose mutant power is being lucky and whose relaxed vibe perfectly offsets Deadpool's occasional try-hard tendencies.

But who can stay mad at natural-born try-hard Ryan Reynolds, even when he gets on your nerves for a minute or two? The guy's all charm. Or, rather, schmarm. A little bit of schmarm will go a long way, and there's more than a little of it in Deadpool 2.

What can I say: I enjoyed the movie. It made me laugh a couple times; Brolin and Reynolds are great; Beetz is fun; the plot makes sense, more or less. I can't imagine ever watching Deadpool 2 again—I tried rewatching Deadpool recently and the whole too-cool-for-school, talking-to-the-audience, hey-look-ma-we're-in-a-movie thing got old real quick—but it makes for an entertainingly nihilistic night out.

Sonny Bunch   Email Sonny | Full Bio | RSS
Sonny Bunch is executive editor of the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Beacon, he served as a staff writer at the Washington Times, an assistant editor at The Weekly Standard, and an editorial assistant at Roll Call. He has also worked at the public relations and nonprofit management firm Berman and Company. Sonny’s work has appeared in the above outlets, the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, National Review, the New Atlantis, Policy Review, and elsewhere. A 2004 graduate of the University of Virginia, Sonny lives in Washington, D.C. His Twitter handle is @SonnyBunch.

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