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  • Writer's pictureBryce Chismire

Deadpool 2 - Part I - Adults Only

Updated: 6 days ago

After Deadpool took the world by surprise – among other things – with his feature-length film in 2016, he was promoted to high heavens, possibly because of how distinctive he was compared to the other classic, traditional Marvel superheroes. He was comic, foulmouthed, violent, and didn't have the most ethical track record regarding heroics. Despite all that, it all made him a force to be reckoned with and an instant pop culture icon after Ryan Reynolds brought him vividly to life.

 

Then, two years after that, a sequel crept along, as expected from someone as largely successful as Deadpool became. Little would I have expected that – in my opinion – it pushed the action, the emotions, and the general stakes the first film established to their utmost degree.



What's the story? Well, after offing Ajax, or Francis, in the last film and reclaiming Vanessa, Wade Wilson went overseas with his mercenary business as Deadpool. No longer did he hunt down criminals just in the streets where he lived; he had since extended outwards to hunt down bad guys and Mafia elites in foreign nations.

 

However, tragedy struck when some hitmen, who were affiliated with one of Deadpool's earlier targets, Sergei Valishnikov, killed Vanessa, and on her and Wade's anniversary, no less. Wade regressed into depression after thinking he had nothing to fight for. That all changed, however, when Colossus promoted him as an X-Men trainee, much to Wade's chagrin. After that, they dealt with a young boy named Russell Collins, AKA Firefist, who had super-developed powers. After trying to fend Russell off in front of the orphanage in which he was taken, Deadpool noticed some marks on his neck, and quickly catching on to such resemblances, he deduced that Russel's 'protectors' had abused him. In response, Deadpool put some of them out of their misery, prompting the outraged Colossus to kick him out of the X-Men. After that, Deadpool continuously became acquainted with Russell despite his insistence that they were not friends. As Wade learned more about his history at the orphanage where he was taken in and what Russell was capable of as Firefist, Wade soon found himself in the company of Cable, who also expressed an interest in Russell.

 

So, now that he had not only someone to fight for but also a new ragtag band of teammates to help him out, which he called the X-Force, what was Wade to do when he was on the verge of forging a new reputation for himself, and not just as the Merc with a Mouth? And what more was there to Russell that's putting everyone on high alert outside of his superpowers?



As I recall, the first Deadpool was a hefty cinematic introduction for the titular character since it established how Wade Wilson became Deadpool and how his crass personality and loose-cannon methods of hunting down bad guys lent him the infamous reputation as the Merc with a Mouth. In this film, however, while all the portions that made the first Deadpool such a classic superhero flick have returned, it's also accompanied by many new elements to make it feel more like a legitimate superhero flick and not just another Deadpool movie. The action in the first film felt a bit restrained, as if it didn't go full-on enough with its actions to leave a long-lasting impact. The more memorable parts of the movie may have been its humor and how stylized the action scenes throughout felt. However, this film focused more on the action sequences, which felt grander in size compared to the first film. If done wrong, the action could easily have been overwhelming and overshadowed the characters participating in whatever major force they had to confront. However, in Deadpool 2, while that is the case concerning a select few supporting characters, the action never detracted from Deadpool's greatest strengths as a character or this film's greatest strengths in its humor and sensibilities.

 

And as I mentioned, this film carries a much more emotional emphasis. The first film did a decent job of showing how much of Wade's motivations and actions that led to him becoming Deadpool was influenced by his love for Vanessa. But while that was obvious throughout the film, the movie expressed it in a more subdued light, like it intended to focus more on Deadpool's progression and journey than on the relationship at hand, which went without saying. In this movie, however, the emotional focus was more apparent, even when many other factors came in and could've gotten in its way. Whatever went down, there's a sense that much of what went down stemmed from someone's emotional connection to another, like Deadpool and his concern and friendship with Russell, forming an emotional backbone to support all the action and fighting unfolding throughout the movie. On top of that, there are even a few good twists here and there that only paint some of the characters with extra layers and dynamics to them.

 

Now, regardless of how much of what came through from the first movie, let's look at some elements that made Deadpool 2 such a breakthrough sequel.

 

First, one part of the film that feels more splendid than in the first film is the costumes.

 

It was apparent they'd be visually riveting, given that this is a superhero movie. However, the costumes' general aesthetic throughout the movie lends them some inner dignity underneath the mask, especially since the film vaguely connects to the X-Men.

 

Recognizable since the first film, Deadpool's outfit is undeniably fancy, with its blood-red coloring, ninja-like studs, sword-and-gun holsters, and its famous mouthless mask. Every time Deadpool lunged into action, the outfit helped convey a speedy elegance and a fierce drive that alerted the bad guys of his imminent and expectantly bloodthirsty arrival.

 

The outfits the supporting characters wore also helped demonstrate their personalities on the first go.

 

Starting with Cable, his mechanical arm and red-glowing prosthetic eye gave me an eerie suspicion that he had gone through many battles in his day and was now on the verge of hunting someone else down. Domino's outfit may've been simplistic, but its collective presentation, down to her hairdo, still carried a 'lite sniper'-like quality to her characteristics and visual mannerisms.



But I was legitimately more wowed by Negasonic Teenage Warhead's outfits. In the first film, she wore grungy, gangster-like clothes before transitioning into her plain yellow outfit. While that still showed her capabilities as an X-Men trainee, it didn't display her character well enough for me. But here? Her new X-Men outfit helped her live up to her utmost potential as an X-Men member who still had a ways to go but wasn't without the capabilities to cream whatever bad guy she could at the right moment. And something about the curviness of her design went in sync with her snarkier, somewhat reserved demeanor.

 

With the acting, everyone who reprised their roles from the first film gave a dash of spontaneity and nuance to their voices, which synchronized well with the more dire aspects of whatever situations they dealt with. And that's not to say any performance felt off; they all felt just a bit upped from the first film. For one thing, whenever a character felt hurt, and I mean really hurt, I felt their pain, and the performances from each actor made it as evident as can be until what I felt from them was genuine. I could tell they got more settled into their roles and knew how to perfect them on their next go. Such emotions were evident from some of the new actors as well.

 

In the little time she had, Morena Baccarin still conveyed her character, Vanessa, with a slightly competent soulmate vibe to her, like she had now known Wade for a long time and was no longer like the prostitute she started out as in the beginning of the first movie. Even after she had died, she still glanced at Wade from afar and uttered random things to him with an element of afterlife-borne wisdom.

 

Stefan Kapičić still gave Colossus the high-ranking, somewhat stilted, but resounding authority, like he still maintained what kept him a respectable and respected X-Man for so long while still putting up with Deadpool's unpredictable antics. Even as he confronted major fights, Kapičić made Colossus sound like he'd gone through this before, as if he knew how to keep a straight face when it looked like it was a good time to panic.

 

Even compared to the first film, Brianna Hildebrand portrayed Negasonic Teenage Warhead with more of a 'serious girlfriend' aspect to her. Part of that may be because she developed feelings for another of the newest recruit members, Yukio, who constantly flirted from afar with Deadpool. Like Morena Baccarin, she didn't do as much with her character as in the first film, but outside of her lesbian demeanor, her expressions, glances, and snide retorts toward Deadpool still made her as much of a knockout as in the first film.

 

Karan Soni still played Dopinder with the same tenderness and borderline scaredy-cat tendencies as in the first film. But this time, he expressed Seymour-Krelborn-like undertones to him, as if, for all his frights over the big-scale fights Deadpool partook in, he was ready to prove his worth even when his physical expertise would've proven differently.

 

TJ Miller as Weasel also felt no different from the first film, for he still conveyed his character with a somewhat insecure aspect to his personality. However, that felt more overshadowed by his mastery of describing certain people or things in an off-puttingly descriptive fashion, as he had with Wade Wilson's post-transformative face in the first film. But he now knew how to equip Wade during his more hectic episodes, especially when he had Dopinder under his employment.

 

Before I look at the movie's main star, let's look at some of the notable actors who joined the already classic Deadpool ensemble.

 

First, Julian Dennison applied a decent amount of heart and unchildlike qualities to Russell Collins' character. Whenever he spoke, I could sense just a twinge of his horrific backstory and how he got to where he ended up with or without superpowers. And whenever he was in a fighting mood, I wouldn't have guessed that he was just a young kid with the gift - or curse - of unleashing hardcore supernatural powers, not unlike Negasonic Teenage Warhead.

 

After watching her do her thing in Atlanta – the TV show – Zazie Beetz made a splash here as Domino. Since Domino was out to set things right, as Deadpool was, I admired Beetz's performance because she made her character look no-nonsense and committed. Her reactions and exasperations over Deadpool's shenanigans were also fun to watch since her coincidental yet grounded attitude contrasted Deadpool's wild, confident, and usually unfettered demeanor. Sometimes, whenever she seemed modest, she expressed a slight chirpiness and easygoing vibe that made her feel likable, not to mention a kickass demeanor whenever she lunged into action.

 

Last but not least, let's look at Josh Brolin as Cable. He gave his character such intimidation and so many appealing facets that he infused his character with shades of irresistible intrigue and campiness to heighten his coolness and threatening image. Whenever he spoke, he sounded like he had experience in his hardcore methods, notwithstanding all the details that would've painted him in a more unanticipated light. Brolin excelled in providing a memorable Marvel character worthy of sharing the spotlight with Deadpool, and knowing that he excelled in portraying another central Marvel character that same year – Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War – this was no small feat.

 


Speaking of whom, who else but Ryan Reynolds?


He, too, continued what he established of his character in the first film, and this time, the lengths he went to with his jokes and performance felt more outrageous and zanier than in the first film. No matter what he did, he was ready to churn up one zany one-liner after the next, whether he was in a big, action-packed moment, a quiet, profound moment, or even engaging in a touching heart-to-heart with someone else. No matter what happened, you can always anticipate Reynolds to deliver some crass humor and blunt observations as Wade Wilson could. Whenever he looked after Russell, he expressed evident concern for him as he could've for his fellow neighbors, whether as Wade Wilson or Deadpool. It made him feel more multi-faceted, balancing his raunchy sense of humor and action with the more conscientious and somewhat righteous demeanor he expressed to those he cared for.

 

Thankfully, even when it looked like the more touching moments, the characteristic moments, and the action scenes were all over the place and could've potentially blocked the comedy's methods of enacting a laugh throughout the film, the humor I speak of still ran rampant. It may not have carried as much punch as it did in the first film, especially since there was much to unpack in the sequel. But among the comedic tidbits in the movie that left their mark were the jokes that are considerably raunchier not only by superhero standards but also compared to the first film.

 

Like the first film, it had some fun with its opening credits sequence. However, they occurred after the shocking scenes of Vanessa's murder by Sergei and Wade physically getting even with him afterward. So, what did they do?


The movie had the credits complain about what happened before the credits, like they captured what the movie thought would've gone through the audience's heads about Vanessa's sudden death. The tone and flabbergasted nature make it seem like Deadpool made these remarks through the credits. And in typical Deadpool fashion, the credits sequence is an homage to the classic James Bond intros, specifically the Daniel Craig films. It displayed Deadpool in all his outrageous moments in the most visually dazzling way while set to the song 'Ashes,' performed by Celine Dion.

 

There are plenty more things about this movie that took me by surprise and should be mentioned.



For one thing, the soundtrack is wholly creative and subversive, and it extends beyond just 'Ashes.' Whereas the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks added a little flavoring to their intergalactic canvas with a 70s and early 80s theme to its songs and artists, Deadpool 2's songs did a neat job of either conveying some of the anticipatory or emotional moments or hilariously contradicting the circumstances going on in the film.

 

  • '9 to 5' by Dolly Parton played as Deadpool got to work hunting down bad guys. This song did a cheeky job of making his job of killing other criminals look like a regular thing, the same way we look at our everyday work schedule as a regular thing.

  • The idea of 'Only Time' by Enya playing as Deadpool, Domino, Cable, and Russell fell off the bridge in slow-motion? I like how something so soft and ethereal played over something chaotic and wild. It's as funny as it sounds.

  • 'All Out of Love' by Air Supply played as Deadpool lamented Vanessa's death, and it carried out the proper emotions as expected when mourning or lovesick.

  • Annie's 'Tomorrow' concerns Cable's family, and more famously, it played as he tried to stop the bullet from hitting Wade and hit Russell instead. That was well played, especially concerning Cable's connection to his future through this song.

  • Hearing 'If I Could Turn Back Time' by Cher as Deadpool went back in time to fix his mistakes felt glorious, but hearing the song play during Deadpool's alterations of the Green Lantern script's approval and his first iteration in X-Men Origins: Wolverine felt priceless. Not to mention, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio's concerned and uncertain suspicion about Deadpool's willingness to change the fabric of time to suit his needs somehow added some dread and a sense of hilarity to the scene all at once.

  • In the end credits, the 'Deadpool Rap' makes a comeback, only this time with X-Force as a special mention.

 

That's another aspect introduced in the movie that guaranteed some awesomeness on the horizon, but it only became another case of subversiveness, as only Deadpool would've mastered it. After being repeatedly invited by and given up by Colossus to join the X-Men, Deadpool, in his determination to rescue and talk some sense into Russell, gathered a group of superheroes to help him on his journey, which he initially called the X-Force. And while that sounds like a cool name for an equally fabulous team of superheroes, what they did throughout their time together only ended up in a parade of jokes and pratfalls. For example, one of the team members is Vanisher, and the first time he appeared, Deadpool and Wade looked at it as if he'd never shown up. Later, once Deadpool and his team got together, Vanisher was there; only his backpack of parachutes was seen. And while watching them all parachute together downwards was incredible, all but Deadpool and Domino landed to their untimely, grisly deaths instead, including one that takes a page right out of the woodchipper scene from Fargo. There's even one instance where Vanisher got electrocuted by telephone pole wires, and he not only appeared, but the actor playing him was Brad Pitt. They were all unexpected, but that's what made their sudden downfalls so hilarious.

 

The action? As expected in any superhero movie, it added excitement in just the proper doses at the right place. This time, however, because of the threats associated with what Deadpool dealt with, not to mention the vast stunts and choreography in which the actors partook to translate it into the actions of the characters, it somehow gave the movie a much bigger size to complement them all, especially when looking at the arguably small-scale scope of the first film. With the first film, whenever the action went on, it felt fast and deadly, but they were all a tad too quick and easy to miss. Here, the action was all over the place. But it does help that, even without the action in the forefront, the characters and their stories evoked enough intrigue to make me invest more in their dilemmas to see if some of them would've made it through to live and see another day.

 

Speaking of whom, how are they?



In true X-Men fashion, Russell, AKA Firefist, grappled with prejudices due to his mutant powers, and because of what he endured, Russell wasn't sure whether he could trust anyone again or, if he could, who to trust. That's what made Deadpool/Wade's attempts to connect with him feel so touching: his attempts to show him that the world is not as bad as he thinks were done to show him just what he can be capable of, especially with the superpowers that he was potentially born with. It indicates that whatever happens, outside of being embedded with superpowers, you need to figure out what to do with what you have, especially if you'll live the rest of your life with them.

 

Dopinder, the Indian taxi driver, still proved himself as Deadpool's borderline chauffeur, even when he tried more than once to prove himself as a valuable sidekick for him. This time around, however, Dopinder continued to surprise Deadpool and the audience with what he wanted to be: inspired by his kidnapping of his cousin Bandhu in the first film for stealing his fiancée away from him – not to mention Interview with the Vampire with Tom Cruise and Kirsten Dunst – Dopinder considered becoming a contract killer. Despite his modesty, his inner desire to enact murder on the proper targets was too good for him to resist after getting a taste of that upon dealing with Bandhu.

 

Colossus felt confident in Deadpool and then looked like he neared the end of his rope with him, considering how out of control he thought Deadpool became, especially since he wanted Wade to join him and Negasonic Teenage Warhead as a fellow X-Man. The conflict started because Colossus entrusted Deadpool to live up to his potential as the X-Man he knew he could be, only to discover that some heroes, like Wade, had different agendas. Part of his intrigue came from the visuals, which I thought was a huge step up from the first film. Something about how he emoted in this film felt more noticeable, as if this time, I peeked into his contemplations, conflict, and readiness as an X-Man.

 

Not much was dwelt on concerning Juggernaut outside of Russell breaking him out of prison and joining Russel on his quest for vengeance. But his size, mannerisms, unyielding impressions, and terrific visuals were enough to clue the characters and audience into his danger factor instantly.

 

Speaking of danger, Brolin's character, Cable, felt like an intimidating, cool guy. Unlike Francis in the first film, who was just more concerned about making a multitude of mutants to sell off to other people and getting back at Deadpool for sabotaging his factory, Cable felt more like a threat by comparison because of his connections with Russell and what that made him to Deadpool since he was looking out for Russell. Whatever Cable intended to do to other people next meant serious business to Deadpool. Plus, his traveling from the future added some unpredictability to his methods. Add to that his cyborg-like eye, metallic arm, time-traveling devices, and futuristic weaponry, and you have a memorable character with an alarming track record.



Domino, who tagged along with Deadpool on his mission, simply felt like the lucky one. As she was recruited alongside several other superheroes to join the X-Force, she was the only one standing after the rest of her team got X-ed, in a manner of speaking. Plus, she stood out to me not just because of her commitment and down-to-earth approach to the madness, unlike how Deadpool handled it, but because she always relied on luck to help her save the day, which Deadpool didn't think was possible until he was proven wrong every time.

 

The rest of the returning characters practically did the same thing they did in the first film, which I don't see as a bad thing. At first, I lamented how little time Vanessa had in this film before she was shot and killed. But before she was murdered, watching her react with excitement to the possibility of being a mother gives her another aspect of her personality that left me wondering about her thoughts on what she wanted compared to Wade. In addition, her parenting advice and how looking after kids could make them better than they used to be, especially since Wade's father's leaving him made him sympathize with Russell because of his predicaments feeling very similar to his own, makes her a modest but hard-hitting catalyst of dilemmas that occurred within Wade's head and actions throughout the movie. So, I can see why Wade had to carry such emotional baggage after she was gone.

 

As for Weasel, he was still the insecure bartender who watched over Wade and his record-keeping of all the bad guys he killed throughout his adventures. This time, however, he also had to worry about prepping Dopinder to be a contract killer one step at a time and affording the best defenses he could've gathered to help Deadpool on his quest to help and save Russell, down to roping in the recruits that would've made up the X-Force.

 

Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Colossus' aid, might not have done much throughout the movie outside of her snark and willingness to fight evil. Still, she was busy with her love life with another girl named Yukio. Spontaneous LGBTQ+ elements aside, I admire how it portrayed the type of relationship she had with Yukio as a natural, regular thing and how Yukio had her few moments to shine, too, when talking to Deadpool. Watching this type of angle explored with a character like Negasonic felt refreshing, especially since it never sacrificed what made her such a delightful character.

 

And finally, let's look at Wade Wilson himself. After his encounter with Francis in the last film, his now-worldwide reputation as Deadpool left behind an infamous legacy among evildoers as the guy who would have hunted them down and killed them off, even if it's for profit. However, when he anticipated becoming a father, only to see Vanessa taken from his life, it left him wondering about his life decisions when all that he loved was suddenly gone in a snap. It made his confusion over whether to fight crime before running to Russell feel more understandable, and once you see him look after Russell, he was trying to be what he hoped to be with Vanessa: a good father figure. As Colossus told him, it may not have been the family he wanted, but it would've been the family he needed. It only made his journey throughout the movie feel more special than in the first film. And, of course, whenever he was concerned about Vanessa or fighting bad guys, and not just watching over a kid with superpowers, he still tended to display how he did so differently than the other superheroes who might've done the same thing but arguably with more diligence and less foolhardiness than Deadpool. But after Ryan Reynolds made him a tour de force in the first film, in this film, he explored different aspects of Deadpool's personality that felt touching to watch and irresistible to get a grasp on, so that also made him feel like a more dynamic character than in the first film.



The inter-character dynamics, however, is what made the movie so zesty. And it only leads to one more reason I like this movie as much as I do, which I'll mention shortly.

 

Deadpool tried to reason with Russell, who was out for revenge against the orphanage where he was mistreated, mainly against the Warden. Deadpool went after Cable because he thought Cable was after Russell, but he found out that Cable was after Russell because he would've killed his family in the future. Now, we're not talking about a scenario where Russell looked like he was responsible for killing his family when it turned out to have been someone else with the same powers. No, where Cable came from – or should I say, 'when he came from'? – Russell really was responsible for killing Cable's wife and daughter. Plus, as Domino banded together with Deadpool and followed him and his friends back to Russell's orphanage, she admitted that she grew up and was tortured in that orphanage, too. So, there were many twists and turns concerning the characters that added to either the film's comedic canvas or its emotional core.

 

So, what is it about Deadpool 2 that I relish so much compared to the first movie? Everything I mentioned here was incredible and helped make Deadpool 2 somewhat on par with the first Deadpool. Of course, I know the comedy here didn't feel as rampant as in the first film. Or at least, it was rapid but more subdued than the first film. And even when the comedic moments were noticeable, they usually felt raunchier than in the first film. If the comedy's raunchy nature were amplified and made less subdued, I would wager it would make this movie the Sausage Party of superhero movies.

 

But I think it hit me as I dwelled on the inter-character dynamics and what could've worked so well about Deadpool 2, and that concerns its themes. Whereas the first Deadpool felt like a revenge story in the form of Kill Bill, this movie works so well because it grappled with not 'revenge is justice,' but rather 'revenge vs. justice.'

 

What is the right thing to do as a superhero? What separates doing the right thing from doing what you feel in your heart must be done? Do your actions satisfy others, or do they satisfy yourself? Are you doing this for the people who rely on you, or are you doing this to satisfy your ego? Those are the questions and themes being dwelled on throughout Deadpool 2, and to me, they propel it above the first film.

 

Whereas the first film took on a more simplistic measure with its superhero canvas while still breaking the mold, Deadpool 2 continued what Deadpool did so well and veered into morally gray territory, allowing the characters to dwell on questions that require extensive hard thinking to get to the answer.

 

For example, Russell was set up as a potentially sympathetic young boy who had the misfortune of past abuse because of his superpowers. But then, all it took for me to think differently of Russel was for him to summon fellow inmate Juggernaut to help him on his quest to torch and annihilate the former orphanage for mistreating and abusing him. And as the characters' reactions suggested, Juggernaut was an unreasonable beast hellbent on destruction, no matter who he did it for.



As for Cable, his entrance and menacing disposition made me think he would emerge as a new enemy for Deadpool and Russell to face together. After all, he had the essential ingredients necessary for the moral positions to be in place. But then, he revealed that outside of him coming from the future, he was after Russell because he lost his wife and daughter to him, even carrying around his daughter's teddy bear as a tragic memento. With those twists and turns out and about, it made who I thought would be a cool-looking villain compared to Francis in the first film suddenly carry forth more dynamics than I would have anticipated.

 

For all of Russell's desperations to lash out against those who had wronged him, he's more like Deadpool in the first film, where he was so consumed by revenge that Russel was willing to ignore anyone who tried to reason with him and carry out justice as he thought it should be carried out. Of course, considering how Deadpool got that kind of talking-to from Colossus, this hindsight makes me look at Deadpool and Russell like Deadpool's now become to Russell what Colossus was to him. So that kind of dynamic enacted ripple effects in the long run for this movie's benefit.

 

Colossus was among the characters that dwelt on this conundrum, too. A usually good-natured and righteous X-Man, he maintained a moral compass that would've kept him from killing other people the same way Deadpool does. However, he found out the hard way that some fights couldn't be properly dealt with the way he thinks is fair and that, as Deadpool said, he'd have to 'fight dirty' to set things right. So even he's not entirely perfect.

 

And I think that gave the movie its lifeblood, its real 'maximum effort.' It's the moral ambiguity and thought processing that made me have such a soft spot for Deadpool 2, and not just for all the comedy, action, and heart that also benefitted the film. I feel like there's a level of intelligence throughout the picture that only invigorated and nearly revitalized what was already a groundbreaking superhero movie.

 

So, how could you top off what's already so surprisingly bountiful as what Deadpool 2 unleashed ever since its release in 2018?

 

Well, that's where its other cuts come in. I'll tell you more about those here.



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