Movie Review : Deadpool 2 (2018)
Deadpool was a fringe Marvel character before he was granted his own movie in 2016. He was the cool, cult superhero for real comic book fans. Fast forward two years and he's now that Marvel superstar every faux-nerd brags about knowing before he was cool. The first movie was pretty fun and clever, but it felt like Deadpool had emptied his bag of tricks right off the bad: breaking the fourth wall, superhero cynicism, dick jokes, what else is there to him that would warrant a sequel? Well, Josie and I went to see Deadpool 2 over the weekend and... hold your pants up, it's even better than the first.
I'm going to start with a minor spoiler. The movie begins with Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) being suicidal after his girlfriend Vanessa (the underrated Morena Baccarin) is murdered by a Russian thug. A failed suicide attempt leads him to back to Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) who simply refuses to give up on him. He convinces Deadpool to become an X-Men trainee and their first mission is to stop a young Firefist (Julian Dennison) gone wild from murdering just everybody. This seems like a routine superhero intervention, but sometimes life has a way of giving you exactly what you need.
So, Deadpool 2 is a two hours-long Logan joke, but that's been establish already *. But it's not only that. There's a genuine attempt at moving beyond its own cynicism. It goes to town on the old myth of redemptive violence by having Vanessa being the innocent victim of a criminal vendetta against Deadpool. In a very un-Deadpool scene in act 1, he admitted his guilt in the death of his girlfriend, saying he's the one perpetrator that got away. If he hadn't went after the Russian thugs, they wouldn't have retaliated and Vanessa would still be alive. It's an idea that permeates the entire movie. Deadpool refuses to let violence and murder be a solution to his existential suffering.
Of course, Deadpool 2 doesn't entirely commit to an earnest worldview that champions sacrifice and family because it would be just as big a cliché as going full badass. The post-credit scene basically invalidates the entire movie by rolling back its events and changing key moments. I'm not going to tell you what these events are, but Deadpool's trademark cynicism is going full meta. Not only Deadpool 2 attacks a toxic myth that is at the heart of the moviemaking industry, but it's basically saying: we're a movie too. Please don't take us too seriously because we'll ruin your day if you do. That... fucking blew my mind. And I can't decide whether it's cynical or not.
Don't worry, I thought Deadpool 2 was even funnier than its first iteration. It fires away at just every possible superhero trope, but it was to be expected. And I'm sure you didn't need my review to tell you how fucking clever and hilarious this movie is. What I'm telling you here is that it goes way beyond dick jokes and breaking the fourth wall. Deadpool 2 has something to say about the very nature of the movies we like to "shut our brain off" to and I didn't expect that at all. I would go as far as saying that... welp... it's one of my favorite movies of 2018, so far?
* My guys at Wisecrack will tell you all about it: