Sequels aren’t easy. Sequels have the unfortunate reputation of doing the same thing as the original film, and therefore not being as good and somewhat irrelevant. For a superhero origin story as wildly popular and game-changing as 2016’s Deadpool, whatever came next would be watched very closely. Director Tim Miller exiting due to creative differences, as well as very public reshoots due to poorly-received test screenings, led the public to believe Deadpool 2 was doomed.
Well, lightning never strikes in exactly the same spot twice. However, sometimes, it can strike very, very close to that place.
It brings me plenty of joy to report that Deadpool 2 doesn’t fall to the sequel curse. It’s the opposite of the mess it should be. I’d say it’s just about as good as the first. It’s the same foul-mouthed, quick-witted, hyper-violent hilarious thrill ride. It’s clear from the opening titles that everyone here is up to the task of making sure this works. There’s enough to make it feel very different from its first chapter, but also I would say you can watch this without having seen the original and still have fun.
In Deadpool 2, everyone’s favorite “Merc with a Mouth” launches a team of mutant heroes to protect young mutant Russell from the time-traveling villain Cable, played by Josh Brolin. Brolin recently played Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and there may or may not be a joke about this.
Lots of other stuff happens, too, but a lot of it is so surprising and so delightful, you won’t want it spoiled for you. This narrative is looser and less focused than the first, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The script is crammed with wall-to-wall zingers and improv, just like the first. Even with a looser story, you’ll never be bored.
Deadpool 2 further solidifies the fact that Ryan Reynolds has found the role he was born to play. Credited as a co-screenwriter this time, his voice is even more present and clear. He’s a terrific improviser. He dishes out joke after joke, and hardly a single one misses the mark. When the script calls for him to do anything more emotionally challenging, he nails that too. He’s got endless charisma and he brings the best out of everyone in this cast.
This sequel definitely brings in new blood as well. I see Zazie Beetz’s Domino becoming a fan favorite who ends up getting her own spinoff. And after not really thinking much of Josh Brolin in Infinity War, he’s great here. Brolin is also one of those actors that just does so much, it’s hard for me to get excited about seeing him in anything. But he fits into the fun vibe of Deadpool very well.
In the end, I would say that Deadpool 2 is much better than it has any right to be. With all the behind-the-scenes drama that went down, it’s shocking this film turned out as well as it did. It’s every bit as clever and funny as the first. Will it hold up as well as the original? That remains to be seen. I definitely see this film being embraced by fans as much as the original. Also, avoid spoilers–that’s important–and, there are two post-credit scenes. One has the best joke in the whole movie, and perhaps any comedy so far this year.