Deadpool 2 plays within the same flashback narrative and irreverent sense of humour that made its R-rated predecessor a hit. The new changes are behind the camera, with director David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde) picking up where Tim Miller left off.
Miller, who made a career-making feature film debut with Deadpool, didn’t have a wheelhouse per se. Leith, on the other hand, is known for his experience on action movies and coordinating stunts. That’s where Deadpool 2 has a slight shift for audiences. The sequel is more action-oriented, with big set pieces that involve lots of calculated choreography and frenzied visuals, but these sequences give audiences plenty to *ahem* marvel at.
The jokes are not lost amidst the combat though. Returning screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (with the additional help of their charismatic and smart-alecky star Ryan Reynolds) maintain a consistent string of funny zingers that take aim at tentpole ensemble superhero movies; occasionally using friendly fire insults at itself by commenting on their own shortcomings. For a film that’s determined to be so dissimilar from other movies, it’s surprising to watch the outrageous film fall back on a “save the child” plot. But, the individual motivations (particularly Reynolds’ Wade Wilson character) are what makes Deadpool 2 stand out beyond the conventional beats in the story.
Deadpool 2 is amusingly self-referential and self-deprecating, and it’s exactly the sequel this franchise and its fanbase deserve.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie