Deputy Film Editor Luke Silverman gives his thoughts on David Leitch's "Deadpool 2"
This review contains spoilers.
It is often felt that sequels, especially comedic ones, fall flat after the weight of expectation from the success of the first one. Deadpool 2, however, is an exception to this. Everything accomplished in the first film is doubled down on and all the potential that was missed is recognised and included. The film is a worthy successor to the highest grossing R-rated movie ever, continuing the profanities in style.
What is clear is that the writers (Rhett Rheese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds himself) have become more confident with their style and, as such, the film depicts a complicated plot with twists and turns associated with more clever action films. The first film, whilst undeniably brilliant, featured a very simple story with a predictable ending. Deadpool 2 on the other hand, keeps the audience guessing throughout. This is evident with the introduction of Josh Brolin’s character Cable. At first, the film directs the audience into believing that Cable is the antagonist to Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool. But, by the third act of the film, we suddenly become aware that it is actually the seemingly innocent Russell Collins, played by Julian Dennison.
The biggest difference between the two films however, is the fact that Deadpool 2, alongside the non-stop comedy, is punctuated with more sombre moments which all begins with the death of Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) at the very beginning of the film. We see a distraught Wade Wilson unsuccessfully trying to kill himself in order to be with her but ultimately regenerating. In these moments, the two reunite briefly in cliché scenes depicting a heavenly room in which they can communicate. Ultimately, these felt like they were slowing down the pace of the film and took away from the quick witted action.
The performance that stood out for me had to be Brolin’s futuristic Cable. The dynamic between Brolin and Reynolds is evident in their performance and Cable becomes the perfect antithesis to Deadpool.
"The film keeps the audience guessing throughout"
Unlike the titular character, Cable is extremely serious and provides much of the action seen. Brolin in this role is perfect due to his gritty looks and sharp acting. Brolin’s performance stops his character from becoming a caricature, instead adding nuances to the character that explore his internal pain.
There were two surprises from this film which I certainly was not expecting. The first was rather pleasant. In this sequel, Brianna Hildebrand’s Negasonic Teenage Warhead is revealed to be homosexual and in a relationship with another woman. As such, this marks the first openly LGBTQ+ relationship in any Marvel film. The surprise was that almost nothing was made of it. No special treatment was given. Hildebrand, who is part of the LGBTQ+ community herself, praised Reynolds for this choice. It felt like the perfect way to reveal something that still feels scarce in big action films that we see today.
The more unpleasant surprise was the role of T. J. Miller. In late 2017, he was accused of sexual misconduct and as such, there were many who called for him to be removed from the film completely, such as Kevin Spacey was in All the Money in the World. However, producer Lauren Donner addressed this, saying that given how late in post-production they were, they would not remove him. It does appear as though his role was massively reduced. Miller also left the creative team after differences with Reynolds on the vision of the film and Reynolds later confirmed that Miller would not be returning in the spinoff X-Force film.
Overall, it is clear that any fans of the first film will most certainly love the second and it has certainly earned its high opening weekend ticket sales. If you have not got round to watching it already, I would highly recommend it.
by Luke Silverman
Featured image: Twitter / @20thcenturyfox