Deadpool 2

Year: 2018
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: David Leitch
Producer: Ryan Reynolds/Simon Kinberg/Lauren Shuler Donner
Writer: Rhett Reese/Paul Wernick/Ryan Reynolds
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Josh Brolin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beets, TJ Miller, Leslie Uggams, Eddie Marsan, Rod Delaney, Bill Skarsgård, Terry Crews, Brad Pitt

Here's a sequel that was assured before the last phone call to an executive retreat the weekend the first Deadpool came out. For awhile it looked like the wheels were falling off before it had begun, star/producer Ryan Reynolds falling out with original director Tim Miller, who left the project, but the good news is that nobody involved here, including incoming director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde), has forgotten what made the original such a hit.

Wade (Reynolds) is still madly in love with beautiful girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), who loves him more every day despite his disfigurement from the first movie. He busts up bad guys by day, comes home to her loving arms by night, and things couldn't be better.

But when armed goons burst in to their apartment one night Wade loses everything he's lived for, unable to even kill himself and end his misery because of his super healing abilities.

Eventually he realises he might find a new purpose in life when he's imprisoned with a young mutant who calls himself Firefist (Julian Dennison), an angry young man who's been abused at a mutant orphanage and wants revenge. When Wade decides to finally join the X-Men (whose ranks still only include Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and her new girlfriend Yukio) and put himself to good use in the world, it gives him the opportuity to find a reason to live again.

When he's called to a standoff between Firefist and the former headmaster of the orphanage (Eddie Marsan) that threatens to turn violent, Wade is expected to help bring Firefist in, but when it all goes wrong they're shipped off to a remote mutant prison and shackled in collars that block their powers so they're not a danger (but letting the cancer that will kill him run rampant in Wade's body again).

The fly in the ointment is a soldier from the future named Cable (Josh Brolin, owning the blockbuster genre this year), who for some reason is there to find and kill Firefist. After making good his escape, Wade prepares to put together a team of superheroes – the X Force – to stop Cable, and the action/chase narrative that follows is all very superhero blockbuster-ey.

But what makes it uniquely a Deadpool movie is the comedy add-ons, and they come as thick and fast here as they did in the first movie. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments (the biggest – a Green Lantern joke – comes during the end credits sequence) and Reynolds is again on fine form as the titular snarky hero.

The story is fairly insubstantial but the actual script, credited to Reynolds as well as Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (to the extent the gags were written on the page), knows what it is and what it has to do. It edges into the territory we've seen a million times of the anguished figure who's got nothing to lose, but that's only plot mechanics and it doesn't stay with that tone or train of thought for too long before bringing it back to the laughs, action and the seamless blending of the two the character is known for.

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