The opening to Deadpool 2 is like a Flip Book of of his comics; globetrotting mercenary levels of killing economy doused in meta-humour that reaches through the fourth wall to slap you silly. Though Deadpool may be wearing the same suit, and frolic with many of the same characters, the unkillable love child of Freddy Krueger and Monty Python is most definitely a sequel that’s had more money thrown at it whilst having less constraints set upon it.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds or perhaps simply, Wade Wilson in disguise within our reality) wants a family, and as such tells the viewers that this movie is in fact part of the Family genre, even following the same tropes that make up a large percentage of Disney classics. A death close to Deadpool sets him off on a journey that raises some apt questions around immortality and the meaning of existence, all wrapped up in delectable tortilla of humour and violence. A trademark Deadpool chimichanga that is upset by the appearance of future-soldier Cable who’s hell bent on killing a child who will prophetically go on to herald a dark dystopia.
Like many of the heroes within what has become an oversaturated genre, identity crises are as wrung out as falling cities and CGI-laden battles. Deadpool, the film, the character, the identity, has no such crisis. Reynolds, Leitch (One of the guys that killed the dog in John Wick) and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick know precisely what makes Deadpool tick. And so gloriously bask in the blood, the bad mouthing and the bombast to deliver the promise of a blockbuster sequel. The locales are grander, the scope farther reaching and the meta-humour coming at you harder than the 3D Horror genre post-Avatar. For all the excessive violence and F-words there’s a precise balance here between the fourth wall and the Fucks.
Rules are oft spoken about in much of the discourse between the Great Silver Sinew that is Colossus and the Merc with the Mouth. Rules and their self-fulfilling prophecies are meant to be broken. Whilst these discussion aren’t aimed at the viewer, the self-reference is multitudinous. Deadpool has always had the comic book tropes in his crosshairs and that’s part of the reason he resonates. He is the rule, and the rule breaker squeezed tightly into a red leather sweatsuit. The nonconformist who exemplifies its black heart on its scarred sleeve for all the caped crusaders to see. Both metaphorically and literally, as nothing and no one is safe in Deadpool 2. Marvel, DC, James Bond, John Wick, Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds. Even Deadpool himself. Nothing is off limits and that is the intoxicating rebellion that Deadpool leads. He is the author and the reader, so how do we go about acknowledging the death of the author (Reynolds is literally a Co-Writer this time round) when he can grow back limbs on a whim? Even if those limbs regrow in infant form first leading to a wicked Basic Instinct gag and streams of smut. When it comes to Deadpool, or meta-fiction itself, perhaps they truly are unkillable.
Whilst Colossus, Teenage Negasonic Warhead, Weasel and Ness are back, there is still some wiggle room for the newcomers to dance. Cable being the biggest pull for this new installment, announced way back in the hilarious end credits of the original Deadpool movie. Brolin straight off the back of his grandstanding turn as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War brings the matured badass. The soldier from days of future past has always been the finest accompaniment to digest Deadpool, taking no shit and brooding in his own brutality all the while. And when he stops trying to blow Deadpool away with a gun that cranks the firepower to 11, Cable and Deadpool share in a reluctant, unbalanced brotherhood. Domino, played by the charismatic Zazie Beetz has fun in bringing her lucky streak to the unfortunate pair whilst becoming another iconic heroine amongst the established likes of Black Widow, Wonder Woman, et al. Heroines that look to change the playing field once more, and rightly so. The expanded roster of heroes and villains fleshes out the world in which Deadpool plays, acknowledging and yet disavowing the presence of the X-Men that kicked off this Superheronaissance in 2000.
Deadpool works so well because he is the Punk to the established Rock ‘n’ Roll, only allowed such frivolities because he can deconstruct that which has already been constructed. This taste, or lack thereof (Deadpool’s words, not mine) of Action Comedy is by no means meant to serve everybody satisfactorily. The deeper one has swam within the seas of Pop Culture and Comic Books, the more one will appreciate this sequel. Or at least understand it’s desire to commit an established character to the screen faithfully. Deadpool 2 is as paradoxical as its titular character and the world he inhabits. You, yes you, dear reader, will feel the joys and sorrows Deadpool feels, as both Fiction and Film allow. You will laugh and you might even cry. You’ll groan and you’ll gag. And you might even throw roses toward the screen after the end credits in appreciation of this one man show whose lack of giving a shit is the fight with one sword for liberal politics, equality, justice and family values. And with the other, skewers them decoratively. Deadpool 2 is a riot of a movie that raucously fills the shoes of an iconoclastic idiot that might be the hero we all deserve.