I’d like to share my opinions on sequels-in this case being, both R-rated comedies and superhero movies. Sequels are always debatable on whether they’re better, worse, or just as good as the first.
So far, in the first category, the only one to survive was “22 Jump Street,” which satirized the sequel cliches, while others like “Horrible Bosses 2” or “A Bad Moms Christmas” ruined their predecessors for me by being, as I like to call them, “Remakes in Disguise.”
And in the other category, I trust superhero sequels more than regular sequels, because they continue the hero’s story. They barely recycle old tricks, and they allow us to get to know his/her life story more. This is what “Black Panther” just did.
I wasn’t too thrilled with the original “Deadpool” from 2016, because it took a while for me to realize the title hero has to be an asshole at times. But I do admire his own satire on Marvel movies and even some of Ryan Reynolds’ work. “Deadpool 2” is not only an improvement on the original, but is also the best in a series of R-rated comedy sequels.
Reynolds is back as Deadpool, whose girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) gets murdered, and can’t get on with his life. Next, he becomes an X-Men trainee, whose first assignment is to stop a fire throwing kid named Russell (Julian Dennison) from a fit. Seeing how the kid has been abused, he gets both him and himself thrown a mutant prison. And then when a time traveling mutant named Cable (Josh Brolin, the same Thanos actor) comes from the future to kill the kid, Deadpool decides to save him by forming an X-Force.
“Deadpool 2” improves on the original, by showing me the emotional and sympathetic side to the hero, instead of just having his wisecracks take control of the character. This is what I was expecting the original, and now, I’ve got it. Reynolds is once again perfect with his wisecracks, satire on movies, and even his own work.
You also get some nice work from Brolin as Cable with his magnetic suit, dialogue, and screen time with Deadpool. Zazie Beetz is also versatile as Domino, whose super power is luck, and trust me: don’t underestimate that. And Dennison has a lot to offer as Russell. Even in his angry moments, you’re either laughing yourself silly or struggling with his anger.
The one thing that made me uncomfortable is the tame collars that the imprisoned mutants have the wear. If Deadpool wears it, his powers get drained, and his cancer returns, thus legitimately killing him. “Zootopia” almost used tame collars for the predators, like the fox Nick Wilde, and if they went through with that set-up, it would have drowned out my enjoyment for that film.
But Deadpool would probably say: “Hey! Back to my movie.”
Other than those scenes, “Deadpool 2” is smart, flexible, and freaking funny. Director David Leitch (last year’s “Atomic Blonde”) rounds it all up, and almost nothing gets ruined. Add Peter Gabriel, Celine Dion, and DJ Shadow to the soundtrack, and you’re gonna have fun.