Most of the original gang returns for this sequel except for the director, Tim Miller. Creative differences arose between Miller and producer/lead actor Ryan Reynolds, who’s really calling all the shots here. Despite different directors and an inflated budget, “Deadpool 2” is more of the same, a lot more. More violence, more crude jokes and a dizzying amount of movie references. The “Deadpool” series is refreshingly different from any other superhero flick on screen today. However, it’s a bit hard to enjoy some of the creativity when the script and editing hurl a smorgasbord of elements toward the audience at high speed. Josh Brolin is having a momentous year appearing both in “Infinity War” and here as Cable. It’s unusual for one actor, playing different roles in two Marvel franchises, but the “Deadpool 2” script makes fun of that, too.
Wade (Reynolds) is having the typical day of dealing with villains in his own special way before settling back at his apartment with girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) for some baby making. Everything is disrupted though when tragedy strikes after his work follows him home. At the same time, Cable (Brolin), a time-traveling mutant from the future, arrives to kill an emotionally disturbed young mutant, who will do great damage to the future. Deadpool goes to prison, is recruited by the X-Men, but ultimately decides he needs his own team, which he names X-Force. Deadpool, his bartender buddy Weasel (T.J. Miller), and cab driver Dopinder (Karan Soni) audition mutants for the new team. The most promising is a lucky gal called Domino (Zazie Beetz).
It’s hard to dislike a film that pays tribute to Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5;” or that has Celine Dion perform the opening title sequence, a “James Bond” spoof. The parody element of “Deadpool” is refreshing: a superhero film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Every Marvel movie, old and new, is cynically poked and prodded, with some very nice jabs at DC films as well. It’s impossible to absorb all gags and rips without watching this one more than once. There are hundreds of puns, pokes and jokes intertwined within this action narrative. The maddening pace and density of all this material can be exhausting for the viewer suffering from “superhero fatigue.” Though being familiar with the other films in the Marvel (and DC) universe is the key to unlocking much of Deadpool’s entertainment value.
If you were impressed by Julian Dennison in the 2016 New Zealand indie “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” you will be delighted to see how the young actor is used here. While the plot narrative is disorderly and changes directions every few minutes, there are some nice, albeit predictable, surprises. The fusion of costume and visual effects that design Cable might be one of the best comic-book-to-screen creations yet. Artist Dan Brereton’s memorable Cable paintings from the mid ‘90s on trading cards are brought to life with Brolin’s manifestation of this character. One of the most memorable scene in “Deadpool 2” is a “Basic Instinct’’ moment that you won’t be able to unsee after watching. All things considered, though, this isn’t a film I’ll likely revisit again because its creative antics amount to nothing more than mindless entertainment.
Final Thought — An ideological fast food playground for comic book fans.