“Deadpool 2” shows our superhero as full of himself as ever, and that’s why I prefer Deadpool to all the other money-minters of the Marvel Universe.
He’s in on the joke. He and the films built around him send up the genre they’re a part of, the insane “science,” the tiresome tropes, the repetition, the formula these movies are licensed under.
“Big CGI fight coming up, right here!”
The laughs start with the opening credits — “Directed by the Guy who Killed the Dog in ‘John Wick,'” “Written by…the REAL Criminals.”
To wit — “Rules are made to be broken,” Pool opines.
“Ees exact OPPOSITE of what they are for!” the Russian collusionist Colossus corrects him.
The films are R-rated, acknowledging the fact that these violent cartoons are not for kids — they’re for ex-kids who loved (and still love) the comic books on which they’re based. The violence thus has consequences — sort of. The profanity? That’s the way fangirls and fanboys (mostly) talk.
And then there’s the hero, that whiny-voiced smart-ass sitting in the back of ninth grade English class, mocking Emily Dickinson and “The Scarlet Letter.”
“HUGE steaming pile of FOREshadowing!”
Ryan Reynolds is the one costumed hero actor who’d be right at home in the extended Judd Apatow universe — where “the best joke on the set, wins.” It’s no surprise he got a piece of the writing credit here. Even R. Downey Jr. isn’t this quick. Unless somebody scripts him that way.
“Deadpool 2” gets by as simply on a par with “Deadpool,” an ultra-violent joked-up Energizer Bunny of a comic book movie with a fun supporting cast, dead-pan deaths and deadpan Deadpool jokes about those deaths.
“Stay back, or Justin Bieber DIES!”
The plot is about a metal-armed soldier from the future (Josh Brolin) with a serious grudge against a mutant Kiwi kid (Russel Dennison) whom Deadpool has just rescued from the clutches of EveryVillain Eddie Marsan.
There’s a possible X-Force in Pool’s new “team” of less popular mutants (X-Men washouts) Terry Crews, Brianna Hildebrand, Shioli Kutsuna, Lewis Tan and especially Zazie Beetz — as Domino.
“What’s your superpower?”
Wade Wilson/Deadpool is talking baby-making with his lady (the soulful Morena Baccarin), who sells Mr. Perpetually Violent Adolescent on the idea with this.
“Kids give us a chance to be better than we used to be.”
And there are one-liners by the ton, shots at “Terminator” and “Avengers” and “The D.C. (comic book) Universe” and Professor Xavier’s “Hogwarts” and “Robocop” and “Annie” and Wolverine and “Frozen” and Jared Kushner and Fox News and Batman, sight gags from “Say Anything” and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and X-Men and, um, oh Canada.
The cast of role-players each have their moments, with Brolin a great straight man and for funny-sexy-cute, nothing Beetz Zazie (TV’s “Atlanta”).
Yeah, the plot is recycled and wrung out. Returning sidekick T.J. Miller is way off his nerd-meathead game here, acting as if his mis-directed career’s dangling by a #MeToo meathook. Which it is.
And building your story around a child? Kind of “Logan,” there, Mr. Pool. Brolin as a heavy? Again? The “Thanos” joke lands, at least.
It’s still more fun if far less culturally significant than “Black Panther,” even sillier than “Infinity War” and the silly’s by design, this time.
And yes, you still have to stay through the credits. Pay no mind to those multiplex teens trying to clean up your mess. The opera’s not over until the Celine Dion fan sings.
MPAA Rating: R, graphic violence, sexual situations, profanity
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Terry Crews, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams, Eddie Marsan
Credits:Directed by David Leitch, script by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds . A Marvel/Fox release.
Running time: 1:59