Like any good comedy movie, Deadpool 2 is about more than just laughs. The soul of the film is certainly grounded in humour — from fourth-wall jokes to pop culture gags, bait-and-switch character plotlines, and even a fairly-well-hidden nod to Les Misérables, the entire film is a menagerie of punchlines that never leaves you hanging for more than a minute. But behind all of that, there’s a second story at work. That story is about love and loss, suffering and vengeance, Josh Brolin’s impossibly chiseled physique, and the human spirit’s capacity to endure.
The movie begins with the titular character blowing himself up — literally, not figuratively. I’m delighted to say that Deadpool 2 gets up to highway speeds within the first 20 minutes of the show, and maintains that velocity even into the credits. (Hint: watch them.) Now, like the first movie, the plot isn’t entirely something to write home about — it’s a little cliché, a little forgettable, and at times predictable. However, also like its predecessor, Deadpool 2 doesn’t focus on its plot — this is a movie that wants you to relax, kick back, and enjoy watching it all the way through, and in that respect it absolutely shines. If I could only put the magnifying glass on one attribute of the movie, it would have to be that Deadpool 2 simply has a splendid sense of pacing — no scene is too short or too long, and I can say with confidence the movie will never leave you feeling bored.
Having now successfully denounced the plot, it’s prime time to dip a toe into it. There is a story under all the madness that constitutes the majority of Deadpool 2’s appeal; the latter half of the film follows the (anti?)heroes racing against time to stop another character from making the choices that will lead him down the path of villainy. I won’t spoil the specifics, but when that teddy bear finally regains its colours, you should know that you’re at Deadpool 2’s arc equivalent to the first movie’s “Four or Five Moments” speech, the significance of which might make more sense once you’ve seen both. There is a story about how anger leads to hate and how hate leads to suffering nestled in with the rest of the plot, but you might have to dig a little bit to find it.
While Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, and everyone else that survived the first movie make a return for the sequel, you might not notice (or even believe until you read the credits) the absolute plethora of additional actors on the roster this time around: Alan Tudyk (another star from Firefly) shows up in the early show alongside Matt Damon, Brad Pitt becomes visible (pun intended, you’ll get it later) for an entire eight frames of screentime, Terry Crews (not soliciting for Old Spice) plays the aptly named Bedlam, and Bill Skarsgård, well known for his role as Pennywise the Clown in 2017’s IT, features as a side character. The list goes on from here, but I don’t want to spoil all of it for you. At least, not yet.
With all things accounted for, Deadpool 2 isn’t going to teach you anything compelling about the human condition or challenge the moral pillars that hold up your world — but it isn’t trying to. If that sort of flight is your fancy, catch me outside and we can talk about Apocalypse Now and Watchmen. However, if what you’re looking for is a Triple A movie with exceptional writing and an incomparable pace, then there’s nothing else that I could more highly recommend.
Did I mention that it’s also got a fantastic score, an opening sequence that is absolutely not parodying the 007 franchise, and more celebrity cameos than any self-respecting love story ought to have?