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Many movies claim to be bigger, bolder, and funnier than the first. Deadpool 2 actually delivers on that claim.

What they did this time was lean into breaking the fourth wall, the crazy gags, the sappy emotional tugs, and the big action scenes, and honestly, it’s superior to the first movie in almost every regard (except one).

The Writers

Returning to the creative team are the writers of the first Deadpool movie Rhett Reese and Paul WernickRyan Reynolds joins them on the writing team for this one.

The set-up and plot, such as is it, begins with Deadpool who has become an international sensation in the assassin business. Things are going well for him and his girlfriend (again, the ever-stunning Morena Baccarin) until Deadpool brings his work home with him.

What happens next drives a series of events and introduces him to a troubled mutant kid named Russell, and a whole bunch of new characters, that are all either funny, or interesting in their own ways.

Deadpool’s universe is much larger this time, as is the budget, which is wonderful on one hand, and veers away from the original, on the other hand.

The Director

Joining the creative team is stuntman/actor/and director David Leach who has a funny (and true) introduction in the opening credits. He had an uncredited role directing some scenes for John Wick, but his work really shined in Atomic Blond.

He brings all the stylish action, and some impressive comic chops to the screen this time out. One of the ways this sequel excels is in larger set-pieces and more effects. But that also takes away from some of the genuinely effective but smaller fight scenes we got in the first film.

I doubt if anyone is going to miss that though. What we have in Deadpool 2 is probably better suited to a comic book movie.

The Cast

If you enjoyed the characters from the first film, they all make an appearance, and some have expanded roles this time.

But the new characters that form X-Force are really impressive.

While I still believe that Stephen Lang would have made a better Cable, Josh Brolin takes the top credit and creates the second memorable comic character on the big screen in a month.

He’s got his share of cool moments in this film. His gritty straight-man routine plays well off of Ryan Reynolds’ zaniness.

The real shining star of Deadpool 2 (well, besides Reynolds) is Zazie Beetz as Domino. She is dynamic as the mutant with the power of “good luck.” Not only is her power fascinating, but Beetz is magnetic.

Is there any way we could cancel one of those stupid upcoming X-Men movies on the Fox list and get Beetz into her own solo movie instead? Seriously, that movie practically writes itself.

As you would expect, Ryan Reynolds is amazing, again.

He’s unparalleled when it comes to delivering irreverent or self-deprecating lines. Reynolds is also capable of drawing you into a character that would be so easy to dislike. He’s really brilliant in the role. I think that’s mostly a case of finding a character that plays so well with all of his strengths.

Can you imagine anyone else playing Deadpool? I’ll give you a moment.

No. I can’t either.

The Funny

Look, this movie is hilarious.

I’m ready to go see it again just so I can catch all the lines I missed because I was laughing so loud. The characters all talk over each other and I’m confident that a second viewing will reveal another 50% of the jokes I missed.

There are more than a few fun cameos in this film (pay close attention to the two rednecks that encounter Cable). And keep your eye on Vanisher… at least as well as possible.

The writers obviously took a critical eye on what worked the first time out and doubled or tripled the output. And it works really well, unless you’re easily offended—in which case, why are you watching a Deadpool movie?

Not at Disney Yet, But…

Don’t worry, they also figured out that Deadpool works best when he’s grounded and finds his heart. This movie has some good emotional moments too.

If the first movie was a love story, this is a “family film.” The message about creating your own crew runs throughout, and really resounded with me.

Deadpool 2 learns from the first film and does everything better without just repeating things over again. While the plot is mostly… then this happens… then this happens… it’s fun, moves briskly, and has a few surprises.

I think the one thing that it doesn’t do, that the first film did so well, is break a lot of ground and present such an experimental subversive post-punk cinema experience.

You can only do that once. The genie is out of the bottle.

That’s a Rap

Deadpool 2 is much more like a big-budget summer movie. And it’s entertaining as an action film, and a comic book movie, and much funnier than 90% of the comedies that are out there.

The graphic violence, graphic language, and rowdy spirit of the first Deadpool are all here. Deadpool’s ability to heal almost any wound, and his fearless fighting is really pushed in rewarding ways. And again, Domino’s contributions are substantial.

I have to make note of the wild and woolly soundtrack. The mix of country, dubstep, rap, pop, choir, and Celine Dion is just as crazy as it sounds. But it all completely works. When I heard Dion’s song “Ashes” it sounded just like a James Bond opener to me… and, there’s a reason for that.

The digital effects are mostly good, but there’s a clash of titans that, while entertaining, also breaks down in believability.

Deadpool 2 is obviously setting up more films, including an X-Force film. I can say that I’m much more interested with what Fox is doing with their adult X-Men films than what they are doing with their vanilla fare.

If you liked the first Deadpool then this is more, much more, of the same. It’s not bloated or overwrought though. It just cranks everything up another level.

Deadpool 2 is not a groundbreaker, or profound on any level, but it had me laughing, clapping, and excited from beginning to end.

And it will make you proud of the ragtag squad that you create to support you when it counts the most.

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