Decent people all over the world will hate this film, and with good reason.
In the opening few minutes there is enough violence, language and outright roguishness to decimate a choir.
With nods to seminal comedies like This is Spinal Tap and constant shade thrown not just on other comic book franchises, but its own, Deadpool 2 takes a winning formula from the first film and doubles down.
I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard for so long in a film.
We find Deadpool – Wade Winston Wilson – played by Ryan Reynolds, atop a stack of kerosene drums. He can’t go on living as a result of tragic events, but of course possessing superpowers, it is not possible for him to die.
Against his initial inclination, he takes on a mission to save a mutant kid – Russell “Rusty Collins aka Firefist – played by Julian Dennison, from the clutches of an evil tyrant to achieve some kind of redemption and inner peace.
It’s a sincere aspiration for the “Merc with the mouth”, but it is through genuinely heartfelt actions that we experience a counterpoint to the absurdity of the Deadpool tone, imbuing the film with an unexpected richness.
Was I expecting blood and guts, ultra-violence, foul language and gallows humour? Absolutely. Was I expecting for this to be made palatable by a story with heart? Definitely not.
The comedy moments are virtually relentless, and there are too many to highlight, but one sequence has stayed with me for the sheer genius and daring with which it unfolds.
Deadpool assembles a fresh team of allies to take on a new threat. He says he’s calling it X-Force, to which Domino (Zazie Beetz) replies “Isn’t that a little derivative?”, Deadpool responds “You’re absolutely right”, and then the unit tumbles out of an aircraft to execute their mission. What happens next will be hard to top for me in terms of unexpected developments, and this twist is made all the merrier by a reference to a “Puppet Show”, a 34 year old reference to Spinal Tap.
Also, Deadpool refers to Cable – Josh Brolin – repeatedly as Thanos, and at one point says “So dark, are you sure you’re not from the DC Universe?”
I’m torn by my enjoyment of Avengers: Infinity War and how close I was to the project after making a TV special on the MCU, but Deadpool 2 might just be the best superhero flick out this year.
So for Tom Hardy who unleashes Venom in October, the balls are in your court…
4 & 1/2 Stars – “Double Trouble. Triple Threat. Four Times the Fun.”