There are spoilers in this review.
Time has passed since the movie, and I think I’ve done more thinking about it than I realized. I think Deadpool 2 was better than the first one, but there were a few things that left a bad aftertaste for me. So I wanted a little distance from the excitement of the first watch to think through my overall feelings. I still think it was funnier and more interesting than the first. I really liked the save-Russell storyline. I was delighted to see Cable on my screen, as he’s one of my favorite ridiculous X-Men characters. But more on that and also my issues later. Previously on Deadpool, we were introduced to Wade Wilson, who has a superhuman healing factor that even makes Wolverine’s look weak in comparison, but his body and face are disfigured due to the torture he underwent and also because he was dying of cancer. That’s a key point to what happens in this movie. Wade was too afraid to show his beloved Vanessa his face, so instead he was trying to find revenge on his torturer and fix his face, but instead he got Vanessa and had to accept he was always going to look that way.
Let’s just get one of the problematic issues out of the way quickly: Vanessa is fridged in her very first scene of this movie. The creators claimed that they’ve never heard of the term, which is a shame since it’s one they should make themselves aware of now, and it’s very typical comic trope. It’s interesting that a movie series that claims to be the anti-superhero movie falls under the classic tropes so frequently. Yes the credits fix it, as far as we know, and I was willing to give the movie a little leeway after that, if it stays canon, but it still felt kind of like *sigh, of course* when it happened. And of course the movie was about him dealing with his manpain at his loss and she’s only seen in these perfect dreamlike sequences as he tries to die to be with her. If she does come back in the next movie and actually gets a real storyline, I’ll probably relax. Until then I’m side eying you, Deadpool. Anyway, they were going to have a family, which plays into the rest of the story. Wade tries to commit suicide but he can’t actually die, so Colossus brings him to the X-Men mansion to try and rehabilitate him. There is a really hilarious cameo where the X-Men are seen in a blip, but the door is closed to hide them so Wade doesn’t see them. I giggled. Wade decides ehhhh fine and tries to be an X-Man, except they approach a very dangerous teen mutant named Russell who can’t seem to control his abilities. When Wade realizes that the kid was abused horribly within this creepy Essex (SINISTER) mansion, and that’s set him off, he kills one of the guys in command. He and Russell are both collared wth anti-powered devices and sent to a person for super powered folks.
Russell tries to keep close to Wade, who is now officially dying as his healing factor cannot fix his cancer now and he’s fading. Many years in the future, a man named Cable finds his wife and daughter murdered (HEY LOOK ANOTHER FRIDGING) because of a grown up Russell. He goes back in time to kill the kid before it happens. Wade puts together his own team to try and protect Russell, but they all die horribly except for the excellent incredible wonderful Domino. Domino has super luck, and I’ve always loved the theory of that in the comics, but it was showcased perfectly in this movie. Things just naturally go her way and it’s so fun to watch. Colossus and Negasonic Teenager (and girlfriend Yukio, the first LGBT+ relationship in these movies) join Wade, and then Cable agrees to help them stop Russell from going to the dark side. If Wade can talk him down, Cable’s family will live. Wade does manage to do that and appears to die, only for Cable to make the decision to use what’s last of his time travel juice to save Wade instead of go back to his family. And X-Force is born.
In the credits, we see Wade use the time travel device, now fixed at the mansion, to save Vanessa, save one of his former crew members, and then murder X-Men: Origins Wolverine’s Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds before taking the role of Green Lantern. Very meta. Very funny.
So yes. Obviously, I was annoyed by Vanessa’s death, and then you also have Cable’s revenge plot to be about something similar. I know that’s intentional, to give Wade and Cable common goals, but it’s still kind of siiiiigh considering how common this trope is used, especially in action movies and comic books. I did laugh when his team died, but I also think it was tacky and that some of them could’ve/should’ve stuck around. Terry Crews deserved better! Negasonic was barely in it. What I do think worked extremely well was the Russell storyline. Wade connecting to the young mutant and hoping to save him from becoming evil was a solid arc and very heartfelt. We know that Wade was abused in his past and so he had a personal tie here, and it’s a glimpse that maybe he wished he’d turned out differently too. Cable deciding to stay to stop the bad future from happening, and to save Wade, seemed genuine if a little sudden. I am not going to complain about anything that brings Cable and Deadpool together, I loved that comic series. The movie was very, very funny. The acting was solid. They made Wade’s pansexuality more blatant, although not explicit.
Then again, this is pretty explicit.
I maintain overall this was a better film. It was funnier in many ways to me, I liked the goal of the movie (saving a kid instead of revenge), and it’s hard to follow up a huge success with a good sequel. The best sequels for me are those who bring the characters to a new level, and I do think in Wade’s case that is true. I just wish it didn’t take her death to do it. I generally wish Vanessa had more to do, and I think they are wasting the talents of Morena and the possibilities with her. She has powers herself in the Marvel universe, and it would be fun to see them come out. We too often see couples break up or someone dying, as if that’s the only way to portray a relationship. I really do think there are interesting stories to tell when people stay together, like her possibly joining X-Force and how that dynamic would shift. I do have positive hopes for the future if they decide to continue with X-Force as a team, instead of only being Deadpool 3. I think there are more stories left to tell for him and his group, and I want them to do it. I’m not sure what plans are in motion. I really have to see the movie again to catch all the jokes I missed the first two times, I’m sure there were plenty. ALSO DOMINO. MORE DOMINO. ALL THE DOMINO.