Deadpool 2 (2018)

After the shocking success of “Deadpool,” it didn’t seem very likely that Ryan Reynolds and FOX would be able to follow up the first act in Wade Wilson’s arc. Lo and behold years later, “Deadpool 2” not only serves as a great second act of the Merc with a Mouth’s misadventures, but it’s just as good as the original. What I liked most about it though is that “Deadpool 2” further bridges the gap between Wade’s universe and his X-Men origins, proving that ironically these films understand the “X-Men” mythology so much more than any of the actual X-Men films combined.

Set years after the original, “Deadpool 2” has continued his mission to become a mercenary and has risen to the ranks, now chasing and hunting down international criminals and gang members. After his wife Vanessa is murdered, Wade loses all confidence in himself and turns to Colossus and Negasonic for comfort. Convinced he has to become a superhero to find a purpose, he stumbles in to a greater good when he realizes he has to save a young mutant (Julian Dennison) with immense powers out for vengeance. Things become even more harrowing when they learn he is being hunted by a futuristic warrior named Cable (Josh Brolin). “Deadpool 2” doesn’t show a chink in its armor, expanding the universe of Deadpool for a general audience and always keeping its tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Even when Deadpool is at its most dramatic, the writers rake the entire action and superhero genre over the coals time and time again. The movie even begins with Wade impaling an action figure of a certain clawed Canadian. The cast are brilliant in their characters skins, with Reynolds never missing a beat reprising the role of Wade Wilson, while Julian Dennison adds layers of emotional bait for the character who is almost always about self preservation. Josh Brolin also does a bang up job bringing fan favorite Cable to the flesh, while enough can’t be said about Zazie Beetz as Domino. Beetz keeps up with Reynolds rapid fire joke delivery, while also turning Domino in to a sleek and riveting anti-heroine whose superpower doesn’t seem like much at first glance. The way the writers implement her abilities allow for a ton of close calls and hilarious sight gags, and I hope we get to see more of her very soon.

“Deadpool 2” goes in directions that I absolutely never expected, and the writers take bold moves in building up the audiences ideas of what “Deadpool 2” will be and then throws that in to a wood chipper. I laughed in disbelief more than I did amusement, and it’s a relief to see the writers take the piss out of the “X-Men” movie series as an added treat. “Deadpool 2” while funny, also surprised me time and time again as it worked in working against superhero movie tropes. It also builds up to a potential “X-Force” spin off that promises to be the anti-“X-Men.” The introduction of side characters keep “Deadpool 2” from wearing thin and turning in to a one note action series; all in all, it’s a great sequel that extends the world of Deadpool while also embracing what made the original so stellar.