It’s the question on everyone’s mind. Which is better: the sequel, or the original? After watching Deadpool 2, I reflected on my experience with the first Deadpool. I remembered being wholly entertained and engaged for the duration of the film, but I also remembered that I didn’t laugh all that much—definitely less than was the intent of the filmmakers. The portrayal of Deadpool was so spot on in the first film, but the humor just wasn’t reaching me, which is a problem for a movie that is arguably a comedy, especially when the humor is almost entirely channeled through the film’s protagonist, Wade Wilson aka Deadpool aka The Merc with a Mouth. So the film presented a bit of a catch-22. The filmmakers perfectly portrayed Deadpool’s humor and personality on screen, but what if the audience wasn’t receptive to Deadpool’s signature juvenile humor?
Luckily for Ryan Reynolds and the rest of the production team, this dilemma didn’t stop Deadpool from becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film in history. So perhaps it’s a non-issue. Perhaps I’m the exception to the rule. Still, as I reflected on the first film, I remembered that my personal expectations had not been met in this one particular regard, so I expected more of the same from the sequel. It’s not like they can change anything about the character to make me like him more, right?
Deadpool 2 is an across-the-board improvement from the original. Not only did I laugh throughout the entirety of the film, I also found that Deadpool’s character had a lot more emotional depth than was offered in the original which featured the standard, beauty-and-the-beast plot as the primary vehicle to develop Deadpool’s character. Deadpool 2 explores some of the more interesting aspects of Deadpool’s character, namely the curse of immortality. What happens when an immortal being wants nothing more than to die? What if the obnoxious humor of Deadpool, the constant immature banter in the face of death and violence, is actually just a defense mechanism to ease his own pain and suffering?
Of course, the film doesn’t continue down this naval-gazing path for longer than it has to. After all, people are paying to watch a masked Ryan Reynolds chop limbs and tell shit jokes. And in this regard, the people are still getting what they paid for. The film strikes an excellent tonal balance, injecting just enough darkness and depth to break up the violent, comedy romp. The interactions between Cable, played by Josh Brolin, and Deadpool serve as a microcosm of this dynamic; the wrath of Cable paired with the absurdity of Deadpool.
The comedy aspect is greatly improved, and the addition of interesting and engaging side characters is primarily responsible: There is more humor to be had in the way these characters interact and deal with Deadpool than when Deadpool is just riffing on his own about how he’s the prettiest princess at the ball. There’s also simply more work put into the humor this time around with comedy bits that go on and develop for a full ten minutes before arriving at a worthwhile payoff.
There’s not much more I can say about the film without getting into spoiler territory, but I can say that I absolutely do recommend Deadpool 2 as it is my favorite Marvel Superhero movie to come out in a long time.
Side note: Domino, played by Zazie Beetz, is a total hottie and a complete badass, and she needs her own film ASAP.
Enjoy he trailer courtesy of 20th Century Fox.