By: Youeal Abera
Warning: this article contains spoilers.
For years, Ryan Reynolds tirelessly worked to bring beloved Marvel superhero Deadpool to the big screen. After all his persistence, Deadpool hit theatres in February 2016, and the movie was a massive hit — for the box office and critics alike. This weekend, the sequel, Deadpool 2, did the same thing.
The quirky, off-beat humour, mostly made up of Reynolds using his masked alter-ego to take jabs at pop culture, is evenly balanced throughout the film. Reynolds, just like in the film’s first instalment, intelligently breaks the fourth wall. As a matter of fact, Deadpool 2 succeeds at what many films are too afraid to even attempt: it panders to its audience with an amalgamation of meta-inspired jokes. It’s the movie’s defining meta nature that makes Deadpool 2, along with the entire Deadpool franchise, both beloved and distinguished amongst other superhero films.
In addition to its quirky, intelligent humour, the characters of the film — new and old — are truly what make the sequel great. Deadpool’s rival-turned-frenemy Cable (Josh Brolin) is an exceptional example of great character development. At the beginning of the film, fans are introduced to Cable in a frightful, menacing manner. However, as the movie’s plot progresses, the audience is able to ascertain his underlying motives and he eventually becomes a beloved addition to the film.
As a part of Deadpool’s newly formed “X-Force,” Domino, played by Zazie Beetz, stands out the most. With sharp, precise fight scenes, witty lines, and a bold afro, Domino is proof that diversity can and will manifest box-office success.
Perhaps the greatest element of Deadpool 2, however, is the underlying message the crude-humoured film delivers. Indeed, anyone with even the slightest knowledge of what the previous film provided is aware of the gore and violence associated with the Deadpool franchise. That said, by critically assessing the plotline and the characters’ motives, one can find the profound message Reynolds conveys to his fans. The film’s message can be found within the story of Firefist.
Russell Collins, AKA Firefist (played by Julian Dennison), is a troubled orphan who has suffered abuse at the hands of those running the orphanage that he lives in. Due to the immense pain and outrage this abuse has inflicted, Collins develops a passionate rage and seeks to murder the headmaster of the orphanage. As the film progresses, his outrage begins to broaden into an overall hatred for humanity.
Deadpool, with the help of Cable, Domino, and other familiar faces, are given the task of alleviating Firefist from the daunting spirit of hatred before it’s too late. Through this plight, Deadpool instils the refined message of the film, one that professes the power of forgiveness, and what it can accomplish.
Yes, Deadpool 2 is a film full of dirty jokes and blood-filled action scenes. However, it would be incorrect to state that the substance of the film is only skin-deep.