Remember what I said in the review for Deadpool (2016) about the title character (Ryan Reynolds) sort of comparing himself to Jesus? In the early stages of the sequel, in one of many fourth wall breaking moments, Deadpool turns to the camera to explain how the first film is the second-highest box office earning film that is rated R. It is second to, thankfully, The Passion of the Christ (2004), at least domestically. In Deadpool 2 (2018), in the aforementioned scene Deadpool makes a joke about how they have no religion overseas. There is some truth to that statement, unfortunately, with Christianity anyway. Another thing I mentioned in talking about the predecessor is how they wanted to slightly tone down the more vulgar aspects of the film. One of the first attempts to make Deadpool more accessible to a wider audience was to release a PG-13 version. Though Deadpool 2 returns to its R roots, at least there is no nudity?
Not that Deadpool 2 gets off to the best of starts in terms of being a little less tasteless. The first thing you see is a depressed Deadpool smoking a cigarette, and eventually flicking the butt into one of the many drums of fuel upon which he is lying. He does this because the life he had been leading as Wade Wilson about to start a family with his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) ends when some gangsters he had been hired to kill come back and murder her. He blames himself for causing their anger and not being able to stop them. Because Deadpool’s superpower is to be able to heal from literally anything (along with a little extra strength and speed), when Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) gathers up the dismembered parts and brings them back to the X-Men mansion, Deadpool is able to heal. Still, he is distraught, and all he wants to do is die. He is motivated in this desire because while he is unconscious he can see Vanessa, and he thinks his death will reunite them. Yet, when he is yanked back to reality the first time this happens, she leaves him with a vague message saying that his heart is not yet in the right place. When Colossus is finally able to speak to Deadpool, the giant metal Russian tells the “merc with a mouth” the same message. To Deadpool, this confirms the notion that he is meant to be an X-Man, if only for the time-being. On his first mission with them, he, along with Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), and Yukio (Shioli Katsuna), are called to a school for “re-educating” mutants. There, surrounded by police, is Russell Collins (Julian Dennison), though it would come as no shock based on the abounding flames that he prefers his codename, Firefist. After a brief exchange with Deadpool where it becomes evident to him that Russell is being abused, Deadpool takes it upon himself to shoot one of the school’s attendants in the head. This is not X-Men behavior, and Deadpool and Russell are fitted with collars that negate superpowers and taken to a prison for mutants called the Ice Box. Not having the ability to heal, the cancer that once threatened Deadpool’s life is now free to do its job. His hoped-for death is disrupted, though, when their prison is infiltrated by a soldier from the future named Cable (Josh Brolin). He is after Russell because in his time, Firefist is responsible for murdering Cable’s family. Deadpool professes to want nothing to do with Russell, despite the kid claiming they were a team, but defends Russell nonetheless. In the process, his collar is damaged and he gets his powers back. While fighting Cable, the two are ejected from the prison, and the fall results in another near-death experience with Vanessa. In this one, she emphasizes the importance of children and family, which he interprets as him needing to save Russell. Back in the real world, Deadpool enlists the help of his friend Weasel (T. J. Miller) to recruit a team of powered individuals to free Russell and fight off Cable. The only one of these to survive their perilous parachuting maneuver is Domino (Zazie Beetz), a woman whose power is that she is super lucky. She can handle herself in a fight, too. What thwarts their attempt is not necessarily Cable, but the fact that Russell made a bigger ally in the Juggernaut (voiced by Ryan Reynolds). Now, two sides want Russel, but both are being checked by the unstoppable Juggernaut. Cable proposes a team-up, and Deadpool accepts under the condition that he get a chance to reach Russell and put the kid on a path that will not result in murdering Cable’s family. The final showdown takes place back at the school as Russell and the Juggernaut arrive to kill the headmaster (Eddie Marsan). In order to counteract the Juggernaut, Deadpool is able to enlist the help of Colossus. In the end, what saves Russell is Deadpool’s willingness to lay down his life for the kid. This satisfies Cable, too, and they walk off having formed a new family.
In Deadpool 2, Deadpool claims that the sequel is a family movie. He then goes on to joke that, like all family movies, it begins with a vicious murder. Also, throughout most of the film, Deadpool talks about family as being an “F” word, if you get the drift. I have to confess that I am getting a little tired of the family theme in films that are not meant to be family movies, particularly after F9: The Fast Saga. To be fair, I do not think Ryan Reynolds or anyone else involved in the making of Deadpool 2 actually believes their movie is appropriate for mom, dad, and the rest of the kids. Yet, since it insists on calling itself a family film, I will talk about it in regards to the Apostles. To give the film some credit, it is important to note that families can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. While some of the Apostles were actual flesh and blood siblings, the rest became brothers and sisters in Christ. The Bible is full talks about how devotion to God makes us family. In doing so, whether you are related to that person or not, you seek the best for your fellow person in all situations. The Book of Acts and various snippets from the Epistles discuss that this was how early Christian communities functioned. In the film, you can see this best exemplified in the relationship between Deadpool and Russell. Wade and Vanessa wanted children, and while they did not get the opportunity to have one together, there is a spirit of adoption that takes place with Deadpool and Russell. That phrase, spirit of adoption, is used often in the Bible to describe what God does with all of us.
Hence, I guess in this limited sense, Deadpool 2 is a family movie. It is not one I would show to anyone below the age of eighteen, but they can call it whatever kind of movie they want. There is a great deal of rude humor in the film, but I at least appreciate the fact that it also makes fun of itself. There are also some witty lines and references that can go by quickly if you are not paying attention. Finally, I think them making Deadpool to be somebody grossed out by blood and gore is another way they are trying to make the franchise more palatable to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Then again, there is the cocaine use to consider, though they make a joke of that as well. I do not know what to say about the film, ultimately. It is certainly more acceptable than its predecessor, but still contains a great deal of objectionable material. If nothing else, consider this review a warning.