I have a confession to make: I don’t really like superhero movies.
That feels like a particularly dicey confession to make right now since Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War are breaking box-office records left and right.
My apathy toward superhero movies is based in their constant attempts to do everything: action, science fiction and fantasy, sprinkled with comedy, romance and drama. Well, that, and the fact that you have to watch 18 separate movies to be properly caught up before Infinity War.
The good news is that Deadpool 2, like its predecessor, is not a superhero movie; it’s a dark comedy that just happens to be about superheroes.
There’s this inherent trait of superhero movies that they just have to make references to the other films in their universe: Iron Man has a brief shot of Captain America’s half-finished shield, The Dark Knight Rises alludes to Killer Croc, and of course, those inevitable Stan Lee cameos.
Deadpool 2 takes that cliché and mocks the hell out of it. The film opens on Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) playing with a music box featuring Wolverine impaled on a spike. That’s just the first of an endless string of line-crossing humor. Everything from Batman v Superman to Reynolds’ native Canada is derided to hilarious effect, but never in a way that feels contrived or crueler than necessary.
Nothing’s changed in regards to Deadpool. His dirty mouth, dry wit, fourth-wall breaks and violent shenanigans are, if anything, only ramped up in the sequel.
In fact, much of Deadpool 2 takes what Deadpool did and takes it even further. There’s more comically exaggerated gore, to the point that one scene plays out like Final Destination. The major-studio music budget makes itself known with often-ironic song placements, such as Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time,” Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” and a-ha’s “Take On Me.” A staggering number of films — everything from Basic Instinct to The Human Centipede — are referenced so often that Deadpool 2 sometimes feels like a dirtier version of Ready Player One.
To be honest, the plot doesn’t matter much. Good guys and bad guys fight, someone is not who they seem to be and cameos come out of nowhere. We all know the drill.
Aside from that, though, the real spoiler would be giving away the jokes, quips and the laugh-out-loud gags. No person or topic is off-limits, which is just how good comedy works (contrary to what Roseanne Barr thinks). It’s worth the watch for the laughs alone — especially if you, too, aren’t a superhero fan.