Deadpool 2 had a great opening weekend.
Well, that's an understatement. Deadpool 2 pulled in more than $301 million and knocked Avengers: Infinity War off the top slot faster than Thanos with a full gauntlet. I guess you could say "Deadpool killed the Marvel Universe" with laughter and heart, which is a worthy feat considering this movie is intended for (and hopefully only attended by) adult, but not necessarily "mature," audiences.
With all the hype and fawning over Infinity War and its heart-string tugging ending, is Deadpool 2 really good enough to dethrone the Disney, dare I say it...juggernaut, which is their Marvel franchise?
Yes-a-rooney, it is, and I have 10 brief and (hopefully) spoiler-free reasons why, starting with the bleedin' obvious:
Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. Actually Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool. There is so much heart and soul poured in this profanely perfect performance. Reynolds has been completely sucked into his adorably offensive, charmingly crass and delightfully disgusting mass of mercenary cancer cells wrapped in a red suit. Fans all know the hard road it took the first Deadpool movie to get made. Now that it has been established everyone loves the character, Ryan is fully unleashed, unhinged, and uncensored, and the fans are eating it up.
A focus on the family. Throughout Deadpool 2, I laughed until I was teary-eyed on several occasions, but I also would have been genuinely moved to tears if they let me. There were some very touching moments that emphasized the need and desire we all have for a family unit, as well as the need all kids have for good parents and role models, and even a glimpse that there is more to us than just our physical selves. Of course, once we realize there's some real heart to the story, we get zipped back into the world of cartoon carnage and innuendo.
The most frame-worthy Stan Lee cameo to date. The first Deadpool had a funny-enough cameo by Stan the Man as a strip club DJ, but the brief appearance by Stan Lee in this film is a classy and perfect celebration of the King of Marvel.
Ryan Reynolds as....Ryan Reynolds. Deadpool has been a pro at breaking the fourth wall in both comics and movies, and this gives Deadpool, and his alter ego Wade Wilson, a chance to toss a few barbs at the pretty boy actor who got lucky enough to be invited to the 'Pool Party.
That..."leg" scene. I really don't want to give anything away if you haven't seen the movie, but I have never seen a scene so hilariously wrong in so many ways that it had an entire theatre of people laughing until they couldn't breathe. I thought my husband was going to pass out, he was laughing so hard. This film is filled with hysterical moments, from the Bond-line intro to the after-the-credit masterpiece, but if I had to choose one scene that epitomized the Deadpool humor, it was that leg scene you have to see to appreciate.
Color Blind casting without the "Diversity Police." I am so tired of every film released having that "what about more (name your group) casting" gripes. I've said it many times before: write a good story, cast the best actors who bring out the best in the characters, and diversity occurs naturally. Everyone who reads the comic knows the original Domino and Blind Al were white, but that doesn't matter at all to fans who realize Zazie Beets and Leslie Uggams are ideal for those roles. As for the Negasonic-LGBTQ-Warhead shout-out, it shows no one cares if you're gay or straight, just be yourself and quit bitching about intolerance. There were even several moments that poked fun at the idea that every comment and opinion can be turned into a racial microaggression. No one likes being accused of being racist, even a time traveling antagonist.
It has the most clever marketing campaign of any Marvel movie. In the weeks, leading up to Deadpool 2, fans were worked into a giddy tizzy by "vandalized" Deadpool Slurpees, Bob Ross imitations, a "Pink Suit" contest benefiting those with cancer, a Manchester United tie-in, cheap-shots-followed-by-earnest-apologies to David Beckham, and plenty of variant movie posters. Now, Walmart shoppers can purchase limited editions of various movies complete with covers photobombed by Deadpool. Even if you hate the movie, you have to appreciate this level of creativity.
Peter and Dopinger. We are all Peter. Even if you just know Peter via the trailers or the fact he is the only other person Deadpool follows on Twitter, we all can relate to wanting to be that one guy who gets to hang out with the superheroes...even X-Force. And it's hard not to love the nerdy cabbie Dopinger, who we watched come out of his creepy little shell in the first movie. These two need to partner up for a buddy spin-off.
The actors behind X-Force. The remainder of the X-Force team, Domino, Zeigeist, Bedlam, Shatterstar and even Vanisher are cleverly cast, particularly Terry Crews, Bill Skarsgård and the actor behind Vanisher, but I'll say no more about them.
Ryan Reynolds as....Spolier alert!! There are some priceless quick and fun cameos throughout this movie, as well as Easter Eggs, sight gags and one-liners. One Marvel character appearance even I wasn't expecting, and it's a biggie.
If you want in on the jokes, the surprises, and the fun, I highly recommend Deadpool 2. Not a perfect movie, but it's good at what it does, like Deadpool himself. Leave the kids at home for the graphic violence, drug use and gore, but you'll want to give them a huge hug when you get back.