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5 Best And 5 Worst Things In Deadpool 2

Ryan Reynolds' uber-articulate assassin Deadpool is back. After being stuck in development hell for close to a decade, Wade Wilson's first solo outing was a surprise R-rated hit, a deviation from convention full of graphic violence, wall-breaking monologues, and ceaseless superhero satire. Expectations this time around are notably higher; Wade Wilson is no longer an unknown entity to non-comic book readers, thanks to a worldwide box office total of $783.1 million and a viral, in-your-face marketing campaign that was impossible to ignore.

It's safe to say Deadpool 2, which marks Atomic Blonde director David Leitch's superhero debut, has comfortably avoided sequelitis, with certain standout moments even surpassing the quick-witted, loose-lipped enjoyment of the first. Nevertheless, this "family film" with a twist has a few flaws. So buckle up and check the weather forecast, because we're skydiving our way through gale force winds to present the five best — and the five worst — things in Deadpool 2. Spoilers ahead ...

Best: A perfect X-Force formation

"Believe it or not, Deadpool 2 is a family film," Ryan Reynolds' voiceover tells us as Deadpool brutally slays gangsters with bullets, chainsaws, fire, and any weapon he can get his gloves on. Although a million miles from Bambi or The Lion King, this is a family film, although this "family" is a dysfunctional (and derivatively named) group of superheroes: the X-Force.

First appearing in comic book form in 1991's New Mutants #100, X-Force's feature film arrival has been eagerly anticipated since Cable was confirmed in Deadpool's post-credits scene. Fortunately, their inclusion doesn't disappoint, with Cable (Josh Brolin), Domino (Zazie Beetz), and Russell (Julian Dennison) fitting in effortlessly, each individual's unique qualities adding charm to Wade's wacky, offbeat world. By the final act, when Deadpool's outfit is charred in a nod to his grey-suited X-Force appearance, it's clear Wade has found his "F-word."

Any chance of Deadpool becoming more than a two-hit wonder relies on finding ways for the character to grow without forgetting his glibly sarcastic and viciously violent roots. Eight feet of chrome, one pinch of courage, a cup of good luck, a dab of racism, a splash of diabetes, and a wheelbarrow full of stage four cancer is the perfect recipe for the continuation of this eccentric franchise.

Worst: No John Wick-esque long-shot action

Deadpool 2's action definitely isn't bad. But fans of director David Leitch's previous projects — particularly his work on John Wick — may feel short-changed. While compelling, forceful, brutally bloody and highly stylized, none of the scenes capture Wick's cinematic style. Hallmarks of the stylish action franchise include room to breathe between the camera and the action, with long shots capturing each meticulously choreographed, punch, kick, and pistol whip.

Instead, combat in Deadpool 2 is up close and personal, with quick, snappy edits sometimes making sequences hard to follow. It's still entertaining, of course. But Deadpool isn't seen through a John Wick lens, and that feels like a missed opportunity, especially if this ends up being Leitch's only foray into the superhero world.

The reason could lie with Leitch's filming style. Both Keanu Reeves as John Wick and Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton in Atomic Blonde performed the majority of their stunts themselves. "You need those actors to want to do it," Leitch told the Hollywood Reporter. "Otherwise you won't get those genuine characters on the screen." Reynolds, however, fractured vertebrae in his neck on the set of 2012's Safe House, and, understandably, hasn't performed his own stunts since.

Best: Domino's 'lucky' cinematic spectacle

Domino's "luck" is much more than winning the occasional scratch card or always arriving at traffic lights as they turn green. "It's hard to picture, and certainly not very cinematic," Wade jests as Deadpool 2's standout spectacle begins, but as the sole survivor among the new recruits during the X-Force's first mission, Domino clearly has what it takes. Cars somersault and explosions erupt around her as she nonchalantly escapes harm. Like Final Destination in reverse, she defies odds in breathtaking (and undoubtedly cinematic) fashion.

Domino's superpower is subconscious telekinesis that kicks in when she's in high-stress situations. This force field manipulates her surroundings, and is responsible for jamming the chambers of guns or manipulating mirrors to blind her enemies at just the right moment. By the time she fortuitously lands on top of an inflatable panda, anyone who criticized Zazie Beetz' casting is already helping themselves to a stomach-bursting mouthful of humble pie.

Worst: An under-utilized supporting cast

Vanessa, Weasel, Blind Al, Dopinder, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and Colossus all return for Deadpool 2, joined by comic fan favorites Cable, Domino, Russell, Juggernaut, Black Tom Cassidy, and more. The scope is larger, yet at 119 minutes, Deadpool 2 runs just 11 minutes longer than its 2016 predecessor. With so many characters vying for screen time, something had to give.

Morena Baccarin's Vanessa is the most obvious oversight. Her romance with Wade was integral to Deadpool, their relationship providing the emotional resonance to anchor the incessant quips. In an "Alien 3 blunder," Vanessa is killed, her untimely death unexpected, her significance in the story minimized to provide Wade's motivation. Reaction to test screenings saw her role as "wasted," and it's hard to disagree after watching the final cut.

Brianna Hildebrand's Negasonic Teenage Warhead suffers from the ramped-up roster, too. Her presence is felt, and her relationship with Yukio adds positive LGBT representation. But ultimately she doesn't propel the story. TJ Miller's Weasel and Leslie Uggams' Blind Al both had drastically reduced roles, too, usurped by Karan Soni's taxi-driving getaway man and hopeful assassin Dopinder.

Best: A host of hilarious cameos

Deadpool's meta satirical humor is primed for scene-stealing cameos. In the first movie, Stan Lee appeared as a strip club DJ and Deadpool wore a printout of Hugh Jackman's face as a mask. Deadpool 2 raised the bar to 11 with a host of hilarious appearances from familiar faces. Jackman appears in a callback to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but that's nothing compared to the rest.

Deadpool's low budget relative to the rest of the X-Men movies has been a running, self-aware joke. In Deadpool, Wade is greeted at the X-Mansion by Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus, prompting him to quip, "It's a big house, it's funny I only ever see two of you. It's almost like the studio couldn't afford other X-Men." In Deadpool 2, Wade finds himself back at the X-Mansion after being saved by Colossus. As he again rants about the lack of X-Men, behind him, a room full of mutant elite — Professor Xavier, Quicksilver, Nightcrawler, Storm, Cyclops, and Beast — appear in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment.

A Hollywood A-lister makes an appearance, too. After colliding with a power cable during the botched X-Force mission, Vanisher's invisibility cuts out and the audience can briefly see his real face — which looks a lot like Brad Pitt's. Pitt was considered for Cable before Brolin signed on, and immediately said yes to the opportunity to be involved, squeezing filming into a two-hour window during post-production.

Last but not least? Heavily disguised cameos from Alan Tudyk and Matt Damon, who appear briefly as a pair of friends who get future-tased and have their truck stolen by Cable after he arrives from the future. That's an awful lot of hidden star power.

Worst: X-Force Xed out

X-Force's feature film introduction earns a spot on the "best" list, thanks to the fortuitous formation of Deadpool, Cable, Domino, and Russell. But what about the team members who were introduced only to be brutally executed?

On their first mission as a team, Bedlam (Terry Crews), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Vanisher (Brad Pitt), Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Peter (Rob Delaney) skydive from 13,000 feet into high winds — and in a cinematic trolling of epic proportions, one by one, they're all obliterated in gory fashion. Screenwriter Rhett Reese revealed they deceptively shot footage to use in trailers, but not the final cut, to "trick people into thinking they're in the movie longer than they actually were." That audacity alone is worthy of applause, and it does make for a funny set piece. But laughter aside, some viewers couldn't help feeling cheated by the quick deaths after that setup, and these comic book characters also have their fans — their demises will have been a disappointment for anyone hoping to see a crew of lesser-known Marvel heroes in action.

Best: Positive LGBTQ representation

LGBTQ representation has made major inroads in Hollywood lately, and as of Deadpool 2, the superhero genre is no different. In fact, it's the first superhero film to openly include LGBTQ characters in the form of Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio, whose romance is a matter-of-fact subplot throughout the film. The couple aren't defined by their sexuality, a common problem when shows or films include LGBTQ characters. Admittedly, Yukio doesn't have a huge role to play, but it's a step in the right direction — or "smart storytelling," as GLAAD president and Sarah Kate Ellis referred to it, saying the storyline "is a milestone in a genre that too often renders LGBTQ people invisible."

As for the subtly pansexual Deadpool, his attraction to Colossus is amped up this time around. As well as the occasional metallic fondle now and again, Deadpool serenades him  Say Anything style after the pair fall out — and it's a good thing, too, because Colossus comes to Wade's aid after he takes a spike through the brain during a battle against Juggernaut.

Worst: No true supervillain

Deadpool 2 lacks a true big bad guy. Eddie Marsan is as close as it gets to outright villainy, playing the sadistic headmaster of Essex House. He certainly provides incentive to make Russell's future embrace of fiery evil understandable, but doesn't provide any threat of peril for the new X-Force team, and is eventually wiped out of existence by an act of karma — namely, the full force of Dopinder's taxi.

While the formation of the new super-group takes center stage, a certain genetically altered someone has been lurking in the shadows: Mister Sinister. The supervillain first appeared in 1987's The Uncanny X-Men, The alter ego of Nathaniel Essex, he shares a name with Essex House, the orphanage Russell escapes from — perhaps a tantalizing hint of Sinister's involvement. He's been teased since a post-credits sequence of X-Men: Apocalypse, and there were behind-the-scenes reports of a proposed New Mutants post-credits scene featuring Jon Hamm in the role, but it was apparently vetoed. Sinister is a formidable foe, and it's frustrating that he hasn't appeared yet.

Best: Marvel's best-ever post-credits scenes?

It wouldn't be a Marvel movie if you didn't stay glued to your seat during the closing credits, eagerly awaiting an extra scene (or two, or three). This time, Wade outdoes his riff on Ferris Bueller's Day Off with not one, not two, but three mid-credits scenes.

By the film's conclusion, Cable's time travel device is used up and he's stuck in the present after using his final charge to save Wade's life. After the credits roll, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio fix the device — and, naturally, Wade quickly uses it to wreak havoc. First he travels back to the moment Vanessa was killed, bringing her back to life. Confirmed as canon, this effectively reverses the entire plot — a particularly tricky deus ex machina acknowledged by screenwriter Rhett Reese ("we might be in deep trouble").

Deadpool's next stop is to go back in time again and save Peter, but he's just getting started — then he makes his way into 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where he makes quick work of his first onscreen incarnation, shooting the much-maligned mouthless Deadpool repeatedly. Then he visits Ryan Reynolds, and in self-deprecating glory, shoots him immediately after he reads the Green Lantern script.

As Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds thrives as the class clown of Hollywood, gatecrashing convention, poking fun with parody, with the audience in the passenger seat as he makes meta-mischief. Reynolds used the opportunity to not only poke fun at himself, but to capture the kind of "what-ifs" fans love to hypothesize about.

Worst: Missed opportunities

The villain vacancy could've been filled by two characters who had screen time. The first is Black Tom Cassidy (Jack Kesy), who clashes with Wade and Russell in the Ice Box, bullying them over lunch trays, but disappears rapidly. He amounts to nothing more than a briefly seen brute, but in the comics, Black Tom has the ability to channel energy into destructive, forceful blasts, and a "grander version" of the character was originally scripted as Deadpool 2's main villain. However, as Rhett Reese told CBR, they reduced his role. "His powers are to move organic material around — the entire orphanage, and the trees, everything was flying around," Reese recalled; although it was "really cool," this turned out to be too expensive.

Some of that budget may have gone toward the CGI used to create Juggernaut (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), who escapes the Ice Box during the X-Force's attempt to rescue Russell and bonds with the disillusioned young mutant. He joins his new ally at Essex House, where he's defeated by Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio, leaving a sense he could've had more to offer. Not only is he a physically formidable foe, Juggernaut is the stepbrother of Professor X, and his involvement in the X-Verse opens the door to some fascinating sibling squabbles.

However, there's still hope; Reese confirmed Black Tom could return from beyond the grave at a later date, and eagle-eyed viewers will notice that Juggernaut escapes electrocution, alive and well.