Deadpool 2 (2018)

This M18/R-rated movie carries a warning about “violence and coarse language”. You might think that’s standard boilerplate for any action movie, and maybe it is, but in this case, they’re really not kidding.

In case you missed the first Deadpool movie, Deadpool is a basically immortal, literally scarred super-anti-hero in a skin-tight red-and-black suit that, like Spider-Man’s, covers his whole head and eyes, and unlike Spider-Man’s, has two long swords attached to the back. Deadpool’s human name is Wade Wilson. The name “Deadpool” refers some kind of bet about who was going to die soonest, which turned out to be not Wade, obviously.

Deadpool spews a steady stream of pop-culture references, curses, and insults, often talking directly to the audience about how he’s in, like, the mother of all superhero movies. The Deadpool movies are thus not just violent, coarse fantasy/action movies, they’re parodies: each one is a sustained self-reference joke, complete with ironic use of 80s light-rock hits. (The 80s are so trendy these days!)

The second Deadpool movie, as Deadpool himself tells us, is not for kids, but is nevertheless “a family movie”. As becomes clear towards the end of the movie, he’s not talking about the genre of the movie, he’s talking about the theme of the movie. The movies in the Fast and Furious series were also “family movies” in this sense: the characters consider each other family because they derive their identity from their strong bonds with each other.

What group of people/mutants could Mr. Pool possibly belong to? Is he talking about starting a literal family with his girlfriend (who will never not look like Inara from Firefly to me)? Is he joining the largely but not entirely absent team of X-Men? Is he forming his own superpowered vigilante crew? How about all of the above? Yeah, kinda!

Here’s an article about the entirely irrelevant official plot summary. See below for my plot summary (with SPOILERS) in the form of a beat sheet in the style described in Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat.

My beat sheet for Deadpool 2

Opening Image
Deadpool is a mercenary who works alone, though Dopinder the taxi driver and wannabe contract killer helps him out with transportation.

Opening Credits
Again with the sarcastic placeholder text! I didn’t even notice it at first because I was distracted by the artsy-fartsy kaleidoscopic James Bond-esque Deadpool montage.

Set up
Failing to complete one of his kill orders on his anniversary, Deadpool inadvertently leads some bad guys to his apartment. He almost kills them all, but the last one kills his girlfriend, who has just expressed an intention to get pregnant. He catches up with the enemy and kills him, but nothing can bring his girl back to life. Angry and grieving, he climbs on a pile of gas barrels in his apartment and sets them alight.

Deadpool wakes up in the X-Men’s house/school being cared for by Colossus, a very tall metal mutant who sounds Russian. Colossus wants him to join forces with the X-Men. Deadpool is disinclined. However, when he almost died, he had a dream in which his girlfriend told him he can’t die because his heart is “not in the right place”. Something Colossus says sounds similar, so he agrees to help out.

Debate / Break into Two
X-Men trainee Deadpool then tries to defuse a touchy situation with an angry, powerful, fat mutant boy who is rebelling against the people who run an (extremely anti-mutant) orphanage. Deadpool, correctly realizing that the staff are abusing the children, unapologetically kills some of the wrongdoers. His unauthorized use of force gets both him and the boy outfitted with disabling collars and sent to mutant prison.

B Story / Promise of the Premise
The boy, Russell, believes that he and Deadpool are not just cellmates but also friends; Deadpool begs to differ. He now believes it was a stupid mistake to help Russell, since now that he is wearing a collar, he has no powers and will soon die of cancer, unless of course the inmates Russell antagonized kill him first.

Before long, Cable, a scary cyborg from the future (who has an awesome gun that goes up to eleven) breaks into the prison to try to kill Russell. Apparently Russell becomes a bad guy in the future, and kills Cable’s wife and daughter, singeing the daughter’s teddy bear in the process, so Cable believes he has to kill Russell before he grows up and becomes the Rainmaker. Or firemaker, in this case. Deadpool defends Russell because he doesn’t believe it’s right for Cable to kill a mere boy. Cable steals the special “no cash value” coin Deadpool’s girlfriend gave him as an anniversary present.

In his fight with Cable, Deadpool almost dies again, and again has a dream in which he is given new purpose. He must ensure that Russell has a second chance. If Russell can live a happy life, that will prevent the bad future even better than killing him would prevent the bad future. Russell is going to be transferred from one prison to another, and Cable is going to try to kill him: Deadpool will try to save him.

Bad Guys Close In
Deadpool assembles a team of misfits like you’d get if you posted a Craigslist ad. The new, gender-neutral yet mostly male “X-Force” team comprises a couple of guys with powers, an invisible guy, a normal guy named Peter, and a woman named Domino whose power is that she’s lucky. Deadpool’s plan is for everyone to skydive onto the prison convoy. The lucky woman is, shockingly, the only member of the team (apart from Deadpool) who survives. The skydive itself was awesome even if the results were unbearably gruesome.

All Is Lost
Domino and Deadpool fight Cable on the prison truck. When it comes to a stop, Russell and his new huge mutant buddy Juggernaut subdue Deadpool and storm off to exact revenge on the orphanage. That’s bad, because after Russell takes one life in anger, he will keep killing and become a ruthless villain, and Deadpool won’t have saved anybody.

Dark Night of the Soul
Deadpool, having been torn in half, has to regrow his legs. He does this, moping, at his former blind landlady’s house. Weirdest Dark Night of the Soul ever.

Break into Three
Cable arrives on the scene and agrees to team up with the puny and pantsless Deadpool to stop Russell, in a peaceful way if possible, and in a lethal way if necessary.

Cable, Domino, and Deadpool confront Russell and Juggernaut at the orphanage. Colossus arrives and pitches in by fighting Juggernaut. Domino saves the orphans after Russell sets the orphanage on fire. Deadpool tries to talk Russell out of killing the head of the orphanage. Seeing it isn’t working, Deadpool puts the disabling collar on himself and asks Russell to kill him instead. While Russell hesitates, Cable shoots at him. Deadpool, wearing the collar, jumps in front of the bullet. Cable’s daughter’s singed teddy bear goes back to being new, which shows Cable that Russell is not going to turn into a villain after all. Russell is saved, but now Deadpool is dying. He takes a really long time to die. There’s lots of sentimental speechifying.

Finally, Deadpool is no more. Now Wade can be with his dead girlfriend. Haha, just kidding! Cable has decided that instead of using his time travel device to go home, he will use it to go back to the beginning of the finale fight scene. Before he and Domino and Deadpool confront Russell, he returns the coin he stole from Deadpool. Then, when he shoots Deadpool, the coin blocks the bullet. Domino correctly guesses the single-digit numerical code needed to unlock the collar Deadpool is wearing, and all is well. Dopinder even achieves his dream of becoming a killer when he uses his taxi to run over the guy in charge of the orphanage. Colossus is horrified.

Final Image
Deadpool and his new family stride forward, happy and proud.

End Credits
Deadpool has Negasonic Teenage Warhead and her girlfriend Yukio secretly fix Cable’s time travel device, then joyously uses it to visit the past and adjust four specific events, all to the tune of Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time”.

  • First, Deadpool saves his girlfriend. (Duh.)
  • Then, he saves Peter, the normal guy who was briefly a member of his X-Force team.
  • Then, he executes a weird-looking character in a Wolverine movie who is, the internet informs me, a despised alternate depiction of Deadpool.
  • Finally, he executes himself as the actor Ryan Reynolds, about to agree to star in Green Lantern, an embarrassing flop of a superhero movie.