The original “Deadpool” was a tough act to follow. As someone who grew tired of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after about two movies, it felt like a breath of fresh air. I laughed my guts up at the cinema, and I wasn’t the only one: Ryan Reynolds’ fourth-wall-breaking meta send-up of superhero flicks was an incredible box office success, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time (a title that has since been claimed by “Joker”).
By its self-reflexive nature, “Deadpool” felt like it should have been a one-and-done poke in the eye for the larger and more self-serious Marvel juggernaut, but with numbers like that, there was no way there wouldn’t be a sequel. “Deadpool 2” certainly gave it a good shot, lacking the original’s pure vulgar sense of anarchy but still packing in plenty of snark for the viewer’s buck.
The film’s standout moment was a jaw-dropping set piece joke that was cleverly prepped well in advance by the trailers. We get the gist that this time around Deadpool is trying to save a gifted kid from the menacing Cable, played of course by Josh Brolin. In preparation, he puts together his own team of superheroes called X-Force for the dangerous mission, including Bedlam (Terry Crews), Domino (Zazie Beetz), and a mysterious invisible character called Vanisher.
The marketing campaign was cleverly put together to amp up the X-Force’s role in the movie, wrong-footing audiences for a glorious prank. The team skydives in to intercept Cable but, spoiler alert, they don’t even make it to the ground alive as they all die in a variety of gory ways as their grand entrance goes disastrously awry. Among the fatalities is Vanisher, who has the misfortune to drift onto high-voltage power cables. Then, for a brief moment, we get to see him. And it’s only Brad Pitt.