A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, like the original, Deadpool 2 is bloody, raunchy, violent, and filled with pop-culture references that may go over even some teens' heads. In other words, it's targeted specifically at older audiences. Expect tons of extremely graphic violence, much of which is close-up and very gory and gross: torture, decapitation, dismemberment, brutal hand-to-hand combat, and much, much more. Sympathetic characters die, and children are abused by authority figures. You'll hear "f--k" in nearly every scene, plus "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," and a full range of other salty words. Adults also smoke, drink, and use drugs, and there are some sexual references, although fewer than in the first film (and there's no sexual nudity this time around -- just glimpses of a bare baby butt and quick-flash shot of baby genitals, played for humor). Despite all of this, the story does ultimately promote teamwork, collaboration, empathy, and believing that people, particularly kids, can change.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
DEADPOOL 2 begins with a startling sequence in which Wade (Ryan Reynolds) informs viewers that, as with Wolverine in Logan, he won't survive this movie. Then the action rewinds, and Wade narrates the distressing last few weeks he's had, which included a key character's death sending him into a tailspin. After the flashback, Wade teams up with Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) to become one of the X-Men in training. During a confrontation with a volatile, potentially out-of-control young fire-starter mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison) -- who's angry and trying to torch the "mutant rehabilitation" youth center he's been forced to stay in -- Wade goes off script and ends up landing both himself and Russell in prison. Eventually, Cable (Josh Brolin), a soldier from the future, arrives on a mission to alter the past in the name of preventing unspeakable crimes in the future. Then things really start going awry, and the movie becomes a race between Wade and Cable.
Is it any good?
Reynolds' hilariously offensive antihero serves up another round of snarky, trash-talking, gory, pop-culture-bashing shenanigans that will appeal to those who loved the first film. As with the original, it's important to note that this is not a typical superhero movie that families with elementary schoolers and tweens will want to see; it's truly best for older teens and adults who will understand and appreciate the humor (not to mention be able to stomach the incredibly gory violence). The movie is a nonstop barrage of one-liners that reference everything from whether the songs "Papa Can You Hear Me?" from Yentl and "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" from Frozen are overly similar to DC/Marvel in-jokes to nicknames (Wade calls Cable "Thanos") and sight gags (he lifts up a boom box, Say Anything style).
But among all the rapid-fire jokes is a sentimental notion: that kids, in this case the morally conflicted Russell, give adults the chance to be better people. Wade's interactions with Russell are both hilarious and bittersweet. And if the addition of new characters Russell and Cable isn't enough to intrigue viewers, there's also the introduction of the X-Force, an even motlier crew of mutants (plus one regular civilian) with somewhat middling powers: Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard), for example, can spew acidic vomit. At least Domino's (Atlanta's Zazie Beetz) power is good luck, which ends up being more helpful than Wade can imagine. Even Cable isn't the straight-up baddie you'd expect; he ends up having more depth than is strictly necessary. Reynolds and Brolin look like they're having the time of their lives playing off of each other, and -- spoiler alert! -- the ending makes it clear that audiences can and should expect more from the Fourth Wall-breaking superhero. Oh, and -- as always -- stay for the credits.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Deadpool. How much is shown, and how is it different from the violence in other superhero movies? How does Deadpool's humor affect or mitigate the violence? What's the impact of media violence on kids?
Is Wade/Deadpool a role model? Who are some other reluctant superheroes? What makes their stories compelling?
Are Wade and Vanessa in a healthy relationship? How do they encourage and support each other?
The people running the mutant orphanage were trying to "cure" the kids of their "condition." Do you think the filmmakers intended that situation to parallel any specific real-life issues? If so, which ones?
- In theaters: May 18, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: August 21, 2018
- Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Josh Brolin
- Director: David Leitch
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Friendship
- Run time: 111 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence and language throughout, sexual references and brief drug material
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.