Deadpool 2 Soundtrack: Ridiculous or Genius?

Spoilers for Deadpool 2 may be featured throughout.

Dolly Parton, Cher, Celine Dion. These are unlikely to be the names that come to mind when thinking about a Superhero movie’s original soundtrack. In typical Deadpool fashion, these artists are featured throughout the movie in an outrageous and somewhat ridiculous manner. Well known for shocks, comedy and gore, Deadpool 2 took the superhero conventionalism and turned it upside down. As Dolly belts out “what a way to make a living, Barely getting by, it’s all taking and no giving”, we see multiple assassinations occurring at the hands (or swords) of Deadpool. Apart from his typical inappropriate comments throughout this massacre scene, the song is quite dramatically juxtaposed with what is actually happening on the screen. It makes a violent, gory scene more enjoyable and even funny, and this recurs throughout the duration of the film. What makes the soundtrack so effective is the fact that these songs are not an expected choice of song for an action movie, particularly with the scenes in which they feature.

In recent films, we have seen the emphasis on the the importance of the movie soundtrack. Perhaps notably known, Baby Driver’s accompanying soundtrack was integral to the success of the film. It enhanced the emotions throughout, which is so easy to get wrong! Poor song choices can ruin the entire tone of the movie, which is where Deadpool 2 triumphs above others. We’ve also seen the insurgence of soundtracks featuring various artists, as opposed to films such as The Dark Knight, of which is predominantly orchestral music to set the tone and theme. This approach taken in Deadpool 2 proved effective, enjoyable and was ultimately unexpected for a movie of this genre. It is the significant juxtaposition of the song with the scene that makes this film that much more enjoyable! As opposed to other films, where the song is perfectly matched to the scene to create emotion (sombre music for a sombre scene, upbeat music for a suspenseful scene etc), it was the unexpected and somewhat ridiculous aspect that really elevated the film above other superhero films, and contributed heavily to the comedic element we have come to expect from Deadpool. Pairing violent scenes with the likes of Annie? Or perhaps an Aerosmith love ballad with an explosion of limbs? Although the songs did not necessarily match the accompanying scene (as explored below), they were still effective and tied-in perfectly with the nature of this film.

Below are some of the most unexpected songs featured throughout the film.

Ashes – Celine Dion

Céline Dion - Ashes (from "Deadpool 2" Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Celine Dion? In Deadpool? The ‘opening credits’ served as a parody to the James Bond films, which are commonly known for their extensive opening scenes, usually by a popular artist such as Adele. In its typical comedic fashion, Deadpool 2 used a beautiful Celine Dion song called “Ashes” as the background to an introductory scene full of jokes and swearing, rather than announcing the cast members (along with Deadpool’s very own interpretive dance). Why was this so effective? The fact that Celine Dion agreed to write a song for a superhero movie that actually has no relevance to the movie or the scene in which it is featured is why it worked so well; who would’ve thought that the artist that brought us My Heart Will Go On would provide the opening to an R-Rated movie such as Deadpool….

Tomorrow – Alicia Morton (Annie)

Perhaps the most ridiculous song choice of the soundtrack was “Tomorrow”, from Broadway’s Annie. This song plays out toward the end of the film almost heart-breakingly so as we anticipate something distressing is about to unfold. When we hear the first words of the songs belted out, the first thought is “really?” *face palm*. Though beyond the ridiculousness of this song choice with this scene, it actually ties in perfectly and has a major impact, particularly as we come to realise that Deadpool is about to make the ultimate sacrifice. With lyrics like “There’s got be someone who cares, Don’t know where they are, But I am going there”, not only does it add the humorous yet emotional aspect that we’ve come to know and love from Deadpool, but it adds to the dramatic effect of the scene as we come to realise our anticipations were correct (almost). Why was this so effective? A song by an 8 year old child is literally the last song you expect to hear when a team of mutants are engaged in a vicious battle.

Thunderstruck – AC/DC

Perhaps one of the best songs to feature in a film to build excitement, suspense and ultimately anticipation as the tune builds. Featured in plenty of movies before Deadpool, Thunderstruck was used as a way to pump up and excite the audience as the X-Force parachuted out of a plane ready for battle. It generated major excitement amongst the audience, as this upbeat, almost motivational song implied something epic was about to happen. It made it all the more shocking and unexpected when almost every single one of Deadpool’s newly formed team violently plummets to their death. Why was this so effective? Thunderstruck makes you believe that something epic is about to unfold, as the riff gets more intense, the drums kick in… But this scene was the complete opposite. It ignited the anticipation of such a scene but the element of surprise was thrown in, and so many characters were killed in such a short time, to an incredibly fun and heroic song.

If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher

Those who left the cinema early would’ve missed some of the best scenes featured in the credits, where Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time is playing throughout. We see Deadpool travelling back in time with the help of Cable’s time-travelling watch to previous movies such as Logan (Wolverine) to prevent his death, and earlier in the film to save his fellow X-Force team members from their demise. We also see him preventing the actor that plays him, Ryan Reynolds, from accepting his role as the highly disappointing Green Lantern film. With the obvious reference of the song being Deadpool turning back time to save characters, this song elevated the scene and added the comedic element we’ve come to expect of this franchise. What made this song choice so effective? The fact that it was such an obvious choice for a character travelling back in time, yet such an effective addition to the scene.

Known for his work on Guardians of the Galaxy, score composer Tyler Bates provided an exceptional soundtrack for this film; being one of the only superhero movies that can be classified as a comedy, he successfully put sentiment and energy into the film through his choice of songs, and found the perfect balance between comedy and emotion. The film jumps between serious and humorous tones, and to be able to effectively implement these elements through licensed songs set for some really high impact scenes throughout, albeit for the purpose of comedy. Overall, the soundtrack elevated the impact of every scene in question, and the blatant juxtaposition of the song with the scene makes this completely genius. With Dolly Parton providing the musical backdrop for a montage of violence, how could you not think so?

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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  1. Tyler Bates fully understood the needs of his film and delivered exactly what was required.

  2. I loved the soundtrack. Both original and classic, the songs enhance the film even more and make it worth watching numerous times.

  3. The biggest standout to me was Alicia Morton’s or of “Tomorrow”, from the “Annie” soundtrack. The song was not only well utilized in the scene (I didn’t expect it at all), but it perfectly personified the weird delightfulness of Deadpool himself. Only he would think of that song in such a harrowing moment.

  4. I loved a few of the songs!

  5. Meh. The soundtrack for the first “Deadpool” was terrific, so there is a natural comparison.

  6. Well if you saw the movie you already know music plays a big part, and you know the soundtrack is as crazy as the rest of the film.

  7. All the rap tracks on the album stand out!

  8. Lovienette

    Deadpool has come a long way since I saw him in the first Wolverine movie.

    • The 2016 version was hilarious and I expect the sequel to be just as good. I can heartily recommend Deadpool for people with superhero fatigue. It’s just so different than what Marvel and DC puts out these days. Refreshing.

  9. komikon

    Deadpool 2 ST is a blast – it’s fun, energetic, gleefully irreverent, and at a touch under 40 minutes in length.

  10. I could quite easily make a case for Deadpool 2 to be the best score of Tyler Bates’s career to date – it’s certainly up there in the top group, along with his two Guardians of the Galaxy scores, and Doomsday.

  11. Deadpool 2’s soundtrack is littered with carefully chosen pop songs.

  12. Action music tends to dominate the proceedings and I think they made a great join in DP2.

  13. “Deadpool 2” is a Marvel superhero score in all its glory.

  14. Favorite of mine is the Choir rendition of “You Can’t Stop This Motherf**ker”.

  15. Paulina

    Nice article! Each song serves an entirely different purpose and lands in a big way.

  16. It has some amazing song choice!

  17. This was also rampant in the first Deadpool film; most notably, the scene where Wade Wilson is tortured in the effort to activate his linger mutant DNA, is set to a bubbly, upbeat “Mr. Sandman.” For me, this is the only thing that makes this scene watchable. Such horrible visuals offset by unexpectedly chipper audio cues not only adds humor to the film, but is also what makes the genre accessible to more people. For the opposite- the fateful helicopter drop in the second movie set to the blood-pumping Thunderstruck- it changes the expectations of the audience, and that also adds to the humor of it all.

  18. I loved the song choices in Deadpool 2 because it sort of reminded me of how Kingsmen 2 used John Denver songs throughout the movie. It was a cool throwback to older popular songs in a new hot action movie. Really drew my attention in to both movies.

  19. Munjeera

    Very nice video insertions. Added a lot to my enjoyment in reading the article.

  20. genius definitley not ridiculous

  21. I feel like there is a certain aspect of pandering with the song choices in the film. Ever since “Guardians of the Galaxy,” it feels like superhero movies are really beating the quirky song thing into the ground.

  22. the fact that Deadpool is intended as an alternative to an overcrowded arena of superhero movies is highlighted by its soundtrack. The film does not play by the same rules as the ever expanding marvel universe and the soundtrack adds to its success by throwing a few curveballs to reinvigorate the viewers expectations in the genre.

  23. vincentkurt

    I like this movie, so ridiculous )

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