15th May 2018 (UK)
Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable.
Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz
As the old saying goes: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
2016’s Deadpool will have you believe it was the one who did the smashing in the first place with its subversive, foul-mouthed approach to the superhero genre of this decade, but Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass and James Gunn’s lesser-known but fantastic Super beat it to the punch upon their releases in 2010. Nevertheless, Deadpool’s franchise ribbing and winks-to-the-audience ways struck a chord with moviegoers, bringing in $783 million on a meager $58 million budget.
Two years later, the inevitable sequel arrives and sees the disfigured but un-killable Wade/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) having to protect a young mutant, Russell, (Julian Dennison) from a relentless soldier from the future named Cable (Josh Brolin). To do this, he forms a team of mutants – the X Force – all with their own advantages in battle.
Unsurprisingly, Deadpool 2 follows the same recipe as its predecessor, but double scoops the ingredients. If you enjoyed the first offering, there’s almost no doubt you’ll find something to like here too: there’s more 4th wall breaking than a demolition company, the swearing would make a sailor blush and the joke frequency is machine-gun rapid – and that’s exactly why I didn’t enjoy it.
The jokes rely far too heavily on pop culture references and it genuinely gives Ready Player One a run for its money on the ‘how many real-life products and franchises can we name in two hours’ front. The problem isn’t necessarily that it does this, more so to do with the punchlines being the easy, obvious targets. Admittedly, sometimes these raised a smile (the persistent mocking of Wolverine being a highlight) and one of the many post-credit scenes revives an over-decade-long grievance that will never get old, but for me I couldn’t connect with the humour at all for its two-hour runtime; saying one thing looks like something else isn’t particularly funny to me.
Due to its incessant intention of never being 10 seconds without a gag, it’s almost impossible to get behind its attempts at more serious matters either. Deadpool 2 certainly ups the personal stakes for Wade to a point where it becomes near Iron Man 3 mopey but I never once cared about what could happen to the guy.
Speaking of which, Deadpool 2’s gore and violence levels have been increased too, mostly towards Wade himself. And why wouldn’t they be? If he can’t be killed, we should at least see just how much injury can be inflicted on him – with one sequence also kindly providing us with the ugly recovery and aftermath.
Regardless, Reynolds once again completely dives head first into the character and certifies him as irreplaceable in the role. Josh Brolin, who makes his second appearance as a villain in as many months after the infinitely more enjoyable Avengers: Infinity War, is probably the most relatable figure for me as he gruffly grumbles through clenched teeth at the irritating nature of the titular character, but features far less than I anticipated. Julian Dennison continues to succeed in his upward career trajectory as the troubled young mutant Russell, while relative newcomer Zazie Beetz (Geostorm) is standout as the impossibly lucky Domino.
To its credit, Deadpool 2 isn’t quite the film the trailers have lead you to believe; the previews probably make up about the first hour. After a sluggishly paced two acts, the third sees Deadpool 2 finally find its footing thanks to some introductions of epic proportions (which by some miracle have been kept locked up under wraps with no leaks) and a more focused final target. Another seemingly throwaway mid-credit scene bafflingly renders large chunks of the film pointless but in a film where a character physically cannot die, logic isn’t exactly a priority.
Ultimately though, your enjoyment of Deadpool 2 will most likely depend upon your reception of the first movie. Everything that made the original so popular has been overloaded in the sequel, resulting in much more of the same but without the initial refreshing tone that came with it.
I’d much prefer to see the character in more of the short marketing skits (see the David Beckham apology) than be subjected to the tiresome hyperactivity of him for two hours.
Trailer doesn't give away the best parts
Opening and closing credit scenes
Ryan Reynolds continues to be irreplaceable as Deadpool
Jokes too dependent on pop culture
The serious aspects of the story are hard to care about when everything's a joke
Distractingly bad CGI in places
Just lazy writing