Deadpool 2: Film Review

Big shocker: I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original Deadpool. I liked it just fine, but people started freaking out and saying how awesome it was and I just didn’t get it. That’s why I didn’t go in with the greatest expectations for the sequel – and I was right. It is, again, just fine, but not as good as the first.

Ryan Reynolds returns as Wade Wilson/Deadpool, who wants to save teenage mutant Russell (Julian Dennison), who can wield fire from his palms, from time-travelling supersoldier Cable (Josh Brolin) so he builds the X-Force – which includes Domino (Zazie Beetz), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard), Bedlam (Terry Crews) and Peter (Rob Delaney).

I’ve kept the plot deliberately vague to avoid spoilers but also because I have no real idea what was going on. The plot is a real mess and the story is weak, far too long and an assault on the senses, so I struggled to take it all in.

The first film worked because it was subversive, rude, dirty, controversial, unexpected and the antidote to superhero movies, and while the sequel still does those things, it’s not quite as special as the first time around because we’ve seen it before. It is a lot of fun and quite hilarious, but there are a lot of jokes that didn’t land at all. There are too many in general, with Reynolds always running his mouth and dropping pop culture references and wisecracks, but it’s trying too hard. I would have preferred less jokes of better quality than hundreds of mediocre ones.

Following the success of the first, it’s no surprise this has got a much bigger budget. The action set pieces are much more ambitious, the CGI is slicker, and the production values are much greater. It is ruder, bloodier, bolder and crazier than before, so I guess the makers just took what worked before and turned the dial right up, for better or worse.

Reynolds basically IS Deadpool, this is the part he was born to play and he does it very well and has a lot of fun with it. I enjoyed Hunt for the Wilderpeople fave Dennison and that he got to keep his New Zealand accent, Beetz was a cool addition, I like her a lot, Brolin looked amazing (damn!) but I didn’t care for the character much. Also: I wanted more Peter, and I liked that taxi driver Dopinder (Karan Soni) got more to do.

Besides some exciting celebrity cameos, the best thing about Deadpool is the pop culture references. There are so many to devour – from MCU, Wolverine, Frozen and Yentl jokes to a James Bond-style credits sequence. There are a bit too many and they didn’t all work (bit overwhelming I think) but this is where I found most of my enjoyment.

Deadpool 2 is not rubbish but it has a lot of problems and I think that’s down to the pressure to make something as good as the first as quickly as possible. The script needed work, some of the jokes needed refining or cutting and it did not need to be that long. However, the soundtrack is as unexpected and fun as ever, and it is highly entertaining.

In cinemas now 

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