“Deadpool 2,” dir. David Lietch
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.
The first “Deadpool” was a huge surprise back in 2016. Not only was it a massive financial success but it was a fresh take on the superhero genre carried by a career-defining performance by Ryan Reynolds. A sequel was an absolute no brainer and with director David Leitch taking over from the previous film’s director, Tim Miller, it seemed like “Deadpool 2” was aiming to go bigger and better and sadly, it’s only able to achieve the former.
Deadpool’s greatest strength as a character is his sense of humor and breaking the fourth wall and that’s very much so kept in tact here. The screenplay takes multiple shots at other comic book universes, the history of the X-Men, and filmmaking in general and a good amount of the jokes hit hard. There are several bits of comedy that are funnier than anything in the first film. The problem is that there is nearly an equal amount of jokes that fall completely flat or drag on for way too long, causing the overall film to be more inconsistent than its predecessor.
There are many new characters introduced in “Deadpool 2,” the biggest of which being Zazie Beetz as Domino, Julian Dennison as Russell, and Josh Brolin as Cable. Beetz oozes personality in every scene she’s in and shines bright during all of the action scenes, sometimes even giving Reynolds a run for his money. Unfortunately, Dennison feels miscast in a role that doesn’t allow for him to show enough range which is particularly disappointing because he was so fantastic in “Hunt for the Wilderpeople.” Brolin once again knocks it out of the park as yet another big, muscular comic book character after his stellar performance in “Avengers: Infinity War,” but the character feels underused and functions as a plot device for a good portion of the film.
Leitch did a phenomenal job directing the action sequences in both “John Wick” and last year’s “Atomic Blonde.” However some of the big set pieces here are bogged down by mediocre CGI that take away from the sometimes impressive fight choreography. The second half in particular has some major scenes that feature almost exclusively CGI and they lack tension and excitement.
Where the film suffers most is in its story. The first movie had a loose origin story structure that allowed for more focus to be put on Deadpool as a character and more freedom to rely on fun set pieces and comedy. This time around, there’s a lot more focus on a weak story that makes the overall film feel more like a standard piece of superhero fare with emotional beats that never once register.
“Deadpool 2” is the definition of a hit and miss sequel. The opening scene of the film starts things off incredibly strong and the post-credits scene is easily the greatest one that’s ever been done, but then it’s a roller coaster of highs and lows for the two hours in between. The character of Deadpool is still a joy to watch, but some of the creativity and charm feels lost this time around. There’s still enough material to work with that another great movie can be made with this character, but the filmmaking team needs to go all in and get more inventive with the fourth-wall breaking and action scenes. Maybe have a sequence where Deadpool reads the script to figure out how to win a fight? Just a thought.
Have you seen “Deadpool 2?” Did you like it more than the first one? Are you excited to see what’s next for the character? Let me know your thoughts down below in the comments.
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