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Review: DEADPOOL 2

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.

 From the most interesting studio in the world, the one that killed Wolverine and is now property of Disney, comes Deadpool 2. The highly-anticipated sequel to 2016’s R-rated smash hit Deadpool has a new director in David Leitch (Atomic Blonde), a bigger budget to work with and a larger cast of characters, but is it able to hold a candle to its groundbreaking predecessor? Let’s find out.

Sadly, I don’t think this sequel is as good as the first one. And yes, I’m aware that I gave the first a 5/5, so the bar was set really high. And while I did still enjoy Deadpool 2 a considerable amount, I have more issues with this sequel than I had with the first.

First off, Deadpool 2 is pretty much on par with the first in terms of laughs. I would say it’s got just as many “I can’t hear what the characters are saying now because my audience is laughing so hard” moments. Ryan Reynolds continues to embody everything Deadpool is about. I could honestly see 10 of these movies with him playing the Merc with a Mouth, he’s that entertaining.There’s pop culture references galore. The “superhero movie” genre as a whole is made fun of throughout – with X-Men and the DC Universe being a couple of its prime targets. I do wonder how well some of the jabs will age over time, though. They’re hilarious now, but will they stand the test of time? I’m not sure. And of course, the Merc with a Mouth breaks the fourth-wall on numerous occasions, though I felt there was less of an emphasis on that format this time around. A lot of the film’s funniest moments have been showcased in the marketing, though there’s still plenty of fresh stuff in there. With the rapid-fire, relentless attempts at comedy, it’s expected that some gags fall flat. And some definitely do. But the humor definitely hit for me more than it swung and missed.

If you were seeing Deadpool 2 just for the introduction to the X-Force, I think you’ll be disappointed. That is, unless you’re there strictly to see Domino (Zazie Beetz). Other than her, none of the others really have much to do. I guess she was the most-marketed member for a reason. The legend himself, Peter honestly makes one of the bigger impacts of the bunch. I also wouldn’t get hyped up to see more of Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), as I felt she had a lot more to do in the first movie – and even there, her appearance was limited. Meanwhile, Colossus has a little more to do in comparison, but not a whole lot more. It’s still very much Wade’s movie.

Then I’m sure your follow-up question is, how was Cable (Josh Brolin) then? Ferris made such a big deal about him, did he live up to the hype? I’d say yes! Both this and Infinity War have reminded us of how versatile an actor Brolin can be. He obviously hasn’t always been typecast as “the villain”, but when he has the chance to be an antagonist, he always seems to be more than up to the task, especially when it comes to physically-imposing figures. I won’t go far into the extent of Cable’s portrayal here, but I will say there’s more to the character than just the Terminator vibe the trailers have been giving him. 
I didn’t think the story was quite as good this time around, though it wasn’t without some surprises and a couple of heartfelt beats that caught me off guard. Much like Infinity War, this is a movie that, assuming you’re a fan of Deadpool or X-Men, you’ll want to know as little as possible going in. There are some directions it went that I wasn’t wild about, but those would involve me delving into spoiler territory. The story is still relatively small-scale again, which I appreciated, but if I’m being honest, I kinda missed the occasional fourth-wall narration of its predecessor. 
On the opposite token, I thought the action was better in this sequel. That could probably be acredited to Leitch’s experience with action-driven films such as the first John Wick and Atomic Blonde. There is a bit of a John Wick feel to the action scenes – especially those involving Cable – minus his superpowers, of course. The action is intense and very violent. Speaking of John Wick, John Wick 3‘s release date just got announced today. Coincidence? I think not. But either way; hype. The soundtrack is improved here as well. There’s some familiar tunes that either compliment the action and/or are used to great comedic effect at points.
All and all, I had a good time with Deadpool 2. No, I don’t think it holds a candle to its predecessor, but it’s still a good time at the movies. I would consider it a slight disappointment, but perhaps some of that disappointment for me has to do with the novelty not being there with it being a round two? Either way, I look forward to seeing it again. Especially for those end credits. Oh man, they’re a doozy.
John Mathews
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Cinephile, gamer, and sports fan. Fortnite is life. You may know me from Letterboxd.