The movie Deadpool won a lot of people over with its edgy and over the top humour. Its irreverent attitude covered over what was clearly a low budget superhero movie. Yet fast forward to a record-breaking take at the box office and suddenly we have a more ambitious sequel. Deadpool 2 does what sequels do, becoming bigger and more ambitious and while what made the original entertaining is still largely intact its ambitions at being something more make for an uneven and at times flat experience.
Wade Wilson’s comfortable life is thrown into disarray by tragedy and his mutant abilities stand in the way of him ending it all. A renewed attempt to find purpose in life leads him to Russell, an angsty teenage mutant who is on the verge of turning bad. Throw into the mix, a futuristic assassin Cable who seems intent on killing Russell and Deadpool surely has his work cut out for him.
Deadpool 2 contains the ridiculous brand of humour from the first movie and its crude, wall-breaking wit will please anyone who comes with expectations from the original. Pop culture references, clever and not-so-clever cameos and a painful awareness of the real-world outside of superheroes all combine to make sure that you are not long without a joke. To be completely honest this is probably the equivalent of what was in the first, neither more or less so but one might feel it lacks the freshness.
One thing that is improved by grander ambitions and bigger budgets is the film’s action that is now solid and more epic in scale. The film’s humour is now matched by an action style that allows for its director to have fun with it. Essentially this means more things explode while more limbs are being dismembered all while having a laugh about it.
However, Deadpool 2 attempts one too many improvements and like an athlete trying and failing an ambitious move almost ruins the whole routine. The offender: drama. The movie wants you to feel at times and the cold reality is most of the characters are one dimensional. The ‘love’ story at the heart of Deadpool 2 is soulless. The abused mutant comes across as petulant and emo rather than sympathetic.
I think there is an awareness of this and most dramatic scenes are interrupted by another zany joke dashing any chance at impact. None of these ruins the film but it does make it feel uneven and ultimately weaker than its predecessor.
Also developing or rather not developing the X-Force teams seems like a bit of a waste of talent. People like Terry Crews and Bill Skarsgård essentially have are part of an extended punchline. Whilst characters like Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead have nothing more to do than to repeat their roles from the first movie. Not everyone is wasted though as Josh Brolin again manages to be a highlight of a superhero movie this year and Julian Dennison steals some scenes by milking his Hunt for the Wilder People routine.
Deadpool 2 Review Cheat Sheet.
Deadpool 2 offers entertainment in an irreverently funny way while offering a grander and more developed action movie. Its attempt to play serious is largely unsuccessful and attempts at character development go largely ignored with some noteworthy exception. Ultimately it’s worth your time particularly for those who enjoyed the original but know at times it is an uneven and flat experience will mar the experience.
+ Great brand of humour returns from the original.
+Bigger budget generally means better action.
+Josh Brolin and Julian Dennison are welcome additions.
-Drama is completely ineffective.
-Character development is largely forgotten.
-X-Force seems like a lot of talent wasted.