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Deadpool 2 Review

May 18, 2018 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
DEADPOOL 2 Ryan Reynolds
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Deadpool 2 Review  

Directed By: David Leitch
Written By: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds; Based on the Marvel comics and characters created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza
Runtime: 119 minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool/Wade Wilson
Josh Brolin – Cable
Zazie Beets – Domino
Julian Dennison – Russell
Stefan Kapicic – Colossus
Brianna Hildebrand – Negasonic Teenage Warhead
Morena Baccarin – Vanessa
T.J. Miller – Weasel
Leslie Uggams – Blind Al
Terry Crews – Bedlam
Bill Skarsgård – Zeitgeist
Lewis Tan – Shatterstar
Shioli Kutsuna – Yokio
Karan Soni – Dopinder
Rob Delaney – Peter

The Merc With a Mouth, Deadpool, is back for his latest cinematic romp in Deadpool 2 from 20th Century Fox. Years of development hell and fan anticipation led to the first movie in 2016, which achieved some side-splitting results. Deadpool was an irreverent romp and probably just what the comic book superhero genre needed at the time.

The first Deadpool was something different by focusing on the irreverent, fourth-wall breaking antics of an antihero like Wade Wilson aka Deadpool. It came at a time when there was a concern about superhero movie fatigue or Marvel films becoming too homogenized. Deadpool was able to take the style and aesthetic of comic book superhero movies to a place Marvel Studios can never really go, even for their best efforts. That’s why the original Deadpool was so refreshing.

Deadpool 2 is still an entertaining, fun and crowd-pleasing movie. Unfortunately, it’s not as tight, taut, fast and slick ride as the original. The original film’s screenwriters, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are back, and star Ryan Reynolds gets a screenplay credit this time around. The original Deadpool had to come in at a budget of under $60 million. That’s a fraction of the budget for movies of this type these days. However, through that, Reese and Wernick presented a film that was very creative and worked incredibly well, despite a budget that was even lower than the 2000 X-Men movie.

Deadpool 2 is still anchored by a charismatic, lively and entertaining performance by Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. Reynolds is probably most suited for Deadpool than any other character he’s ever played. Reynolds does deserve a lot of credit for his performance because it isn’t easy to center an entire movie franchise around a character like Wade Wilson, who is such an outrageous and over-the-top persona. He still does it remarkably well.

The issue with Deadpool 2 is that the plot is not as tight and focused as the original. The film’s first act is incredibly rough and has a lot of trouble finding its footing. There is one subplot in the original film that was problematic in how things concluded involving Morena Baccarin’s Vanessa.

The second movie essentially shows why that was probably the wrong way to go. It always seems that writers struggle with how to develop romantic relationships in these types of films. The obvious conclusion is the the catalyst of Deadpool’s journey.

Ultimately, Deadpool has come to the conclusion that he has to find redemption through a young pyrokinetic mutant named Russell (Dennison). The wayward youth is suffering from the pain of his tormentors and oppressors. It’s a pain that Deadpool understands very well. Unfortunately, that pain is putting Russell on a bad path. As a result of that path, a time-traveling cyborg from the future, Cable (Brolin), arrives in the present to kill Russell before the boy breaks bad. Deadpool takes it upon himself to protect Russell from Cable, and the hunt is on.

First, while Deadpool 2 is a disappointment, it’s far from terrible. Once again, Reynolds is very entertaining as the titular antihero. The jokes and gags that land work really well, while some of the jokes don’t all land quite as well as in the first film. Some of it just results from other movies telling the same jokes beforehand. It’s not that all the jokes are bad; but a similar gag was already used in Thor: Ragnarok with much greater effect.

Still, Deadpool 2 has a very self-deprecating style for the superhero genre that’s definitely appreciated, along with the meta-humor and fourth-wall breaking gags. There’s one gag in particular at the centerpiece of the film that completely upends all expectations. This particular gag wouldn’t work in any movie except the Deadpool series.

Stefan Kapicic as Colossus and Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead were probably two of the best discoveries for the first film, and they are back for more fun for this go around. Similarly, Zazie Beets as Domino is the best addition to the film, and not just because she’s a strong female hero. Director David Leitch and writers Wernick, Reese, and Reynolds do an excellent job of showcasing exactly how Domino’s mutant “luck powers” would work onscreen. In the Marvel comics, someone such as Domino having “probability altering” or “luck” as mutant superpowers does not make sense. However, the movie not only acknowledges this, but Deadpool openly mocks the idea. And then the movie actually shows Domino utilizing her luck powers, and they produce some of the film’s best action beats.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Josh Brolin’s performance as Cable, who was probably the most anticipated new character of Deadpool 2 due to the characters’ longtime association with each other in the comics. Unfortunately, Cable’s presence in the film is a letdown. It’s weird to have Brolin in this film right after he played the MCU villain to end all other MCU villains with Thanos Avengers: Infinity War. Cable is nowhere near as interesting. That’s disappointing because Cable should be a much stronger character.

In Deadpool 2, Cable’s backstory is underwhelming and very thinly depicted. It’s a decent enough performance for Brolin. He definitely does a good job playing opposite the zany antics of Reynolds. But as a time traveler, Cable is a bit of a problematic character, and Cable is nothing more than a grunty, time-traveling cyborg, staunch militaristic soldier. Very little about Cable is actually revealed, which is also underwhelming.

What does work in the film’s favor is that there are some good moments that, while they are clearly fan service, they still work well. There’s another revitalized cinematic appearance for another mainstay X-Men character that’s incredibly well done that fans are going to love, similar to how the first movie relaunched Colossus. And when the movie is on-point, such as the incredible, 007-riffing opening title sequence complete with Celine Dion music, it’s incredibly fun and entertaining.

Deadpool 2 is a fun and entertaining movie, but it’s not as good as the original. Fans of the original will still enjoy the superhero-skewering antics of the Merc With a Mouth. However, the movie is probably a few rewrites away from being a much more superior sequel.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Deadpool 2 is entertaining, fun and outrageous. Unfortunately, the new script by Ryan Reynolds and the first film's writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick fails to live up to the novelty of the original. Deadpool 2 is a little flabbier. Some of the new characters, such as Zazie Beets as Domino, work really well, but Josh Brolin's Cable is a pretty big letdown. The jokes that land are effective, but others are not. Fans of the original will still have a good time, but Deadpool 2 isn't as tight and focused as the first film. With respect to the writers and Reynolds, the original film was always going to be a very tough act to follow.