Deadpool 2 Review (2018)
SHOULD YOU WATCH IT?: YES
IMAX?: UNNECESSARY - 3D?: UNNECESSARY - MID-CREDITS?: YES - POST-CREDITS?: NO
Deadpool 2 begins with a globe-hopping Deadpool doing his thing, taking it to the criminals of the world. He’s on the hunt for a particular baddie who proves elusive. We get to see a few old faces before the anti-hero life catches up with him to devastating effect. Seeking colossal shoulders to cry on, Deadpool heads to the X mansion to find solace and ends up joining the team as a trainee. Shortly thereafter is where we meet the little boy from the trailers. Deadpool and the rest of the team head to the area we see in the trailers to get a handle on the situation and, as he is wont to do, ends up putting himself in a far hairier situation than he intended. All these choices eventually lead to the first meet up with Cable (Thanos a.k.a Josh Brolin) and he doesn’t disappoint (well in one aspect he does, but that’s for a spoilery discussion). Slick fight choreography, the use of his tech, and his gruff demeanor are all on display here as Brolin brings a no nonsense super solider into the world of Deadpool’s antics. In order to stop Cable from killing the kid from the trailers, Deadpool must put together a team. His X-Force.
After a going through a period that was, and could only be called “development hell” and some leaked test footage, we finally got Ryan Reynolds in the role he was born to play: Deadpool. It was raunchy, hilarious, action-packed, Rated-R and most importantly, it was quintessentially Deadpool. A superhero origin story like none other, it went on to break multiple records following a marketing blitz that the comic book character himself would have been proud of. Fast forward a couple years and we’ve got the “merc with a mouth” back in action in what is a much bigger version of the original. The sequel trap happens when the people behind a movie forget that the success of the original movie wasn’t due to one single thing, but the combination of factors that were the sum of its parts. So what generally happens is, they see the overt things that everyone liked and they expand those things and run with it, hoping for a better sequel. In the case of Deadpool 2, the raunchy jokes, physical humor, movie references and Reynolds’ charm were all on display, but it still felt a little like someone else following a paraphrased recipe, hoping to capture the magic of the original chef and dish.
Key portions of the original magic are there for sure. It’s hilarious. It bends rules it hasn’t already broken and most of the acting is high quality. However, it all feels a little rehashed. Not only that, but one of the key tenants of the original was upending common action/comic book movie beats by making fun of them. While this movie successfully does that quite a bit, a big portion of the movie is one giant comic book movie stereotype. It was like watching a guy mock himself in a mirror, not realizing he was looking at his own reflection.
Returning cast members and fresh faces galore are used very pleasantly to round out the film around Reynolds. One of the members of X-Force, Domino (Zazie Beetz) is a key player once she shows up. Her powers are on full display and she kicks ass, but the banter with Reynolds always felt lacking. Unfortunately, the rest of the X-Force members were underutilized, albeit to tremendous comedic effect. In away, the film sets up the X-Force film that's already in development, but I'm also a little worried about what that movie will look. I've got to think about it a bit more.
Deadpool 2 is good. It does many things well. It’s funny. It promotes the normalcy of LGBTQ characters, it’s action packed and it’s a good time in a packed movie theater. It also has its missteps. Will it take away from the overall film for most people? I doubt it. Check it out and see for yourself.