Deadpool 2, 2018.
Directed by David Leitch.
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Karan Soni, Leslie Uggams, Eddie Marsan, Stefan Kapicic, Bill Skarsgård, Terry Crews, Shioli Kutsuna, Lewis Tan, Jack Kesy, Hayley Sales, and Rob Delaney.
After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the Yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.
The Merc with a Mouth returns in a sequel that doesn’t surpass the original, but still captures most of its spirit delivers in an entertaining and fun adventure. Director David Leitch crafts a good follow-up, but Deadpool 2 falls into some of the same traps most sequels fall into, but fans will enjoy the film for its action sequences, ensemble cast and self-referential humour.
It will come as no surprise that Ryan Reynolds knocks it out of the park as the title hero. Deadpool 2 sees Reynolds balancing both the comedy of Deadpool and some of the film’s dramatic moments in a manner. Reynolds sells those dramatic moments easily, pulling viewers into Wade’s arc as he struggles to find a true purpose for himself. His comedic timing is also on point as he throws around clever one-liners and even takes some shots at his real life self and career.
Deadpool, though, does have a fairly generic arc himself in the film. Whereas the original film somewhat deconstructed the tropes of the superhero genre, specifically the origin film, Deadpool 2 doesn’t really do enough to differentiate itself. Deadpool’s arc is pretty straightforward and uses a couple of tired cliches to tell his story without drawing on the fact that they are so overused in films. In trying to take a couple risks with its story, the film ironically played it safe in those regards by relying on typical tropes.
Fresh off his turn as a galactic titan in Avengers: Infinity War, Josh Brolin does a great job as Cable. His chemistry with Reynolds is great, playing the gruff straight man to Reynolds’ aloof hero, and creates a very imposing presence in the film. He sells the physicality of the future mercenary, whether its through the action scenes or just standing still. The only downside is that it takes a little while for Cable to show up and its only then that the film’s pace starts improving.
Zazie Beetz is also a scene stealer as Domino, a mutant who seems to have luck constantly on her side. Much like Reynolds, she imbues her performance with a lot of fun and charisma and her powers are used in a creative fashion in the action pieces. Julian Dennison also gave a good performance as Russell Collins, aka Firefist, a young mutant they have to save from Cable. He was able to bounce back and forth between Russell’s sorrow and rage at his circumstances fairly convincingly.
When it comes to the action, Deadpool 2 ramps things up by creating some entertaining and inventive set pieces. Leitch’s experience as a stunt performer comes in handy here as the fight choreography is much better than the first film with clear action in the brawls between Deadpool and those who get in his way. The brawls between Deadpool and Cable are fun to watch as both characters have differing styles and perform several complicated fighting moves while the car chase is arguably the most memorable sequence. There are some moments, however, where the editing falters in the cuts, showing an actor weakly falling down after a blow or something thrown at them, but the fights are mostly well put together.
Where the film really struggles, though, is in its story. Not only does it rely on overused tropes, but the pacing is fairly slow for the first act. It takes a while for the story to fully get going and a long time for the much marketed X-Force to even appear in the film. It definitely hampers the flow of the film as the beginning feels like a very extended prologue to Deadpool 2‘s real story. There is also a moment at the end that goes on for much longer than it should. Its so close to the end of the film that it feels unnecessary to prolong it. The meta gags are at least used very well. The risk to overplay that hand after the success of the first film was high, but the sequel at least knows when to dial back the gags and the meta-references instead of constantly going to the well. The only comedic moment that doesn’t work is that ending moment I mentioned as the film drags it out for as long as it can to the point its no longer funny or emotional.
Deadpool 2‘s story isn’t the film’s best aspect as it takes too long to get going and uses some worn out cliches it could’ve done without. The cast still make the film fun with some creative and entertaining fight sequences and their chemistry is easy to see. Reynolds again shows why he’s the best person to play Deadpool while Brolin and Beetz give memorable introductions to Cable and Domino. It doesn’t quite match the original film, but Deadpool 2 is still an entertaining follow-up from Leitch that should please fans and audiences alike.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★