I really enjoyed the first Deadpool flick and gave it an 8/10 after two viewings of it. The action was great and the tongue in cheek humor really helped to make it stand out. I have always been fascinated with metafiction and its application in comics and had been writing one myself so when Deadpool came out I was hooked on that style of humor. Alan Moore also toyed with the meta in a lot of his work (Watchmen, Promethea, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). The style just fit.
What I’m about to say is really contradictory… but Deadpool 2 relies too much on the style of the first and it’s strengths to hook me in enough to care. Cool visuals, great action/gore and hilarious yet cheap metafictional pops aside, this sequel is far from perfect in many ways.
Spoilers from here on out — if you haven’t seen it jump to the end of this review to see the final score.
Ryan Reynolds snark is on point when it needs to be, but any attempt at seriousness (the death of Vanessa – DP’s girlfriend) falls flat. The X-force (Deadpools team of discount-store mutants) felt rushed together and the characters like Cable and Domino (no relation to the kick-ass Keira Knightly flick from 2005) had little to no backstory presented. It felt pretty obvious that a Cable or X-force movie may be in the works, and that’s the biggest takeaway of importance I left the theatre with. While an X-Force movie has been cited as “in the works”, the cast is still up the air as half of the team didn’t make it out of Deadpool 2 alive.
Cable never felt like a threat due to his short and lackluster introduction and backstory, I’m not sure if Yukio ever showcased her abilities (turns out she did, and it was so fast I missed it in my first viewing), and the casting of Terry Crews and cameo of Ben Affleck (as well as the short-lived feature of Shatterstar) felt like such a waste. I grew to appreciate Domino’s “luck” ability by the end and appreciated the cinematography used in the scenes where we saw her power at work. Russell “Firefist” was also one of the shining parts of the film, as Julian Denison (Hunt For the Wilderpeople) did a great job portraying the hurt and angst his character endured at the hands of those who tortured him.
While the two new characters of Domino and Firefist hit their strides, the rest of the supporting characters fell flat with a lack of direction. The action was great, but the writing was not there to get me to actually care about the characters or what may happen in the next film. I’m hoping Deadpool 3 or X-Force can put some actual emotional connection and appeal into Wade Wilson again, as the Merc with a mouth has great cinematic potential still to be tapped and there is still time to right the ship. This can be so much more than a cheap-superhero cash in…
TLDR: Action, fun, and laughs are here. Substance, a story with consequences, characters you actually care about? Not so much. Maybe I was expecting more because my last superhero experience was the impeccable Black Panther, but Deadpool 2 didn’t quite get the job done for me.
Deadpool 2 – 6.5/10
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