Deadpool, the 2016 superhero action comedy, was an unexpected hit with audiences. Due to great performances and hilarious dialogue the film was a critical and commercial success. The sequel, Deadpool 2, has all the laughs, action and heart of the first film — building off of its predecessor in every way possible.
The film has a rough start, with an abrupt tonal shift and some poor pacing, but once all the elements are set into motion in act one the film delivers in every scene that comes afterwards. Deadpool 2 begins at a slow pace — feeling a little choppy at times — and then quickly speeds up, but the lack of consistency is harmful to the over-all experience. Humorous moments and jokes in the first third of the film don’t land as well as the later ones do, with the first act being something one has to slog through before finally getting to the good stuff.
At the movie’s center, it’s a film about redemption. It’s about whether people can become better, choose to make the right decision and move beyond the pain of their past. Everyone can be good and no one is damned for the decisions they’ve made as long as they can recognize them and improve. This is the part of the film that makes it better than the previous installment, as it contains far more depth and emotion than the original Deadpool. The jokes and one-liners are funny, but there’s a deeper truth to this film which makes it such an engaging viewing experience.
Deadpool’s meta-humor was always one of the character’s strongest selling points, and on that note this film does not disappoint. The film is loaded with references to popular culture and the superhero genre, many appearing in unexpected ways. The humor also meshes will with the story, as Wade Wilson’s pain is what fuels many of his lines. It’s a coping mechanism in the movie, mush like watching a comedic film such as Deadpool 2 can take our minds off of the harsher realities of life. One notably weak aspect of the movie’s humor is the line “lazy writing”, which comes up more than once – and there are other variations of it – but after a while it just seems like an excuse for lazy writing. Pointing out tropes to subvert them is good, but eventually you have to offer soemhing more innovative than said tropes.
As mentioned earlier performances were what made the first Deadpool film great and this is very much the case for its sequel, as both the original cast and new additions bring their A-game to each role. There isn’t much to say about Reynolds performance, as he embodies the role of Deadpool. He is Deadpool, in very much the same way that Robert Downey Jr. is Ironman or Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. Josh Brolin, the new king of superhero movies, knocks it out of the park with his performance as the time traveling mutant Cable. The character comes from a harsh future and has lost a great deal, and Brolin portrays this well, with the character acting as the straight man to Deadpool’s lunatic extrovert.
Atlanta’s Zazie Beetz gives audiences a charming portrayal of the mercenary Domino and makes the character one of the most surprising breakout performances of the movie. She’s a supporting character in the film, but Domino’s power set and Beetz’s performance begs more development in future films. Julian Dennison impresses as Russel Collins, or rather Fire Fist, and portrays the pain and teenage angst with a realism that never makes it feel too cliché. That is unless Deadpool’s there to point it out. Russell is very similar to Deadpool, and their odd parent-child relationship makes for part of the film’s emotional core.
The returning actors from the previous film all deliver great performances, with Colossus being given a larger role in this film and a character arc of his own. His relationship with Deadpool is one of the film’s best features, and their bromance is connected to the heart of this sequel. The one disappointment was the little screen time spent on Negasonic Teenage Warhead, one of the breakout characters of the previous film. I guess there’s always the third film.
The CGI is troublesome in some instances, but the sheer awesomeness of what audiences were given makes up for any deficiencies. The actions sequences are appropriately violent and entertaining to watch, though the constant cuts during fight sequences takes away some of the energy to them. For some of the action scenes, longer shots would have been preferred to really accentuate the speed and fighting skills on display from the characters.
Any comic-book fans watching this movie should pay attention, because for them Deadpool 2 is a truly a delicacy. The film is filled with numerous cameos and Easter eggs for eagle-eyed fans to look for, making for a more rewarding viewing experience. This film also does have a post credits scene and it’s awesome. Worth waiting for and very entertaining.
Deadpool 2 has some pacing issues and occasional script problems, but it’s an entertaining sequel that builds on everything audiences loved about the original film.