“Family was always an f-word for me”
I enjoyed the first Deadpool movie. Sure, it sent up comic book film tropes whilst strictly adhering to them, but Ryan Reynolds’ dedication to the role was infectious and the film was fairly funny. I had some hopes for a sequel: whereas the rule for regular film sequels is that they will be worse than the original, the same rule rarely applies to comic book films sequels. With the origin story out of the way, the comic book film sequel has more scope to explore themes, characters and plots. Think of the great superhero films and you think of Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, X-Men 2, etc (with the MCU things are different: more often than not, the sequel tends to be worse than the original. But that’s something for a different time!). Could Deadpool 2 be the sequel its marketing made it out to be?
Unfortunately, no. Deadpool 2 is a terrible film. Let’s get that out of the way with right now. It attempts to have more of a plot than the original (which stuck close to comic book origin tropes), but the plot is just as lazy as its predecessors. I’d hate to spoil it for anyone, so I won’t go in to detail here. Suffice to say, don’t expect what the trailers led you to believe. On the positive side, the trailers are a positive example of how to hide a film’s plot through misdirection and lies. Most trailers lay out the entire plot of the film! But I’m getting distracted. But the basics are that Deadpool needs to assemble a team to fight the bad guy.
“I just saw the ad and thought it looked fun”
Except that there’s no true villain in this story. There’s definitely a protagonist, but as for the antagonist? They are non-existent. Without a polar opposite, without a true enemy, the film feels like it’s merely skipping from one irreverent joke to the next, from one fight scene to the next. Deadpool 2 may be yet another film about the importance of family (after GOTG vol.2 and Fast and Furious), but that theme is not enough to justify the extended runtime of this film. Every scene feels stretched out to include a few more jokes (to the point that I’m sure a fan edit of this film will arise in a few years that is better than the actual film).
But most people aren’t coming to this film for the plot. They’re here for two things: Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool, and the jokes. There’s more of Deadpool here than ever, as the side characters are relegated to the margins of the story. This is Reynolds film, and he obviously felt that more was better. Of course, the old adage that less is more applies here. I soon tired of Deadpool’s constant screen presence. He overwhelmed the running time, so that we had little time to care about the other characters on screen. He’s the head of the family, and he wants you to damn well know that he is the head. My eyes rolled a lot more than my mouth moved to laugh.
“It’s definitely not cinematic”
That’s also because the meta-jokes and the R-rated jokes feel so forced here. Deadpool 2 is definitely a film that tries too hard to make the jokes land. True, I chuckled a few times, but I found myself urging my mouth to smile (especially at the “jokes” including a comic book reference. You know, that smile/fake laugh that signals to everyone in the cinema that you know what the person is referencing? I hate myself for doing it…but can’t stop!). On the rare occasion, that was the inspired joke or two (the mid-credits sequence is the funniest thing about the film!). But I laughed a hell of a lot more at Avengers: Infinity War than I did at Deadpool 2.
The novelty has already worn off the Deadpool franchise. Even though the original was a typical origin story, it contained filthy jokes, meta-references and ultra-violence, enough to shake even the most cynical viewer into laughter. The sequel has all of the above…except this time, it is laboured. This time, it’s almost insufferable. Novelty goes a long way to carrying a film, but even the second time I watched Deadpool I laughed a whole lot less than I did the first time. For Deadpool 2, I could count on my hand how many times I genuinely laughed. For a comedy, that’s not a good sign. Without comedy, engaging characters, or a compelling plot, Deadpool 2 is almost as bad as Green Lantern.
VERDICT: 3/10. Deadpool 2 is the typical sequel: bigger and louder, but a whole lot emptier than the original. When a comedy struggles to make you laugh, there’s something wrong. And there’s so much wrong with Deadpool 2.
What did you think of Avengers: Infinity War (2018)? Leave your thoughts below!
Click here for my review Deadpool (2016)
I just saw it yesterday and was really disappointed we didn’t see more of the other characters. The man in front of me fell asleep. I love Ryan’s sense of humor but this just felt forced.
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Everything felt forced!
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