When Deadpool hit our screens it was a refreshing take on superhero movies in a genre that was over-saturated. Here was a “hero” that was rude, sweary, self-referential and shining a huge spotlight on the industry itself. Add to that the fact that it was very very funny and you had a sequel that people were anticipating ever since the tease at the end of the first movie.
With probably the greatest marketing campaign of the year (so far) Deadpool 2 starts as you expect it to, with some close to the bone humour, brash swearing and a gory, explosive prelude to the Bond-rip-off titles. So far, so Deadpool. However, this is also part of the issue.
Deadpool 2 is very funny. Ryan Reynolds fits straight back into the role and the superhero is quickly becoming the defining part of his career. He knows the character so well and it is clear that he is having fun with every scene, joke and violent swing of his swords. His delivery of the jokes is just as on-time as always. They are the same mix of straight-to-camera, self-referential, swear-filled humour that made the first a success, taking pot-shots at everything from DC, to Marvel, to Reynolds’ past failures as an actor.
Is the film offering anything new though? The answer unfortunately, is no. Once you’ve seen Deadpool offer an R-Rated take on being a superhero, there isn’t really anywhere else for the character to go. Instead, you have to hope that the story will do enough to add a different layer to the hero and luckily, Deadpool 2’s story outdoes the first movie.
We have seen origin films hundreds of times and Deadpool’s was no different. The second movie offers a chance to develop the character and the sequel sees Deadpool deal with tragedy, time-travelling bounty hunters and a misguided, angry teenager that can destroy buildings with a rage-filled scream. It is a story which keeps you invested, with some great foreshadowing of a decent X-Men cameo and strong support from new additions to the series.
The bounty hunter in question is Thanos himself: Josh Brolin as Cable. Cable is a different kind of villain to what we have seen before and has the best kind of motive; self-righteous revenge. He feels like a tragic villain rather than a dastardly one and his story alone is interesting enough to keep you invested in the tale. The moments where he meets our hero and the combat that follows is smooth, well choreographed and full of one-liners, silly sequences and some great conclusions. Brolin is more than a match for Reynolds too, adding his own deadpan humour and clearly “getting-it.”
The second great addition to the series is the completely different Domino, played by Zazie Beetz. Her superpower is a very clever, very cool one which plays out brilliantly as the film progresses. She feels bigger than just this movie and while she offers something brilliant to the sequel, it feels like she could move onto bigger and better things herself.
So with the character sorted and the humour back to a decent level, it is a shame that, just like the first movie, the ending doesn’t justify the build. Deadpool 2 has a great story but it ends with, in it’s first instance a generic CGI-filled slug-fest and then an almost “cop-out” ending that undercuts the great work the film had done so far.
That doesn’t stop Deadpool still being the most unique sort of superhero movie around at the moment. Nobody else is doing what Deadpool is doing, from his R-Rated antics, his crazy story-lines and his ability to transcend the usual superhero tropes (for the most part) and bring something fresh to a saturated, arguably over-done genre.
Overall, Deadpool 2 is more of the same and struggles to do anything different to the first movie but on the whole is still the freshest type of superhero film. Reynolds is fantastic and is offered ample support from both Brolin and Beetz, while the story-line takes the character to better, more developed areas. A dodgy ending aside, Deadpool 2 shows there is still plenty you can do with the character.
Rating – 3.5
(1 – AWFUL, 2 – AVERAGE, 3 – GOOD, 4 – GREAT, 5! – MUST SEE)
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