Director: David Leitch
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Julian Dennison, Eddie Marsan, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni
Written by: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds, (based on the Marvel comics) Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza
Running Time: 119 mins
Release date: 15th May 2018
The Merc with the Mouth is back! After the hugely successful, self-depreciating, fourth-wall-breaking, foul-mouthed, ultra-violent Marvel character’s first outing became such a hit, it was inevitable that a second wouldn’t be far behind. The big question is, can this sequel capture the originality and fun that the first film served up? After a succession of superhero movies delivering the same-old, same-old, the refreshingly sweary red-suited anti-hero, with a love-hate relationship with Wolverine, came at us like a whirl-wind and struck gold. Does lightning strike twice? Or is this another sequel not as good as the original. Sadly, for me, it’s the latter.
Deadpool has declared war on all gangsters but his actions cause tragedy in his life and he finds himself longing for something he cannot find. That is until he meets Russell, a 12-year-old boy with mutant powers and an uncontrollable sense of revenge against the staff of a special school who abused him. With the arrival of Cable, an avenging killer from the future sent in time to stop events now from affecting his personal timeline, Deadpool needs to protect Russell and so forms his own version of the X-Men: X-Force!
When I say that Deadpool 2 isn’t as good as the original, it’s because Deadpool 1 was such an enjoyable, non-sensical romp that it was always going to be a hard act to beat. It’s delight in kicking the whole superhero franchises while at the same time breaking all the rules for this kind of action movie, gave us big belly laughs and a character unlike any other from this world. He swore like a trooper, had complete disregard for human life and broke the fourth wall with references to the script, the action on screen and wasn’t afraid to poke fun at itself.
Deadpool 2 has more of the same, except this time the film takes an interesting turn by including plots which attempt to play more for sympathy. The post-credit sequence alone takes the film down an unexpected road. What didn’t work for me is this wrong step is just that, leading us away from the fun poking and sending a much sombre trip through what could have been laugh-out-loud opening titles (with Celine Dion supplying the title song).
Once the real plot kicks in, it seems like business as usual, with a gag-a-minute in which nothing was safe, from DC to fellow Marvel characters, pop culture and the changing face of diversity. This is where problem number two comes into place. It just seems a little too much and in places, dare I say it, it becomes annoying. Not that it isn’t funny, it just struggles to sustain it for two hours.
Ryan Reynolds, who put so much into getting Deadpool to the screen the first time, returns as Wade Wilson and his alter-ego with the same child-like glee. He loves this character and it certainly shows. Josh Brolin, who has already played the greatest of villains, Thanos, in Avengers: Infinity War, is back doing bad once more as the iron-armed assassin from the future. Cue references to his role in the huge Marvel movie and The Winter Soldier. The saving grace of the whole thing was Zazie Beetz’s Domino, a mutant with the power of luck. Supplying some crisp lines of sarcasm and a kick-ass attitude, the film lifts when she appears and she certainly has enough attitude for a stand-alone movie of her own.
There is plenty to enjoy here, from the blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cameos and a scene involving Wade and his legs that will have you belly laughing but sadly the sentimental stuff feels out of place and the joke doesn’t feel as fresh and innovating as it did. Maybe it has been released far too closely to Infinity War, which was such a game changer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that it has affected my opinion of Deadpool. I did like it, I just didn’t like it as much.