Deadpool 2 is an action-packed sequel that almost lives up to its predecessor, maintaining most of the humor and wit that made the first one such a winner.
Picking up after the events of the first film, DP2 finds Wade Wilson, after an encounter with a mutant boy, having to face a new villain in seek of revenge going by the name of Cable.
David Leitch (John Wick and Atomic Blone) takes over directing duties this time around from Tim Miller, who brilliantly directed the first film. While Leitch’s handling of action sequences doesn’t quite match what Miller did (which is surprising given his background), it’s in quieter moments where he shines, injecting his now trademark neon colors to almost every frame, which really gives the film a lot of life visually.
While the original director wasn’t back, it’s clear that the real MVPs of this franchise are writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who once again prove themselves to be one of the strongest screenwriters working in Hollywood. It’s also worth noting that Ryan Reynolds also gets a writing credit, which isn’t surprising once you see the final product.
Speaking of which, Reynolds, as expected, delivers all the laugh-out-loud moments and, unexpectedly, balances them with incredibly acted emotional moments that weren’t found in the first film. New additions are all mostly welcome too. Josh Brolin’s Cable is formidable, and gifts the Fox superhero franchise a much needed fresh and exciting character with a lot of depth. Brolin portrays with excellence every scene he’s in and proves to be one of the best parts of the film. Zazie Beetz’s Domino, while limited, is also great as the lucky mutant — but can’t help but feel a bit overpowered and for that same reason is never used as much as you’d expect.
The film’s issues begin to surface, however, once the third act comes in. While Julian Dennison is charming as Russell, his storyline is quickly turned into a cliche-riddled mess that feels like a completely different movie than the one it began as. It also features a particular battle involving a mutant cameo that is, frankly, too CGI. It’s actually a running problem throughout the film: the visual effects look super cheap in several key scenes, and it’s surprising given the age we live in of blockbusters.
There’s an argument to be had that this film probably aims too high. It tries to add some very emotional and serious scenes that are, in the end, useless and make the film feel tonally jumbled, jumping from its trademark meta humor to a generic action flick in seconds. That eventually makes the film lose the spark and originality that made the original such a standout back in 2016. And while I wasn’t the biggest fan of that film either, I still have a lot of respect for it (how can you not?), and its simplicity was always a key element of the winning formula that is clearly lost here in an attempt to make this a franchise with longevity.
The film, however, benefits from a very strong conclusion and a hilarious post-credits scene that almost makes me forgive its many flaws.
There’s still no denying that Deadpool 2, in the end, is a fun popcorn film. If you lower your expectations and don’t take it too seriously, there’s a big chance you’ll get a great time in the movie theater with quite a few laughs.
Deadpool 2 is now playing in theatres worldwide.