Director: David Leitch
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Julian Dennison, T. J Miller, Stefan Kapicic, Briana Hildebrand
Plot: A time-travelling warrior from the future, Cable (Brolin) is hunting a misunderstood teenage mutant (Dennison). The kid’s only hope is Deadpool (Reynolds). Yeah, he is probably screwed…
At the moment Horror is having a major rise in Best Picture nominations. Directors are beginning to mine horror as a means to tell the story they want. This is leading to solid yet unconventional films making it far further than you may expect them to. However, there is one genre that has always failed to get taken seriously. Perhaps that comes with the territory. Because that genre is comedy.
On the surface, Deadpool 2 is a pretty forgettable affair. Ryan Reynolds teams up with the old writing gang to deliver a movie that stands on the foundations of one of the biggest successes in recent years. It sticks to the same vehicle more or less. Deadpool takes the foundations of a conventional superhero story, but fills it with R-Rated gags, fourth-wall breaks and refuses to take anything seriously. It is laugh out funny, as in every moment has a winning joke, but surely that doesn’t deserve to stand next to the almighty Infinity War? However, the truth is that there is a real talent to the work the team over at Deadpool are doing. Just because it looks like the cast and crew are having the time of their lives making this movie, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t working hard. Comedy requires expert timing and certain jokes are fantastic examples on how sharp this team are. It could be Ryan Reynolds’ timing for a joke. It is hard to imagine any other actor landing certain remarks as wonderfully as he does. Perhaps it is the build-up to a gang. The marketing puts a lot of emphasis into the assembling of the X-Force teams, which turns out to be little more than an excuse to land the biggest gag of the film. There is one cameo joke, connecting the Deadpool film to the wider X-Men universe that must have taken quite some time to set up, but it is an absolute blast. Let’s not forget that David Leitch, director of John Wick, is on board now too, so the action has crept up a notch definitely. As Reynolds and Brolin meet each other fist for fist, the action is breath-taking. Leitch has always added a bite of humour to his choreography, John Wick a tongue-in-cheek kind of action, but with Deadpool 2, he has the perfect foil for comedy action. Watch Cable break Deadpool’s arm and then Deadpool throttle Cable with the limp remain of that limb! There are also some great special effect shots with one scene on a prison van that is up there with the quality of most Marvel movies. The truth is there is no less talent on Deadpool than any other superhero film I’ve seen. It’s definitely far better than most of, if not all, of DC’s efforts. And while Shape of the Water is still blowing my mind, I will probably watch Deadpool 2 time and time again, something I cannot say for Del Toro’s weighty drama.
But truthfully, the only competition Deadpool really has, is the shadow of its former self. While the first Deadpool was proving a point to the world, the sequel only needs to supersede its predecessor. Does it? Well, the opening twenty minutes hit us with a plot point that changes the game quite drastically, throwing the comfortable feeling we expected up in the air. However, otherwise, it is business as usual with Deadpool quipping his way through serious situations and not taking a single moment seriously. The plot is definitely far more complex than the first. Deadpool 1 was an origin story copied and pasted, with more dick jokes written in. Deadpool 2 writes in a time-travelling warrior, a kid who needs redeeming from his own self and its own superhero team-up. There is even time to fit in a top-secret villain that slipped by the entire marketing process. Wasn’t that a nice little treat for us all? While the story is definitely a step above (Josh Brolin is becoming the hero of the year!), it quickly settles into the norm. Pushing the boat out isn’t really the point of a Deadpool movie. However, the writers do make time for some seriousness in the end. Before Deadpool shied from the emotional beats, but here, in the sequel, while the darkness is still intercut with joking, the heartstrings are pulled at more often. Deadpool’s devotion to Vanessa, his hero bone showing through when he tries to save the kid… by the end, you will be more emotionally strung out than you planned to be.
Final Verdict: Deadpool 2 is all jokes and humour, but deep down, this is an incredibly smart, heart-warming movie.