Much like the first film, Deadpool 2 plays with time-lines, a lover of Wade, Ryan Reynolds narrating in a semi-amusing way, the occasional break of the fourth wall. At least the latter doesn’t happen often this time around. Surprisingly though it does have some meaning and some emotional scenes, which are often interrupted by snarky remarks by Deadpool, which are genuinely funny, piercing the seriousness of the situation. It tries to poke fun at other superhero films much like the first film, but fails often. So yet again we have a film that, ignoring the humour, plays out like any other superhero movie. Superheros throwing other superheros around. Firey abilities. Deadpool even narrates ‘…and here comes a CGI fight!’
Luckily, this time around the humour works much better than the first film. It tries less to be vulgar and immature- though there is certainly no lack of this- but there is much more variety in the comedy. Especially the narration of Deadpool, but also the film generally. The taxi driver also makes a return- Deadpool and him have great chemistry and the driver also plays more of a role, often for laughs. This film moves from being vulgar to being a dark comedy.
The story at first seems rather weak- a young boy who is a mutant is burning everything in sight, so Deadpool shows up trying to reason with him. The narrative though has twists that are surprising and creates a film that is funny while being filled with superheros tossing each other around. This is much more bloody and violent than other films of the genre, and it is very well done. However, almost all of this comes from Deadpool either taking carnage or dishing it out. The rest is very generic and bloodless.
In his first big role after Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Julian Dennison displays his talent and range as a young actor. In Wilderpeople, he was consistently funny and displayed amazing comedic timing for an actor so young. Here, he is far from funny, rather he is a very angry young mutant who doesn’t crack one joke. And he nails it. After Wilderpeople, it is good to see that his talent was recognised and now he is a main character in one of the biggest films of the year.
Ryan Reynolds is fantastic in this role as expected, but the lines he is given, the scenes that he is in, are much better than the first film. His narration and meta-jokes don’t dominate the film, resulting in a much better finished product. Oddly, Wade seems to have healed- his face looked much worse in the first film. But this is a small complaint, as Ryan again owns the role and will forever be associated with this fascinating character. In fact, Deadpool as a character is easily more interesting than every Avenger squashed together. Every other character is great too, all played very well by everyone involved, especially Josh Brolin as a surprising addition for someone who avoids trailers like the plague.
Unfortunately, despite being directed by David Leitch, who worked on John Wick and directed Atomic Blonde, both filled with excellent action sequences, the action in Deadpool is weak in the way it is shot. Not for the first time and certainly not the last, much of the close-quarters action scenes are chopped into tiny fragments, switching from shot to shot rapidly. This doesn’t ruin these moments entirely, but it yet again obscures the action, making each kill, each punch, less satisfying than it could have been. Perhaps studio interference intervened, but these scenes certainly could have been created in a much better fashion. There is also an overuse of slow motion, and a very average soundtrack. But hey, it is still fun to watch.
And that is essentially what Deadpool 2 boils down to. A fun watch with ridiculous action and a change in humour that is fresh and much needed. But apart from the humour and Deadpool’s unique and violent abilities, there is not much to separate this film from most other superhero flicks. Deadpool 2 is a fun film, but far from original, disregarding the humour of course. It is however better than the first film and a satisfying sequel. Hopefully when Deadpool 3 inevitably arrives, it builds on the changes it has made to further separate it from other PC-friendly films of the genre.
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