Apart from the man himself, no one thinks Deadpool 2 is for everyone. The merc’s specific brand of raunchy, gory bullshit comes at you thick and fast, as well as a steady patter of in-your-face meta-gags that, despite everything, never feel like bitter upward punches.
Deadpool isn’t changing any time soon, but this sequel offers some incremental improvements on the formula. The action’s better, the characters are more diverse and interesting, and Leitch starts moving the franchise to stand in its own right, rather than existing in opposition to its bigger, more straightforward cousins. This transition is critical if the franchise aspires for longevity – there’s only so many times you can criticise the superhero landing – but Deadpool 2 just doesn’t feel committed to finding its own feet.
In many ways, it’s commendable that Reynolds and co. want to keep on throwing out zingers and ignoring the call of the sequel grinder, but Cable’s introduction only serves to throw the joke machine off-kilter. Deadpool 2 falters walking between Wade’s uncaring self-awareness and Cable’s serious “blockbuster” issues, and given how much of the plot rests on the latter, the film gets a little lost in the identity crisis.
Despite this, Deadpool 2 does right by its new fleet of super-duper friends. Zazie Beetz pops as Domino, her relaxed vibe a welcome counterpart to Deadpool’s endless snaps and Cable’s gruff crackle. Most pleasingly, Julian Dennison proves he’s not a one-hit wonder – although he does struggle with some of the script’s biggest missteps.
When you’re throwing this many ideas at the wall, a few duds are inevitable. Ultimately Deadpool 2 is a step in the right direction, even if the series shoots itself in the foot by hinting at what this could be, if it grew up a little bit.
CAST: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Julian Dennison
DIRECTOR: David Leitch
WRITERS: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds
SYNOPSIS: After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender.