DEADPOOL 2 Spoiler-Free Review; "The Bloated, Unfunny Follow-Up Doesn't Deliver On The High Expectations"
Deadpool 2 hits theaters today but is it worth checking out or are you better off hunting down another screening of Avengers: Infinity War? Hit the jump for my verdict on the highly anticipated sequel.
On the plus side, the plot is relatively strong and Ryan Reynolds is once again excellent as the character. Had this just been a straightforward action-adventure with some jokes thrown in, it probably would have been much better but an endless stream of references to other franchises really aren't as clever or funny as the movie thinks and they quickly begin to grate. The vast majority of the humour is juvenile, though, and while comedy is subjective, unless masturbation jokes and peppering every conversation with f*** is hilarious to you, you may not get a whole lot out of this one.
It's not that Deadpool 2 isn't amusing; there are are some great sequences here and a lot of moments guaranteed to make you smile/laugh but the fact that the jokes and pop culture references never stop coming begins to grate and that hurts the sequel in a big way. It's not about being easily offended or anything like that either. As any Deadpool fan will know, the Merc is juvenile at his core but the character constantly talking about the MCU or Frozen is just going to date this movie horribly and none of those gags are particularly original or anything new.
There are many times in the movie where Deadpool cracks a joke about lazy writing and this movie is actually full of that (and not deliberately). Character motivations change on a whim and there's nothing in the plot you won't see coming from a mile off. For a relatively short feature, it also drags and it fails to really deliver anything unexpected or surprising. Not even time-travel is used that inventively and the sequel frequently fails to take advantage of a number of characters and concepts which would have really helped it stand out.
So, what does work here? As I mentioned above, Ryan Reynolds is great as Deadpool and Zazie Beetz is a fantastic Domino (honestly, she deserves better than this but she's a well-rounded out character and the movie makes good use of her unique abilities). Josh Brolin's Cable, meanwhile, isn't a scene stealer the same way Thanos was in Avengers: Infinity War but the actor is definitely well-suited to the role and shows enough here to make me excited for what might come next for him. Brolin and Cable have a lot of chemistry and seeing them on screen again will be a lot of fun. Julian Dennison is really good and T.J. Miller is as unbearable as he was two years ago.
David Leitch definitely ups the ante in terms of action and the choreography in many of the fight scenes is among the best work you'll find in any superhero movie. They're fluid, awesome to watch, and definitely fitting for this character. Unfortunately, the CGI often doesn't live up to those and there's one character, in particular, who looks like he's probably best pals with Justice League's awful looking Steppenwolf.
Ultimately, I'm confident that the vast majority will love Deadpool 2. Putting what I considered to be pretty awful humour aside, it's a movie which delivers plenty of references fans will appreciate, some very memorable cameos, and stellar action scenes. Unfortunately, none of that makes up for a forgettable and underwhelming storyline, a tedious stream of lazy, uninspired references and pop culture references, and a "bigger is better" approach which doesn't pay off. The sequel doesn't live up to the high bar set by the first instalment and is often a chore to sit through. It may expand the Merc with the Mouth's world but don't be surprised if you're not overly keen to return to it after this lazy effort.
A typical example of a sequel not living up to what came before, Deadpool's R-Rated antics already feel old and if the character is the first casualty of the Fox/Disney merger, it probably won't be the end of the world.
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