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Released: 18 May 2018 (United States)
Length: 119 Minutes
Director: David Leitch
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Josh Brolin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, TJ Miller, Brianna Hildebrand and Stefan Kapicic
The original Deadpool released to a smash success in 2016, single-handedly proving that not all superhero flicks had to appeal to as wide an audience as possible; its raunchy humour and self-contained nature swayed thousands of audiences everywhere, putting it on the top of the X-Men series in terms of profitability. Two years on and the sequel is hoping to repeat that success; with a few drawbacks, things still work surprisingly well.
Picking up two years after the first film, the mutant Deadpool/Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) continues his one-man fight against crime, while looking to start a family with his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). But things soon get complicated with the arrival of time-travelling cyborg Cable (Josh Brolin), who has a personal interest in eliminating a young mutant named Firefist (played by Julian Dennison). What follows is a crazy mix of action, drama, and a barrel full of laughs, with some of the funniest moments including Deadpool’s recruiting of the X-Force with a few select cameos, and a hilarious scene involving the antihero’s regeneration of a few limbs (though that I’ll leave you to discover on your own). The action is blistering and brutal, with an enthusiastic sense of variety, transferring from a prison escape one minute and a truck chase the next. Outside of these components, Deadpool 2 attempts to deepen the central character with some extra emotion, beginning with a heart-wrenching moment that fuels his push to do better as a person. It’s a welcome direction to go in for the sequel, though at points it does lessen the pacing of the jokes; in the original, the humour was rapid, energetic, and always hitting the right spot, which added to its charm. Here, things slow down a little and not always for the best. Be that as it may, the jokes, fourth-wall breaks, and references more than rise to the occasion.
And this is thanks to another excellent performance by Ryan Reynolds, who channels the character better than just about any of his other roles; the comedic timing, the cheeky winks to the camera, he keeps up the already superb representation of the character effortlessly. Josh Brolin (who is sure to make a killing this year with this film, Infinity War, and the upcoming Sicario 2) debuts Cable onto the big screen and it’s another brilliant performance; the way his serious, vengeful personality clashes with Deadpool provides plenty of laughs throughout the film. The newcomers are equally strong with Zazie Beetz’s Domino adding some extra spice to the action and Firefist’s attempts to big himself up rarely resulting in success. The returning Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) has plenty of screen time with humour and action aplenty, especially in the film’s last third. Despite this, though, there are some characters here who do get put aside for a while, most notably Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brienne Hildebrand) who only really gets her time to shine in the film’s last moments. Things never become too unbalanced between the characters, but it is a shame to see some of them taken down a notch after the first film.
Deadpool’s technical details are more than a match for the first film; the action on display is fuelled by carnage, with destruction effects, bloody injuries, and stunts all coming together to make another entertaining package. Costume work for the newcomers in Deadpool 2 is authentic to the comics, particularly for Cable and Domino. The collection of shots, which often make use of slow-motion for extra satirical effect, all look brilliant and the soundtrack is just as mad as the rest of the proceedings, with pounding rap music, profane choirs and a truly insane use of dubstep that also lends itself to the action well. With a larger scale to the action to match the more wider perspective of the story, Deadpool 2 continues to impress with its presentation.
A reduced level of laughs and some side-lined characters put Deadpool 2 below the brilliant original, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeing it; this is another wild, funny, no-holds-barred parody that delivers more of the same wacky action you loved in the first while simultaneously linking up with the X-Men and exploring more of Wade’s inner character.
Rating: 4/5 Stars (Great)