I loved the first Deadpool movie. It was great. It was a passion project for many people, it was cared and nurtured for for many years, it had one of the best marketing strategy ever conceived for a movie and when finally it arrived on the big screens, all expectations were blown away. It was fresh, it was new, it was radical. It was a great success. There really was no doubt in anybody’s mind that a sequel will be made. Now, 2 years and 13 other superhero movies later, here we are at last, Deadpool 2 has arrived. Now, the big question when it comes to sequels of successful films is “will it measure up to the original?”. Historically, few sequels have ever been on par with the original movie, or surpass it even. When it comes to comedies, which Deadpool is, that is even a taller order.
Now, I am getting somewhat numb to the entire superhero movie genre and I am no longer expecting that much of these movies, so, as long as they are fine, I am satisfied, I guess. That being said, I did find Deadpool 2 to be one of this year’s better comedies (Game Night can still steal the #1 spot, depending what day you are asking me). But I am not going to praise it to high heavens either. In a nutshell, the movie goes like this: Deadpool finds himself in another quest, where he must rescue a kid from Cable, a mutant from the future. In order to be able to succeed, he forms a team of his own, called X-Force, and from that point, the usual shenanigans ensue.
Now, it might not be a total surprise if I tell you that this movie is not as good as the first one. But then again, how could it have been? The first one had a sizeable surprise factor on its side, while this one had only sky high expectations. Also, there was some behind the scene drama during the making of this movie, when the director of the original has quit the project. To top that, this movie only had 2 years at disposal to be made, while the first one was had a better part of a decade if I am not mistaken. But, there is more. One of the originals strong points were all the references that were dropped. It was new, it was funny. This time, they overdid it and it really took me out of the movie. I mean, ok, I get. Deapool knows that there is an actual real world out there and can burn some jokes that only the audience will understand. But when every 3rd joke is a reference to something, it gets really old. Somewhere in the second half of the movie, Deadpool meets a new character and he starts listing how he loved his “work” in about a dozen or so specific comic book issues. At that point I really had it with all the referential stuff. The joke also did not land as it supposed to for being too damn long and a bit too inside baseball for the casual moviegoer.
This is again, something that I noticed, that many of the jokes don’t work. TJ Millers character, Weasel, was hilarious in the first movie, but here he should have been cut altogether. His performance was the weakest, as he was not funny at all. But the main problem of the movie is that it has no villain. Say what you want about Francis, but he was an excellent villain to Deapool in the first film. In Deadpool 2 there are no actual villains. Cable is not a villain. He is a pretty good opponent to Deadpool, but ultimately, they are on the same side. There are another 3 bad guys in this film, but none of them of substance, none of them can claim the title. The only true villain would be the one Cable is fighting, but he is in the future, so his actions serve more as motivation to Cable, they are not actual plot points, he is not in this movie, not really.
But, there are a lot of things that are better in this movie than the original one. For starters, the action sequences are way better. This can mainly be credited to the director, David Leitch,who is behind movies like John Wick or Atomic Blond. The new characters, Cable and Domino, are great. They are cool to look at and really fit in the Deadpool universe. If there will be any future instalments in this francize, they certainly will make a comeback. The kid that needs saving is also well played Julian Dennison. I mean really. And there is a twist at the beginning of the 3rd act that just caught me off guard. A moment has been build up and then it takes a total left turn. It was the best set up joke in the movie, hands down.
As for Deadpool, the character, he didn’t really changed. He is still his own worst enemy. His core motivation is still his girlfriend, Vanessa and he again is confronted with a life changing event to which his response remains the same as in the first movie, a dramatic overreaction masked by a plethora of jokes and snarky remarks.
Overall, Deadpool 2 is a welcomed pallet cleanser after Avengers Infinity War and it is a fun movie. Could have been better? Yes. But, it also could have been way worse too. However, if they do decide to make a 3rd instalment to the francize, they have to tweak the formula. Less meta humor and more original, new stuff. More creative storytelling. Silly jokes will no longer do the job.