"certainly more edgy and darker at times its a must see"
So whilst this review may have taken longer than expected to come out it’s helped by the fact that this reviewer has managed to see the film multiple times, appreciate its story and its many, many Easter eggs and references.
So we'll start with the obvious, Deadpool 2 is the long awaited sequel to the original Deadpool which arrived at a time when there was nothing quite like it being done in comic book movies or the superhero genre as a whole, it could be argued that the original had more akin to a parody movie rather than a blockbuster, however it blew us all away. Its sequel has a lot to live up to given the success of the original as well as being released shortly after Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War, which is the biggest film of the year so far and is breaking records most films can only dream of.
The cast this time around has grown and is impressive, returning from the original are Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds, who also had a hand in the writing process this time) & Vanessa (Morena Baccarin, who puts in an amazing performance with a character which could have easily fell flat) as well Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) & Weasel (T.J. Miller) who fans of the original will be familiar with. New additions include the big gun with the big gun Cable (Josh Brolin) & the eternally lucky Domino (Zazie Beetz).
As mentioned above this time Ryan Reynolds had a hand in the writing process and due to the focus on this being a much larger story than the original there has been a change of director, this time around directing duties fall to David Leitch who is best know for directing and producing roles on Atomic Blonde and John Wick respectively.
Whilst the above is important, without a solid and entertaining story it all falls flat, but this is where Deadpool 2 shines! In the opening moments we're told that this is a film about family and in truth, without giving away too many details the majority of the plot is Deadpool dealing with a tragedy and attempting to make good of himself because of it. The scenes between Reynolds and Baccarin feel tongue in cheek yet very heartfelt, it’s impressive just how much emotion can be conveyed by Reynolds with that much prosthesis. Also taking up a thread from the comic book source material is the relationship between the two male leads, whilst keeping as spoiler free as possible, there is a strong enemies to friends, almost buddy cop feel in parts which is very entertaining.
The nerdier amongst its viewers will love this movie for the sheer amount of Easter eggs and references to pop culture which sometimes come at an almost minute by minute basis. Favourites include pretty much any reference to the DC Universe (Thank you broken fourth wall) and Deadpool calling Cable "One Eyed Willy" in reference to his turn in The Goonies many years ago. There's also some brilliant cameos and a HUGE *NON SPOILER* surprise in regards to the actual antagonist of the film, which makes for an epic sequence especially in IMAX.
The final element which I feel makes the film is the soundtrack, whilst it’s something I always notice, it’s a huge part of what makes Deadpool 2 brilliant, and sounds superb in IMAX. From the James Bond style opening credits to the use of Take on Me by A-ha in a much more heartfelt way than has been seen before. The soundtrack may be a touch unfamiliar to the younger generation, although there is a hint of dub-step in there which I’d like to feel helps account for everyone possible.
Before I conclude and give a rating there's a final question which I alluded to earlier. How does this compare to Avengers: Infinity War, critically and financially Avengers: Infinity War has the edge over DP2, and that is largely due to its ensemble cast, not that its the key to its success but there is a wider appeal and is more of a film for the whole family. Deadpool 2 however is every bit its equal story wise and whilst its certainly more edgy and darker at times its a must see.
To conclude, Deadpool is a rare sequel in someways akin to Empire Strikes Back, being that it takes what the first film did well, builds upon it and expands, a solid 4 and a half stars!