"Deadpool 2 is bigger and bolder than the original but it’s let down by a weak plot and too many ineffective jokes"
Deadpool is the part that Ryan Reynolds was born to play. He basically IS Deadpool and he has so much fun with it, clearly relishing that role, one which he obviously holds close to his heart. So it is a shame he hasn’t managed to top the original 2016 movie. It will certainly do well at the box office, regardless, but perhaps the team needed to take more time to develop the ideas than trying to throw a sequel together in two years.
He is back as Wade Wilson/Deadpool, aka the Merc with a Mouth who has healing superpowers. This time around he forms a team called X-Force – made up of the likes of Domino (Zazie Beetz), Peter (Rob Delaney), Bedlam (Terry Crews) and Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard) – to help save young mutant Russell (Julian Dennison) from time-travelling mutant soldier Cable (Josh Brolin).
The plot sounds simplistic but it’s way more chaotic than that. There is so much going on that it’s almost overwhelming and it’s all over the place. It really needed refining and trimming down because there is a lot of unnecessary stuff that made the film feel really long.
The first film was such a hit because it subverted the superhero genre, and while it’s still the case with the sequel, it’s pretty similar to what we’ve seen before, so it doesn’t quite have that same, unexpected magic. It still gives the fans what they loved before though – violence, fourth wall-breaking, wisecracks, pop culture references, nudity, a ton of swearing, hard R-rated material – and much, much more.
That’s just the problem. It seems like the makers have felt the pressure to outdo the previous and have just thrown everything they could at it, and some of it works and some of it doesn’t. There are so many jokes and an awkward number of them didn’t land, but that’s because there were too much! Less, high-quality jokes would have worked better. Similar with the pop culture references, a lot of them are genius and hilarious (James Bond-style credits, digs at the MCU, etc), but there are way too many for the audience to take in - it just needed to chill out a little bit.
Reynolds is a joy to watch in the role, as always, while Beetz was a welcome addition as the cool lady on the scene. Brolin looked incredible physically but it was hard to care for Cable much as a character. It’s wise that they have upgraded taxi driver Dopinder (Karan Soni), hired Hunt for the Wilderpeople fave Dennison, but there needed to be more Peter!
Deadpool 2 is still a lot of fun and a slice of mad entertainment. It does have a bigger budget than before, which is no surprise given its box office success, so it is bigger and bolder, the action set pieces are more ambitious, the cast is larger, and the CGI is cleaner. These are improvements in many ways, so it is just a shame that it’s let down by a weak plot and too many ineffective jokes.