‘[It] feels like they wrote the jokes first and came up with any plot they could think of to make it work’
2018 in Cinema:
Directed by: David Leitch
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T. J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Jack Kesy
After the death of a close friend, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds, The Hitman’s Bodyguard) inadvertently gets involved in the protection of a young mutant boy, Russell (Julian Dennison), from Cable (Josh Brolin, Avengers: Infinity War), an assailant from the future. Filled with all the jokes and fourth-wall breaking that became so popular from the first, Deadpool 2 is almost guaranteed to make some serious money at the box office: but does it live up to the high standards of the first?
In short: no. The first Deadpool movie felt like the plot was written and then jokes were written around it; Deadpool 2 feels like they wrote the jokes first and came up with any plot they could think of to make it work.
Let’s talk first about the jokes; as they are what people will ultimately watch this film for. Some of them (including some surprising cameos) are fantastic and hilarious (even the mid-credit scenes had some hilarious jokes), but they are drowned out by a sea of mediocre and easy jokes. It felt like every line of dialogue was leading up to a joke, which afforded next to no time for its plot to fully develop beyond Cable wants to kill the kid for the first half and another equally-as-basic journey for the second (albeit with an mildly interesting change of direction half-way through). There are a lot of digs at the DC Universe (mocking the ending of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and the generalised feelings of the universe, such as its darkness. They just felt cheap. And as for a villain, it was all the more disappointing seeing Josh Brolin’s villainous character in this film being so much more disappointing than Josh Brolin’s villainous character in the most recent Marvel film, only released three weeks ago. He still gives a solid performance, and he does have a bit of character development throughout, but it felt like this film didn’t care for a truly amazing villain and instead opted for a series of small villains each taking control of one act.
I also felt that the performance from Julian Dennison wasn’t very good. It’s hard to criticise someone so young, but they have given so much time to Russell/Firefist that it seems disappointing that the actor portraying him doesn’t give a performance up to the standard of some of the other cast (I know acting is not what this film will be sold on, but it makes characters that much more believable when the performance is good enough for us to invest in).
I also despised a few scenes which dragged on too long; notably what is practically the last scene of the main film. I understand there’s humour supposed to be involved in dragging it out this long, but it just falls flat and becomes quite boring, especially after the second time there’s a fake ‘it’s over’ moment. It happens throughout the film, too, where scenes are dragged on, like when Deadpool has baby legs. They’re quite funny but the sheer amount of time afforded to them lessens the hilarity, somewhat.
But while I may think Deadpool 2 is a very disappointing film, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. While only a fraction of the 1,000+ jokes they say are funny, those jokes are really funny. Constantly calling Cable a racist because he kills a black man, the whole saga with Vanisher (Brad Pitt, 12 Years a Slave) in their team, the inclusion of footage and characters from other films and the mid-credit scenes are all hilarious. And the action sequences are quite fun, too. The battle between Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and another villainous character is a lot of fun and all the fighting between Cable and Deadpool, two characters who seemingly cannot be killed, makes for a lot of fun, too. And while Superman and Wolverine and many other superheroes cannot be killed, Deadpool seems to take it in a new direction. Superman is very rarely seen in pain unless Kryptonite is around, btu Deadpool feels everything and, more often than not, gets hurt in the fights. He gets blown up, ripped in half, shot multiple times and breaks his back, badly, falling off a cliff. Constantly seeing our hero being murdered in grotesque ways allows a different emotion than that of seeing Superman fighting a villain who isn’t using Kryptonite. We know Deadpool will not die, but at least we can enjoy the ride.
And I know I’ve touched upon the added-footage and the cameos before, but whatever they had to do to get the rights to use them it was well worth it because they were hilarious. Overall Deadpool 2 is a decent film, it’ll have you laughing and entertained mostly throughout; however it does suffer from trying too hard and choosing the easy jokes to get as much laughter as possible which, ironically, prevents laughter. Disappointing in terms of what I was expecting or hoping for, but decent nonetheless.
Personal: * * * Acting: * * * Writing: * * Presentation: * * * *