I didn’t like the first Deadpool all that much. It was a pretty rote superhero origin that was very smug about being aware of that. For all of its claims of being different, it’s only possible claim to originality was its humor, which wasn’t particularly original or, in my opinion at least, funny. So fans of Deadpool should take my review of the sequel with a grain of salt, because I am not predisposed to like it. I am also in possession of a movie pass account and can go watch it without having to pay, so I went ahead and watched and saw Deadpool 2. I didn’t like it.
I’ll start with the positives. Ryan Reynolds remains perfect for the role and does a great job when the material doesn’t let him down. Josh Brolin should be a lot of fun as Cable, hopefully a movie soon will give him the chance to actually play the character in some meaningful way. And finally, Zazie Beetz’s Domino steals every scene she is in, which are not coincidentally most of the worthwhile scenes in the movie.
The story fall completely flat. It is internally inconsistent and it shifts from to attempted pathos clumsily enough to make neither part work. The movie wants viewers to care about Deadpool’s emotional journey, but only during certain scenes. The rest of the time it is just more fodder for mockery. The problem is that is spends a significant amount of time setting up what are supposed to be emotional beats, only for them to fall completely flat. It pulls a stunt so cretinous and ham fisted in the first ten minutes that made it impossible to engage with the movie afterward. A movie that was actually as aware of itself as Deadpool 2 smugly pretends to be would have been able to navigate between both. Look at something like Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead, which are both parodies that actually get the viewer to care about their characters. Deadpool 2 merely lampshades that it is engaging in the tired tropes of the genre before wholeheartedly engaging those tired tropes. A movie that was actually as aware as Deadpool 2 wants to be might have noted the dissonance between Deadpool’s mission to stop Firefist from killing and his methods of accomplishing that mission involving blatantly killing dozens of bad guys.
It also largely isn’t very funny. This one I am sure will not be the majority opinion. Deadpool 2 is essentially an episode of Family Guy with superheroes. It gets laughs not by having jokes but by reminding viewer of other things they have seen. Did you know that Josh Brolin played Thanos in Infinity War? Because Deadpool does and isn’t calling him Thanos a great joke? In the movies favor, there are plenty of funny jokes; it is just that the movie is determined to have three jokes a minute even if only 1 of those jokes are funny. I found it tiresome.
Deadpool 2 is also an ugly looking movie. It really just looks bad a lot of the time. The CGI Colossus should be getting called out for looking like crap, the same goes for another CGI character. Some of the action scenes looked fine, when they weren’t over relying on dodgy effects or the joke of Deadpool getting mutilated. Most notably is one big sequence with Domino showing off her luck powers, which belongs in a much better movie than this.
I was likely never going to like Deadpool 2. I have never been particularly fond of the character and I found the first movie just as tiresome. I did hope that the addition of more characters to carry some of the load would help, but they don’t get the opportunity to do so. This is Deadpool 2, not X-Force, so Deadpool rightly remains the focus. Fool me twice, shame on me. I’ll won’t be back for a third.