Deadpool 2 gives a pointed lesson on first impressions. The opening, say, half hour of the movie is heavy-handed and shockingly self-unaware considering the masked man’s modus operandi. The movie has deservedly been taken to town for playing straight into well-worn tropes early on (tellingly, the fourth-wall breaking jokes it makes about it call attention to its shock value, despite the fact that it’s the first play of the anti-hero playbook), and the film does get stuck in the mud for an uncomfortably long time. But once it gets an injection of fun, starting in earnest with the formation of the X-Force, Deadpool 2 really finds a groove.
Comparisons aren’t the best way to phrase what works about something, but I really appreciated Deadpool 2 as something that just takes everything that kinda worked about the first Deadpool and makes it work just that much better. The action feels more fluid, providing a decent dollop of blood and ballet. The one-liners are just as sharp as ever, although many of the digs it makes at Marvel and DC movies feel like they’ve been floating around Twitter for years. Most importantly, the supporting bench gets a crucial addition in Zazie Beetz’s Domino, who is just the best, and while Negasonic Teenage Warhead takes a bit of a backseat, Deadpool 2 really zeroes in on the fantastic Deadpool-Colossus chemistry. The biggest flaw of the first Deadpool, completely uninteresting villains, also gets fixed. Josh Brolin’s Cable is more cool-looking than actually interesting, but is still a vast improvement over whatever Ed Skrein was doing last time, and Hunt for the Wilderpeople‘s Julian Dennison has some excellent moments as the unfortunately named Firefist. Biggest of all is a semi-surprise appearance from another X-Men adjacent character who, like Deadpool after Origins: Wolverine, was in desperate need of rehabilitation, which he gets here in spades.
There’s a setpiece involving healing legs that is perhaps the single weirdest thing to be dreamt up for a superhero movie yet. I don’t know how to work that in more eloquently, but its brilliant.
Deadpool 2 is still juvenile, but it does so with no small degree of success. Its a smidge too long, takes a while to get going, and it still feels like there’s a better Deadpool movie out there (and it really feels like Deadpool is a better supporting character than lead). While it may not succeed in being the most subversive superhero movie of all time, its not a half-bad superhero movie in its own right.
Deadpool 2 (2018)
Directed be David Leitch
Starring Ryan Reynold, Zazie Beetz, Morena Baccarin, and Josh Brolin
Rotten Tomatoes (82%)