‘Deadpool 2’ Review: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Deadpool 2Two years after the first Deadpool film stormed into theaters to become the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time, Ryan Reynolds is back as the Merc with a Mouth with a sequel packed with bigger action and a bigger cast. The cast includes Josh Brolin, who makes his debut as the villainous time-traveling mutant Cable in Fox’s (shared?) X-Men universe.

Deadpool 2 is consistently funny, riddled with jokes that continuously hit bigger and better than the last but the sequel gets off to a bit of a rocky start that feels like it’s wading in what made the first film successful before it introduces anything fresh into the mix like new characters and cameos (don’t blink). Morena Baccarin returns as Wade Wilson’s love-interest Vanessa; Karan Soni is back as Dopinder, the innocent and lovable taxi driver; T.J. Miller returns as… well, who cares what his name is, it’s T.J. Miller playing himself, again. The problem with the returning characters — and yes, that includes Dopinder — is that they don’t feel necessary to the plot once it kicks in, which takes a while. This trio of supporting characters from the first film feel shoehorned and stuffed back in for the sequel as if the studio was afraid not to include all of the ingredients that made the first film such a massive success.

Leslie Uggams, Stefan Kapicic, and Brianna Hildebrand are also back as Blind Al, Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, respectively. While Blind Al continues to be as hilarious as she was before, and the dynamic between Deadpool and Colossus is actually improved upon and even funnier this time around, Negasonic Teenage Warhead feels completely wasted, relegated to callbacks from the first film as her girlfriend Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna) comes to the forefront with a one-note joke that’s recycled in every scene she appears in but still somehow manages to work every time.

Fox tries to make a bold move early on in this sequel with an all-too-predictable twist that can be seen from a mile away. The idea is to motivate Wade to get into a different mindset and while it works within the context of the film, it ultimately feels like a stretch and a completely unnecessary move. But once the movie gets past this and the staples of the first film and finally introduces Brolin’s Cable along with a mutant child named Russell played by Hunt for the Wilder People star Julian Dennison, things finally start to come together, although the first half of the second act also drags with a prison sequence that makes the film feel like it’s going nowhere. Cable has come back from the past at this point and Brolin, who looks incredible, turns in another strong performance like you’d expect.

Deadpool 2 Josh Brolin Cable

But this movie has a major issue with Cable in that his motivations for wanting to kill Russell aren’t made clear until it’s way too late in the game. However, Deadpool 2 successfully manages to distract you from this by keeping you focused on the humor and action, as well as the introduction of the X-Force members, who are terribly underused. Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård) and Shatterstar (Lewis Tan) may as well have been faceless, nameless characters, while Terry Crews’ comedic talents go completely unused. Rob Delaney’s Peter is a highlight but does little more than what was seen in the film’s marketing. But the X-Force has a diamond in the rough, as the standout of the team and the entire movie is Zazie Beetz as the lucky mercenary Domino. After a sloppy first scene that feels like it should have been left on the cutting room floor, Beetz quickly becomes the center of attention, drawing your eyes in every scene she’s in as she holds her own against both Reynolds and Brolin.

The midpoint of the film features an incredible action sequence in which the X-Force attempts to rescue Russell from a convoy transporting mutant prisoners. Beetz crushes the action here and gets featured in what is no doubt the single greatest piece of cinematography in the entire film in which the camera pans around her character as cars crash and trucks flip over to avoid her, although the shot itself is a bit marred by some rough CGI.

Deadpool 2 Photos 7

Cable’s motivations eventually get explained and without going too far into spoiler territory, his backstory is a bit derivative of Rian Johnson’s Looper. However, Deadpool 2 manages to make Cable more interesting by making him more than just an antagonist, allowing for a more complex story to emerge as the film breaks into act three. By then, it feels like Deadpool 2 is finally firing on all cylinders and not just relying on references and its raunchy, fourth-wall-breaking humor to carry it. The plot, characters, humor and action escalate into a hilarious, exciting and engaging finale. However, the resolution and one of the film’s final gags ends up sagging and it had me yearning for a Return of the King joke, but the scene itself also featured the film’s most brilliant Easter egg, which served as a callback to a more recent X-Men film (hint: you can hear it but you can’t see it.) The film also includes a long post-credits sequence that I won’t spoil for you because the final scene in this bit has the biggest laugh in the entire film.

Deadpool 2 ultimately lacks the charm that made the first film such a treat. The sequel doesn’t have the advantage that the shock value of the first film’s humor had and struggles to be more than just Deadpool redux before finding its own voice in the beginning. Gone is Tim Miller who directed the first film and exited the follow-up due to creative differences with Reynolds over the direction. Replacing him is David Leitch, who is best known for his directorial efforts on the first John Wick and last year’s Atomic Blonde, but Leitch seems to have left his stylistic sensibilities at the door, foregoing the noirish tones and visuals of his previous films and opting for what feels like a serviceable follow-up to the original. Leitch’s first stab at a superhero film ultimately feels safe, which makes it even less surprising that he’s being scooped for more big-budget blockbusters all over town.

Score: 7.5/10

20 Marvel Movies That Could Be Made After Disney’s Fox Acquisition

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Avengers X-Men Fox Disney Marvel Crossover MCUSo the impossible has happened: Fox and Disney have recently agreed to a major deal, one which means that — aside from a few limitations with the Hulk and Spider-Man, who have their rights wrapped up with Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures — every major Marvel property will soon be able to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the plans for the remainder of Phase 3 likely won’t change that much, barring possible post-credits scenes showing major cameos being added on short notice, this development certainly gives Marvel an embarrassment of riches to work with for future film adaptations.

Since Marvel Studios had previously claimed that they have an outline for the next 20 movies they’ll make without the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, or any of their associated characters, I thought it would be best to similarly go all-out and suggest 20 more for the heck of it.

Here are, in no particular order, 20 movies that Marvel should think about making with a complete MCU at their fingertips. Click Next to get started!

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Michael Mistroff

Michael Mistroff

Michael Mistroff is a Film/TV Reporter and the News Editor at Heroic Hollywood.

  • aaflo

    So you’re butthurt about the fact they start off with developed characters already known to the audience and slowly make their way to the new ones? That’s basically what you cried about throughout this whole review…

    The bare use of the x-force is homage to the new direction of the xforce marvel took, which was essentially killing them off…know/study for what you’re reviewing.

    • Jade Tippens

      Bruh salty much?

      • aaflo

        Bruh troll much?

  • Fenix

    For the love of god, stop referring to X-Force as “The X-Force”. You need to read more “THE” comics.