Review: Deadpool 2

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You get one very specific thing with Ryan Reynolds’s Deadpool films: an eclectic mix of cathartic action, inappropriate humour and 4th wall breaks which all combine into something quite special. It’s not without flaws, however, it sets out to do one very specific thing and executes it excellently. That being said hypocrisy in the writing and dull tonal shifts drag the experience down.

Deadpool and Cable (Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin respectively) were probably the highlights, but the other performances, from Morena Baccarin to Zazie Beetz were equally entertaining. The whole cast plays off of each other in just the right way to make the second half of the film a joy to watch.

Julian Dennison as Firefist can only be described as dull. I’m unsure if it was the writing or the actor’s performance, but both were shallow and poorly executed. He’s effectively the McGuffin, dragging the whole plot along; so it’s just a shame that he’s incredibly whiny and fairly devoid of any personality apart from standard teenage angst. He is a character we’ve seen countless times before, with Mystique in ‘X-Men Days of Future Past’ being the first example which comes to mind. It wasn’t a deal breaker though; just something you had to put up with so that the plot could move forward.

Sections of the first half, however, aren’t as enjoyable due to a strange and uncomfortable change in tone. I understand the need to mess with an audience’s expectations but turning Wade into a grief-stricken wreck who starts whining and crying for an annoyingly long stretch of the film does start to test my patience, despite the great opening which came before it. It’s made all the worse by the fact that the whole sequence is another trope done a hundred times before; and the writers have the nerve to try and pretend it isn’t (The Dark Knight, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Wonder Woman, I could go on).

It’s also worth noting that the ending does seem to be unsure of where it wants to go, which leads to the film feeling like it’s tripping over itself as it stumbles a fairly satisfying climax; with a great series of end credit scenes proceeding it.

Though the film is certainly made for a certain type of viewer, I would encourage anyone slightly interested to maybe check it out just to see a different type of superhero film. The humour consists of pop culture references, superhero film in-jokes and the slightly degradingly named “toilet humour”, for lack of a better term. Only a few jokes didn’t land as well as the others (Ryan Reynolds seemingly unaware that Dubstep died around 2014) but it was certainly the first superhero film to make me laugh in a long time.

 

While his motivation is cliche sympathetic villain origin 101, Josh Brolin’s character creates a great dynamic between the two leading men

One thing that did really bug me, however, was how some jokes would come from the film using a cliche or some form of lazy writing and thinking they were impressive for pointing it out. No, you aren’t, you’re just lazy writers. Being self-aware shouldn’t be a substitute for actual clever, witty dialogue. Most of the 4th wall-breaking “meta” humour is thoroughly enjoyable though.

The action was enjoyable and cathartic, the plot and camerawork were functional, but let’s be honest you know what to expect from this. It’s a Marvel film but R-rated; driven by someone with a genuine vision. I think it’s safe to say the latter is something we all want more of today from blockbuster Hollywood.