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| 16 May 2018 | Reply

Directed by David Leitch
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Let’s get the big question out of the way, then we can talk about the important stuff: No, Deadpool 2 is not as good as the first film. Ahhh, it feels good to clear the air, doesn’t it? Oh, there’s a couple of spoilers coming up, as well, so brace yourself.

What it is, though, is BIGGER! Bigger budget, bigger CGI, bigger action, bigger everything. Except for a story – the story is kinda… shallow. Padded out by sequences that seem only there to, well, pad the time out. Sure, they’re full of gags – some of them pretty funny – but they are as relevant to the plot as an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Ryan Reynolds returns as the eponymous anti-hero: a bad-guy-exterminating, third-wall-breaking mutant ninja avocado-faced cancer-suffering super-regenerative badass. Tragedy befalls our knight in shining red goretex as bad guys kill the love of his life Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) – woah, yeah, spoilers, like I told ya – leaving him nihilistic and suicidal.

Deadpool again teams up with B-grade X-Men Colossus (Stefan Capicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), and her new Japanese girlfriend (played by Shioli Kutsana, even IMDB haven’t worked out what her name is yet), to try and subdue fourteen-year-old Darren (Julian Dennison, who seems to struggle with the pressures of acting against CGI here) aka Fire Fist, a kid on the brink of a major hormonal meltdown. He’s all set to blow up the orphanage he’s been abused in, using fireballs. From his fists. Which will change the future. And bring Cable here… hang on, that’s a spoiler for this review. We’ll get there.

Somehow the kid AND Deadpool get fitted with a superpower-blocker and shipped off to a mega prison in some snowy wasteland, and although the plotting that got him there is vague, it provides a very human episode where we are reminded that without the mutant regenerative powers that also turned him skullfuck ugly, DP would very quickly die from aggressive cancer.

Don’t worry – we don’t have to be sad for long, because Cable (super-buff Josh Brolin) is here (finally) from the future to kill Fist Fire (or is it Fire Fists?), and blows up half the prison trying to do so. Deadpool almost dies again, and his dead missus gives him a hint what he needs to do, before he escapes.

At this point even the writers (Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick & Reynolds) are cracking gags about “lazy writing,” which is a bit of a worry. To their credit they’re also cracking gags about just about everything else as well – including many rapid-fire pop culture references with a not-so-sly nod and a wink.

A truck so cool it could only be in a superhero movie is now miraculously rolling back into town bearing the kid and Juggernaut – who must also be a Marvel comics character (since they say so, so many times) – so Deadpool assembles a team for spurious reasons who provide some belly laughs but little else, and he and new sidekick Domino (Zazie Beetz – superpower: Luck) indulge in some of the most hardcore screen action we’re likely to get treated to for a long time. Beetz has sass and charisma on the screen and deserved some better lines, rather than just being DP’s foil.

Deadpool and Cable make up, and join together to try to stop Russell becoming a bad guy and save the future and… well, that’s enough spoilers from me.

Look, if you’re coming into Deadpool 2 wanting some more of Ryan Reynolds’ cheeky, loveable wise-crackin’, a whole mess of larger-than-life beat ‘em up, shoot ‘em up, blow ‘em up action, and some fun (but almost identical to the first movie) gross-out gags, you have the luck of Domino on your side and you’re gonna have a hoot and a holler. If you’re looking for a taut plot which makes sense the whole way through – well, don’t scratch the shiny surface too hard, because there’s not a whole lot underneath.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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