Released: 16th May 2018
Seen: 16th May 2018
In a world of films that are getting hard to review, Deadpool might be at the top of the list. This is a character who calls out his own problems on camera with a knowing wink before I can even scribble them down in my little notepad in the darkened cinema. It’s a film series that revels in mocking itself, therefore it’s really hard to find some way to point out its flaws because the film did that for me and better than I ever could. Like almost every superhero movie nowadays, Deadpool knows exactly what it want’s to be and it makes damn sure it hits that mark. How the hell do you review something like that? How do you comment on the film that’s commenting on itself? Well… I’ll try.
Deadpool 2 picks up exactly where you think it would, by taking the piss out of Logan’s iconic ending and taking it on for riding Deadpool’s coattails into the R rating. If you haven’t seen Logan, I’m going to tell you now that you’re going to want to go and fix that before you go see Deadpool because he spoils the ending in the first shot, also you should see it because a totally unbiased source called it the 8th best movie of 2017, so there’s that. From the moment Deadpool 2 starts it feels like we’re in safe hands again. The jokes feel very similar to the ones we got last time, only there are more of them and they have the trust needed to push them a little further. The original film might’ve had an awesome slow-motion car crash opening shot for the titles sequence, this film just got Celine Dion to help them recreate a James Bond opening sequence because goddamnit, they could get away with it.
“Goddamnit, they could get away with it” is pretty much the reasoning behind a lot of the best moments in this film. From the great soundtrack that’s loaded with songs that no other film would dare use in these contexts, to a shocking 3-second cameo that made me gasp in the cinema when I realised exactly who they had just made appear out of nowhere for literally 3 seconds of film. So many moments in this movie feel like they can only be explained by saying “Goddamnit, they could get away with it”. I didn’t really expect to see a bunch of assassins killed to the tune of 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton, I now get to say that I saw that now.
What really surprised me though was how much this film not only revels in the comedy (as it should) but how much it pulls at your heartstrings. There’s a pretty devastating emotional gut-punch at the start of the film that manages to keep you in shock, even while Deadpool is wearing heels and spinning around while Celine Dion sings. It’s an abrupt tonal shift and there are a fair few of those that in any other movie would irritate me, but in Deadpool, they absolutely work. That’s the magic of this character, he can shift on a dime from a serious moment that really hits you in the feels, straight into a joke about how hot Colossus ass is. The brilliance of this character is that the opening emotional gut-punch (I’m trying hard not to spoil it here guys, just trust me when I say it’s a powerful moment) resonates throughout the rest of the film and even when Deadpool is cracking jokes you can still tell that he’s hurting from what happened in the opening.
While Deadpool is carrying the psychological damage from the opening of the movie, he also has to deal with a kid called Russell, or “Firefist” who has a tiny bit of an anger problem, probably brought on due to years of torture by a crazy religious nutbag. What we get is this great flip on the original film, Russell (Played by Julian Dennison) is now the hothead trying to get revenge on the person who made his life hell and Deadpool has to be the one to show him there’s a better way… except Russell is literally doing the same thing Deadpool did in the last movie, it’s his revenge story now so there is a fascinating twist seeing Deadpool taking on the fatherly role, showing a large amount of character growth from the last movie. His character growth just happens to include a lot more dick jokes.
To balance out Deadpool’s off the wall insanity, they needed a good straight man for him to bounce off of and Josh Brolin delivers that in spades. I think it’s clear now that Marvel movies need to just cast Josh Brolin in all their movies now because he is spectacular when they need someone to play a large intimidating force who could be a genuine threat to the main character. Avengers Infinity War showed it, Deadpool 2 confirmed it. . Much like with Thanos, Josh Brolin took Cable and made him a force to be reckoned with and when the time came for a tragic backstory, he delivered that in spades. From his opening scenes, he just slides into the movie with ease and you are certain that if anyone’s going to kill the merc with the mouth, it’s going to be him… and, of course, Deadpool flat out calls him ‘Thanos’ at one point and it’s amazing.
The other major character this film brings us is Domino (Played by Zazie Beetz), a character with the power of luck. The movie never really explains it more than that, she’s just a very lucky character and that’s all we need to know. In the comics it’s apparently more complicated than that, I did some brief googling and her power is more about probability altering and bioelectric pulses guiding her body… it’s very complicated sounding so the movie just says “She’s lucky” and that’s all we need, and her luck gives us the greatest action sequence in the film with some truly amazing visuals that just fit that power perfectly. Domino is probably my favourite addition to this franchise, she’s so fun and engaging that you completely accept her power and go along with it even when it feels like it could just be lazy writing (Which, yes, they call out).
The writing on this movie isn’t lazy though, it’s got some very well crafted moments and uses callbacks perfectly, setting up key moments just right so they feel natural. There are some lines of dialogue that feel cheap, but they then take advantage of having a character who can break the 4th wall and say “That was lazy writing” which is a clever way to cover up mild issues like that. I will admit though there are some jokes that really don’t work. Most of the jokes are great, but they throw so many at the wall that eventually some aren’t going to land quite right. The good thing about rapid-fire jokes like that is that when one doesn’t land, there’s another one to replace it moments later.
What probably needed replacing were some of the effects. Again, they lampshade it by having Deadpool call it out, but there is some CGI in this movie that just stands out as obviously fake. Colossus still just doesn’t look like he’s in the room with everyone else, same with another major surprise character who feels like he isn’t really there. I understand that some CGI is needed but it should blend in a lot better than it does here. Fortunately, even though the CGI does stand out as obviously fake, they manage to use it just enough that it doesn’t get annoying. Seriously though, so many times I swear Colossus is just a tennis ball on a string.
While Deadpool 2 isn’t quite as good as the first movie, that’s such an insanely high bar that I have no idea how they were going to clear it. The first movie was them introducing the world to Deadpool and getting everyone used to him, so now they can have fun and, for the most part, it succeeds in being a good fun movie. It’s the perfect palate cleanser after the Infinity Wars decided to tear our hearts out and show them to us.
P.S. There are mid-credits scenes in this one that you NEED to stick around for. Trust me, they are the best mid-credits scenes in the history of the Marvel movies.