Twentieth Century Fox Presents in Association with Marvel Entertainment, a film by David Leitch, Produced by Simon Kinberg, “Deadpool 2“ starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Josh Brolin and Zazie Beetz, Music by Tyler Bates, Editing by Craig Alpert, Elisabet Ronaldsdottir, and Dirk Westervelt Written By Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese, and Ryan Reynolds
What do we expect when it comes to sequels; more of the same? Something inexplicably new? Or all of the above? The sequel to uber-successful R-rated flick doesn’t quite fully embrace a particular style, which makes it seem like an oddly safe sequel, full of new beats like the X-Force and a time traveling bad guy named Cable (a partially CG Josh Brolin, whose proximity to his Avengers Thanos portrayal does the movie no favors) and old favorites: His girlfriend Vanessa (mostly shelved) an overdose on T.J. Miller (still miscast as the calm straight arrow of Deadpool’s crew), minor X-MEN Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and his blind roommate who he may or may not still live with.
Deadpool 2 knows all the right notes to hit it is forgiving even when it often clumsily hits them. Scenes go on too long, funny lines are thrown away, the sound mixing is oddly unremarkable for a blockbuster superhero movie and there are awkward stretches of seriousness. The lazy writing is pointed out ironically (this time with a fully credited assist by Ryan Reynolds) but absence makes the heart grow fonder, and if there was anything left out by the departure of original director Tim Miller who wanted to make a mega budget sequel, arguably with less creative freedom from Fox & Friends there’s a certain ‘Je ne sais quois‘ this film lacks even if all the onscreen players are still here.
The movie’s plot concerns a mutant kid who is being hunted by another time travelling mutant named Cable and Deadpool is there to stop him from being assassinated. It’s very Terminator-esque which the film openly compares itself to more than once yet still feels underutilized as a plot point. Josh Brolin, coming off of the hero’s journey of Thanos, plays Cable a similar character with similar motivations feels and his presence is very undercooked despite being a heavy part of the marketing since the casting was announced. He’s an interesting character you wonder about when he’s offscreen. And there are many scenes of his presence being out-of-place with or against the backdrop of other characters, at least it works as subtext I guess. Were the three editors overextended and there was a lot left on the cutting room floor? I was more interested in waiting for the next joke to give it much thought in a movie like this.
In a comedy, the jokes and making the audience laugh is the only thing that matters and this Deadpool sequel lands enough of them for me to recommend you to see this movie with an audience. The writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland) along with co-writer Ryan Reynolds have proven themselves to be a consistent comedic presence it’s easy to forgive the Atomic Blonde and John Wick director David Leitch’s clumsy stage set ups. Too much time is spent putting the plot in motion and acquainting characters with one another. Leitch definitely feels like a replacement and doesn’t bring much of his memorable fights with him but certainly has the confidence to carry this movie. Oddly the writers opt for more obscure references over dead obvious ones at times, which would be typical Deadpool humor).
Surprisingly, the movie referencing Logan allows strongly resists undercutting its uneven at times too serious tone. Regardless, I’m happy to be back in DP’s company. I want to applaud to applaud its ambitious ideas but they are half-baked like Wade Wilson’s Chimichangas warmed over with the worst of sequel ideas. At least the movie is able to provide the audience with a smirk rather than keeping its laughable ideas to itself. It knows how to showoff. It’s a sequel that knows Deadpool but somehow doesn’t feel like the sequel Deadpool himself would have made.