Deadpool 2 (2018)
Director – David Leitch
Writer – Rhett Reese, Ryan Reynolds, Paul Wernick
Starring – Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Morena Baccarin
Rating – R
Genre – Comedy, Action, Adventure
Metascore – 66/100
Rotten Tomatoes – 85%
Movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, Logan and Deadpool retain their popularity and importance because they know what they are – they are tonally consistent. Each of these films promise a clear rendition of their identity whether it be brutal R rated action or a gut-busting suite of comedy actors and well written jokes. Deadpool promised us overwhelming raunchiness, and it delivered. Despite a heavy hand, it never veered from its identity. Deadpool 2 improves on the humor, but introduces a new element of drama and deep relationship, which is tonally dissonant.
Gripping action and side-splitting jokes are what Deadpool 2 does best. It only struggles when it shoehorns Wilson’s attempts at meaningful relationships into its narrative. Although I wasn’t expecting this tone to be introduced, I would have gladly welcomed it, had it been executed well. The groundwork simply wasn’t done to make it effective. Let’s compare this dilemma to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, which delivered tons of jokes and also heartfelt moments. There is extensive groundwork to create the deep relationship between Groot and Rocket, which makes the finale so impactful. Deadpool 2 skimps its due diligence to make the relationships believable, leaving them hollow and forced. Poor writing and division of screen time causes this movie to falter in its finale and left me rolling my eyes at Deadpool’s motivations for “love.” In order for this split to work the director would have had to sacrifice some punch lines, but even then it felt awkward because it strays from the identity already set in motion for Deadpool.
I think the last time I laughed this hard in a theater was the Deadpool premiere. The jokes stick their landings time and time again. Ryan Reynolds, with his writing credit, truly lives in the mind of Wade Wilson. What makes both of these films work is his ability to deliver on the identity of Deadpool. His creative direction for this franchise is making Fox loads of money and in turn Deadpool 2 was given more creative freedom. Josh Brolin shows little diversity in his Marvel credits, Thanos and Cable are very similar in nature, but he does execute on the steely, stubborn demeanor of Cable along with some great action sequences. There are a few characters that took much more screen time than they should have. I found myself thinking, “Why can’t I have more Deadpool or Cable instead of this guy?”
The soundtrack for this film is an absolute standout. It’s hard to argue when you are able to tune Dolly Parton’s Nine to Five into a brutal action sequence. Scene after scene in this film are elevated by song choice, whether it makes them increasingly badass or ridiculously entertaining.
Deadpool 2, while funnier than its predecessor, spends too much time meandering in love without devoting itself to its lover. The laughs that I did get will stick with me until the next release from the wild mind of Wade Wilson.
PS: Stay till the end for the best end credits scene ever!
Author: Jesse Ingram