A worthy sequel for the potty-mouthed red menace
After suffering a personal tragedy and hitting rock bottom, Wade Wilson (Deadpool) finds himself seeking consolation at the X-Mansion where he's reunited with Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. However, after a training mission goes badly wrong and spending time in the Icebox – a notorious mutant prison – Deadpool's priority changes. Deadpool sets about building a team of rogue mutants with the aim of rescuing Russell – a 14-year-old boy and fellow mutant – from the clutches of the brutal, time-traveling mutant known as, Cable.
I had been concerned about Deadpool 2 after the news that director, Tim Miller had left the project over "creative differences" with the lead actor, Ryan Reynolds: stating he "didn't want to make some stylised movie that was 3 times the budget."
I have to say, that is essentially what has happened, and something that made Deadpool the success that it was has been lost along the way. Deadpool 2 then, is another example of bigger not always being better. Fortunately, the film retains enough of its predecessor's charm, wit, and other unique qualities to get it through.
The cast from the first film are back in full force: Ryan Reynolds reprises his role of Wade Wilson (Obviously - who else?) and T.J. Miller returns as Weasel, Wade's wise-cracking but cowardly friend. Fan favourites, Brianna Hildebrand and Stefan Kapicic return as Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus respectively, along with a mixed bag of new mutants including the brilliant Zazie Beetz as Domino. Deadpool 2 is another strong outing for Josh Brolin in his second Marvel appearance of the year and – like Thanos before him – is able to create a truly three dimensional and sympathetic character in Cable.
Overall, the cast is excellent, I enjoyed all the new characters and was thrilled to see Brianna and Stefan return.
My only issue with the film (in regards to the cast at least) is that I'd like to have seen a good deal more from Brianna and Shioli Katsuna - who plays Yukio, a new addition to the cast and Negasonic's girlfriend.
Negasonic was one of my favourite characters in Deadpool, but here, she never really gets involved, and Yukio's abilities are teased towards the end of the third act but never really explored sufficiently.
The soundtrack and cinematography are adequate but nothing like as memorable as Deadpool and the action scenes are competently shot, although some of the larger set-pieces do suffer from the usual Marvel movie problem of looking over-manufactured. In contrast, the smaller fight scenes feel considerably more physical, concise, and enjoyable; something sorely missing from many recent Marvel releases.
Whilst never quite reaching the same heights as its predecessor, Deadpool 2 retains its razor-sharp wit, deadpan humour, and proves itself a worthy sequel to one of my favourite 'superhero' movies of recent years. Deadpool 2 keeps up the tradition of its fourth wall breaking, self-referential humour and parodying of superhero genre cliches, even if it does fall into a few in the process. The cast is superb and – working off a splendid script – delivers their lines faultlessly. Where the film falters slightly is, firstly in the story, and secondly in trying to be bigger and louder than it needs to be. No-one goes to see a film like Deadpool 2 to watch something with an underlying, philosophical message about the importance of family. I'm sorry, but they just don't, and yet that's exactly what this film attempts. There's also a real fear for me that the Deadpool movies may be getting a bit too big for their boots, as they say. The first film was better for being less over the top and more modest in the scale of its set-piece action scenes. I fear that future films could soon become more corporate and lose more of what made them special; until they're just more of the same. For now at least, this will be another film to add to my collection and one I very much enjoyed seeing at the cinema.