John Wick Action Meets Superhero Spectacle In Deadpool 2
Hilarious, action-packed, and more than a little uneven, Deadpool 2 is an ambitious, if flawed sequel which seeks to introduce the ‘Merc With A Mouth’ to the wider X-Men Universe.
Set just a few months after the first film, Deadpool 2 finds Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, slicing and dicing his way through the world’s criminal underbelly.
When Wade’s past eventually catches up with him, our red-suited anti-hero is forced to take a long, hard, look at his life and work out where he belongs in the world.
This eventually leads to Deadpool forming his own super-duper group: the X-Force, battling time-travelling super-soldier Cable, and trying to rescue a young boy called Russell from a terrible destiny.
You know, classic Deadpool stuff.
We’ll start by saying there’s an awful lot to like in Deadpool 2, which perfectly builds on the foundation the first film established, and in terms of comedy and action, it’s superior to the first film in almost every way.
In terms of action the film is spectacular, and it should come as no surprise the director, David Leitch, manages to combine the wonderful world of superheroes with the hyper-violence of John Wick, considering his links to the franchise.
Leitch clearly understands humour is at the heart of this franchise, and the film bursts with jokes, gags and serves as a wonderful meta-commentary on traditional superhero films.
Deadpool continues to walk the line between charming and teeth-grindingly annoying perfectly, and most of the jokes land, especially when other more grounded characters are forced to interact with him.
Even better, the film establishes Deadpool’s more sensitive side, evolving him from a violent revenge driven sociopath, to a caring, tender sociopath.
Zazie Beez also impresses as the wonderful Domino, getting the film’s stand out moment when all hell breaks loose and her powers allow her to walk through it unharmed.
Unfortunately though, Deadpool 2 doesn’t quite stick the superhero landing, and is surprisingly patchy at times.
The joy of the first film was Deadpool existed in his own little bubble, separate from the rest of the X-Men Universe, by introducing Wade to the wider X-Verse. The film can’t help but embrace some of the tropes and cliches that it hopes to subvert.
The X-Universe has always suffered from having too many characters and not knowing what to do with them, and Deadpool’s no exception.
Characters are introduced, then forgotten or killed quicker than you can say chimichanga. It’s a shame because when you compare it to how tight the first film was, it just feels sloppy and serves to undermine the characters the film wants to establish.
Josh Brolin’s Cable is perhaps the one most affected by this, struggling to establish himself as anything more than a generic super serious grizzled badass.
There’s also the issue of increasing spectacle.
It would be fair to say the first film was made on a shoestring budget, which led to the filmmakers to make some charming, but necessary, decisions, which served to subvert the traditional structure of a superhero movie.
It’s why, in the third act of Deadpool, Wade once again forgets his ammo bag, they just couldn’t afford to film a Matrix-style shootout.
Now though, Fox obviously has some faith in the Deadpool property and the studio’s loosened the purse strings, allowing for some larger action set pieces.
For the most part this is a positive, most notably during the spectacular prison convoy scene, but it also leads to some gratuitous violence and a particularly weak third act battle that plays it far too safe.
For all its flaws though Deadpool 2 manages to be tremendously entertaining, thanks in large part, to the film’s unwavering commitment to subverting expectations.
Almost everytime you think you’ve got the movie pegged, it violently swerves left and it’s never afraid to poke fun at itself and the superhero genre as a whole.
Deadpool 2 is out now!