Deadpool 2 - This Merc-Mouthed Movie Pretty Much Rocks
Dir: David Leitch
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, Morena Baccarin, Bill Skarsgard, Rob Delaney, T J Miller, Eddie Marsan, Leslie Uggams, Terry Crews
A big new Marvel movie featuring lots of superheroes coming together to take down a big bad guy played by Josh Brolin? Sound familiar??
And yet DP 2 is no Infinity war. Nor does it aspire to be. What is odd though is that for a film that is often very funny, it’s main problem may well be timing. As it arrives at a multiplex near you, the Avengers are number one all over the world, and Black Panther is still hanging around the lower reaches of those box office Top 10s. Where the first Deadpool arrived like a unique and unexpected palette cleanser, his second outing feels more like a sticky toffee pudding. And one that you’re not sure you should’ve ordered. How you cope with it may well depend on how much room you have left before the burping starts.
Which is not to say the film is not a success on its own terms. It is in many ways, even if the surprise of the first has been traded in for a knowing dig at its own status as a superhero sequel. Plot-wise, there’s a little bit too much of it to be honest. Dead girlfriend back stories, dead kid back stories, a send up of the family nature of such movies that is never subverted enough. Oh, and then Thanos shows up, only here he’s called Cable. (Too soon?)
Unlike its original (which was simply more original) DP2 falls between two stools – and two major questions. Is it still subverting the superhero movie? Or has it found itself forced to sort of become one? The answer is a bit of both, and is as unbalanced at times as that suggests.
Which is not to say it’s not fun. A lot of DP 2 works. The gags fly thick and fast (although not all of them land), and Leitch’s facility for action is well placed (although nothing here manages the energy and sheer whack of Atomic Blonde’s best moments.) The opening titles once again excel – this time taking on Bond with a little help from Celine Dion. And speaking of titles – stay for the end as the movie saves its finest joke for very literally the last one. In between, it’s more hit and miss but always good when it hits (and the X Force have some interesting moments.)
All of this may make it sound like we’re down on DP2 (as he’s calling it at least.) We’re not. This is an entertaining fun movie. But it does suffer from too much plot and – ironically given its own back story – too many pop culture references, too many of which are just references, not gags. Still fun, but the shock of the new has definitely gone. Sticky toffee pudding, anyone?
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