REVIEW: Deadpool 2 (2018)

After losing the love of his life, Wade Wilson is slowly losing his purpose until one day where he meets Russell, aka Firefist. Hot on their tail is Nathan Summers, aka Cable, who is intent on killing Russell for the death of his family.

I’ve never enjoyed the first Deadpool and I’ve never understood the arbitrary praise that it has received. The movie succeeded in faithfully adapting the ‘Merc with a Mouth’ himself: Ryan Reynolds providing a stellar embodiment.

But the movie around him couldn’t be any further from ground-breaking. The story and the villain were so painfully paper thin and generic that I feel it has aged terribly in the last couple of years. I don’t think much of the first Deadpool, and it sounds obvious that Deadpool 2 should’ve bombed for me. However, it did not!

I currently own Deadpool 2 on DVD, and having watched it again recently I can confirm that this movie is exactly what the first film should’ve been.

Reynolds once again is fantastic as Wade Wilson. In this movie, Wilson is actually given an arch. When he loses the love of his life, his place in the world becomes blurred in his eyes, he’s not without his trademark sense of humour but he becomes more introspective.

The one day he spends as an ‘X-Men’ trainee subsequently leads to a resistant relationship with Russell, but the resistance and apathy towards the kid changes when Vanessa tells him, “Your heart is not in the right place."

I was quite surprised at how seriously this famously whacked character was being taken here. I didn’t exactly have propitious expectations at the start but the film manages to be entertaining and memorable thanks to the emotional focus given to Wade’s character, as well as the action scenes, physical and verbal comedy and the supporting cast.

Josh Brolin is magnificently gruff as Cable, managing to elevate the character from what little material he seems to have been given on paper into a badass foyle whose revenge spree is motivated by the loss of his family.

Interesting parallels we’ve got here, haven’t we? Zazie Beets also delivers a charmingly dynamic turn as Domino and the direction this movie takes with the X-Force was a simple stroke of genius.

I do have a couple of issues with the film. Julian Denninson (Russell) has a comic timing issue; there are lines he’s given that are supposed to be comedic but they end up falling flat as the pretence of edginess he’s exhibiting felt quite forced and he became more pitiless, which I don’t think was intentional. Some edits in the first half also felt inconsistently sporadic and the flow never always felt thorough enough.

But those seem to be the only pressing issues. DP2 pleasantly surprised me with its heart, humour, action and thematic earnestness. It’s a precedent where the sequel simply supersedes its predecessor.

Written by Seán Mac G.

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