A Worthy Sequel Let Down By An Overlong Opening
Deadpool 2 may lack the same shock and cultural impact its predecessor had back in 2016 but a more cohesive story and intriguing antagonist combine to make this a fun and enjoyable sequel worth checking out. Some of the humour is toned down a little from the first; Deadpool 2 relies heavily on meme-worthy one-liners and pop culture references to keep the comedy flowing throughout. Regardless of the comedic direction, there’s still a surprising amount of depth put into crafting believably motivated characters and for that alone, at times Deadpool 2 is as good as the first film.
The story begins with a lengthy opening getting us up to scratch with where Ryan Reynold’s anti-hero Wade Wilson is and what’s happened to lead him to the dark place we see him in during the opening scene. For those unfamiliar with the first, the character of Deadpool is a charismatic man gifted with the ability to heal at an exhaustively quick rate following a scientific experiment. With that in mind, it’s during these first moments we see Deadpool engulfed in an explosion of oil and flames before a series of events transpire that see our anti-hero entangled with familiar X-Men heroes Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic (Brianna Hildebrand). It’s here that the plot really picks up as robotic Cable (Josh Brolin) appears from the future, hell-bent on killing a child mutant called Russell whom Deadpool has taken under his wing. Peppered throughout the plot is an exhaustive amount of action through the film’s 105 minute run time, peppered with pop culture references and a whole lot of comedy.
If you’ve seen the first film, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself into with this sequel. Although some of the jokes are recycled from the first film and the overall tone is a little less crude than before, Deadpool 2 still somehow manages to subvert expectations with some well placed references and a post credits scene worth sticking around for. For those worried Deadpool would lose the charisma and dizzying wit that made the first such a hit can certainly breathe a sigh of relief here. The jokes come thick and fast with plenty of easter eggs and fourth-wall breaks sprinkled throughout the film that keep the consistent staple of these films in place.
The return of most of the first film’s cast certainly helps with the continuity here and cab driver Dopinder (Karan Soni) is the crux for many of the best jokes in his bid to desperately become accepted as a sidekick to Deadpool. It’s not all jokes though and there’s a hefty amount of depth for the characters to avoid them becoming archetypal stereotypes. Cable’s initial presence is one of cliché riddled menace but as the film progresses, his persona is explored in more detail and his motivations become far clearer. Much like Thanos in Infinity War, he has a clear purpose and drive for doing what he’s doing hat makes it much easier to empathise with him. Wade Wilson is of course the focal point here though and regardless of the exhaustive opening, acts as an anchor to many of the decisions and motivations that drive his character.
Deadpool 2 may not be the best film to come out this year and there’s no denying the film does have its problems – namely a long, slow-paced opening and recycled jokes from the first film – but these are relatively minor points given the great work done with this sequel. Much like the first, the humour is quick, sharp and rapidly presented making it difficult to grab every joke and pun thrown in the first time around. Although Deadpool 2 is unlikely to be as culturally relevant and cause as many ripples in the pop culture world as the first, there’s still a highly enjoyable, stylishly presented film here well worth watching if you enjoyed the first. Just make sure you stick around for the post credit scene!
Verdict - 8/10