Deadpool 2 - 2018
Director(s): David Leitch
Writer(s): Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick & Ryan Reynolds (screenplay) / Rob Liefeld & Fabian Nicieza (comics)
Cinematography by: Jonathan Sela
Editor(s): Craig Alpert, Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir & Dirk Westervelt
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Eddie Marsan and Stefan Kapicic
Synopsis: Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable (IMDB).
When Deadpool dropped back in 2016 I was right along with the 90% of audiences that liked it. While it didn’t have a unique storyline and the arc was paper thin at best, it was funny, fast paced and the action was executed very well. It was an unabashed passion project of its star, Ryan Reynolds, and the love oozed through the screen making audiences fall in love with the merc with a mouth even if this was their first exposure to the character. So, like the 90% I was excited to hear that the movie was getting a sequel and that it would be featuring one of my all-time favorite characters from the X-Men animated series, Cable. And after coming in with genuine glee I walked away with an overwhelming “Meh” feeling cascading over me and somewhat disappointment in the overall product I just watched.
The first Deadpool took around 12 years to be released and the sequel felt like it took 12 years to get the plot going. The opening thirty-ish minutes are extremely messy and clunky as the writers desperately try to jump-start the plot by quickly telling us where he has been, what he was doing and why we are with him now. Honestly, if this movie just simply opened up with Cable arriving and they gave us a brief flashback to why Deadpool is with the “X-Men,” the movie’s pace would’ve benefited greatly from it. Look, the audience are already 100% with you and you say your hero is about breaking the genre’s tropes, yet you cling to the tropes, almost using them as a crutch that is never kicked out from under it making me be five steps ahead of the plot and jokes.
Quick note: most of Deadpool’s lines are dubbed in post and its noticeable and a bit annoying. I get it, they filmed it last year and they wanted some of the jokes and references to be more up to date, but it was just too much at times. At least for me.
Look, this could be a me thing, but I barely laughed in this movie. I was really looking forward to the jokes. The marketing campaign was truly hilarious. Deadpool dressed as Bob Ross painting some beautiful trees is probably the funniest thing they have done. Reynolds continues to have a manic pace to his line delivery perfectly fitting the character, but the jokes for the most part felt forced and saturated. They kept coming back to the same well, hoping to have the same results, but all I could muster was a couple of chuckles from time to time. I will give credit where credit is due, though: the final sequence after the “resolution” of the main plot is pretty funny.
Quick note: The lone joke that I thought was creative and funny fell flat in my screening. So, this entire review could be moot and maybe it really is that I simply didn’t connect with the movie like many in my screening did.
“You covered somewhat the plot and the jokes, which they were not great in my eyes, so what about the action?” tiny voice in my head asks? The action was fine for the most part. They recruited one of the directors of John Wick, David Leitch, and he continues to prove that he has an adept eye for action sequences. There are many hand to hand fights that were entertaining and they felt real and that the stunt man and woman got some bruises as souvenirs. But, whenever the action sequences or the fight sequences had a lot of CGI involved it became a bit of a messy and eye-souring experience. This could be a budget issue or they simply wanted the movie to look this way, but when you have such a talented director and stunt crew that is giving you great practical action, why would you lean more towards CGI battles?
Look, I didn’t hate this movie. I’m just disappointed. Deadpool was a breath of fresh air in a genre that was becoming repetitive and predictable. But, since it came out we have gotten Logan, a gritty unforgiving western that gave a fitting end to one of the genre’s staples, Spider-Man Homecoming, a John Hughes movie bitten by a radioactive spider, and Thor Ragnarok, the most colorful tongue and cheek adaptation of a superhero a la Flash Gordon that somehow still felt grounded and truthful to the source material. The genre is evolving and morphing into something much better and I hoped that Deadpool would’ve evolved with it and tried to make fun of it at the same time. But, it was just stuck in the same tropes and DC jokes from the first one that itself became old and stale like the genre it set out to mock.
Deadpool 2 is not void of entertainment as it has some humorous moments and the action for the most part is truly well executed. The addition of Josh Brolin as Cable and Zazie Beetz as Domino are more than welcomed since both fit their characters and brought them to life. Happy to see Julian Dennison (Hunt for the Wilderpeople) in a mainstream movie, just like his director Taika last year, he is a great actor and hopefully he gets more roles from this work. Ryan Reynolds continues to prove he was born to play this character and has a never-ending love for the source material. I just felt very underwhelmed and at times disconnected from the entire experience, something I didn’t expect coming in. I truly hope this is a me thing and when you watch it, you come back to this review and let me know how stupid I am for not loving it, but I can’t write something I didn’t feel and I didn’t feel this movie was a worthy sequel to its predecessor. Ryan Reynolds’ passion for this art is why I love movies.
Deadpool 2 is currently playing in theaters. Meh.
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