ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - “Deadpool 2” improves upon the previous film by providing a better narrative, a worthy villain, and well-staged action scenes to go along with all of the shock meta-humor from the first entry.
Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, (Ryan Reynolds) is enjoying the life of being an immortal merc with the mouth, until this lifestyle leads to the death of his girlfriend (Morena Baccarin). To redeem himself, he takes it upon himself to save a tortured mutant child named Russell, aka Firefist, (Julian Dennison) from the law and the vengeance of a time-traveling soldier named Cable (Josh Brolin).
I liked the first Deadpool film well enough, but I was far from a fan of it. Everything about the Deadpool character was well handled and Ryan Reynolds was perfect casting. Not all of the humor worked with me, but most of it did. All of those same points carry over into the sequel just as equally. My major issue with the first film was the fact that if you took away all the humor being pushed into your face, the superhero story being presented was just kind of by the numbers outside of the cancer aspect. A man gets superpowers at a cost, seeks revenge, and has his girlfriend kidnapped for the final. It was fun, but there was just something about it that didn’t make me love it. Perhaps the humor was too much? I tend to prefer subtlety more. Outside of that, the film had a lame villain and little to no action scenes. Luckily, number two fixes those things.
The story here seems to find more serious ground than the first and made some effort to give the Deadpool character a little heart. All the humor is still there, but things do feel more balanced. That’s not to say every joke landed, but most of them did. The film is still a lampoon, but that feels like an extension of the character’s behavior and not at the expense of the narrative.
Josh Brolin’s Cable is a big assist to this. Just in appearances alone, he crushes the first film’s attempt at an antagonist. A half-human, half-robot super soldier with a metal arm and multifunction gun that makes the Winter Soldier look like a wimp, even with a burnt teddy bear strapped to his belt. His character is very similar to that of a Terminator, sent back to eliminate Firefist in the past before he becomes a threat later. Actually, the whole plot is like “Terminator 2”, considering the use of child and a seemingly immortal protector.
An invincible hero can often be a problem since we as an audience know that there is no real danger. This can make action scenes rather pointless from a dramatic standpoint. Maybe that’s why the first film didn’t do much in the way of creative comic book fights (aside from the highway scene). In any case, “Deadpool 2” ups the ante by providing more superhero action this time around, and it’s all done very well, thanks in large part to the new director, David Leitch. He is known best for his choreography involvement in some of the best fights in American film and co-director of “John Wick” (aka ‘one of the men that killed John Wick’s dog’ as the credits say). The film sports some good set pieces, with the raid on a prison convey being the highlight.
Outside of those three points, everything is basically the same as the last film. If you really enjoyed that one, you are likely to enjoy this one around the same level. Personally, I still think some of the humor does fall flat and tries too hard to be funny. The Deadpool films like to throw in everything and the kitchen sink, as the saying goes. (Ironically, as one of the posters LITERALLY acknowledges a kitchen sink). Either way, there is just an odd feeling when a film is constantly trying to get you to laugh at everything. I say it works at least 75% of the time. For me, a better example of a humorous superhero film was “Thor: Ragnarok” from last year. Still, to each their own. I definitely felt “Deadpool 2” was an improvement.
There are plenty of post-credit scenes to wait for with great payoffs. I should note that there isn’t one at the very end. So, you don’t have to wait around.