Deadpool 2

****

Reviewed by: Stuart Crawford

Deadpool 2
"That it manages to get away with this at all is largely down to the supernatural likeability of Ryan Reynolds."

If you liked Deadpool you'll really like Deadpool 2. It has more of that thing you liked, while also doing other stuff that you'll also enjoy. If the first film didn't work for you, I'm not sure what you're hoping for from the sequel, but you're not getting it. You'd be well advised to stop reading this and go and do something else.

Deadpool 2, like its predecessor, is an exercise in the simultaneous possession and consumption of one's cake. It's relentless in its mockery of the inherent ridiculousness of the superhero genre, while cheerfully powering through every trope in the playbook. That it manages to get away with this at all is largely down to the supernatural likeability of Ryan Reynolds. Only Hugh Jackman and Robert Downey Jnr come close to Reynolds in terms of portraying a comic book character so perfectly that it's difficult to imagine anyone else taking over the role. The freedom afforded him in the first film to just get on with being Deadpool is no less evident here.

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So, we have a superhero movie sequel. Stakes are raised, effects budgets are correspondingly increased, and the lone hero discovers that there's only so far that being alone will get you. Deadpool finds himself facing powerful adversaries, so as per tradition he assembles a super team: X-Force. X-Force, for the uninitated, is a sort of spin-off team from the X-Men, and several members make an appearance here in classic superhero teamup style. The most notable of these is Josh Brolin's gruffly antagonistic Cable, a cybernetically enhanced pouch-laden supersoldier from the future, the apotheosis of terrible Nineties action comics excess who ought to be too much even for this outlandish pocket of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but who somehow, unbelievably, works just fine. The other standout is Domino, whose effortless ass-kicking chops will hopefully earn Zazie Beetz her own spinoff sometime soon. The tone doesn't really deviate much from the first outing: gratuitous violence and toilet humour, but dark toilet humour, from beyond the u-bend, with a lot of metatextual digs and fourth-wall breaking because that's Deadpool's thing. It's a winning formula, if you like that sort of thing, and enough people apparently do that the Deadpool franchise seems in no danger of overstaying its welcome.

The film sags a little in its second act, but rallies in the third, with a no-less-satisfying-for-being-telegraphed ending that ties everything up while leaving the door open for the inevitable X-Force franchise. The film's main issue is the criminal underuse of Negasonic Teenage Warhead, but hopefully she'll have more time to shine as the series progresses. While we're mining Marvel's Nineties back catalogue, wasn't there a Warheads[1]/X-Force crossover once upon a time? Isn't Tigon Liger basically Cable anyway? Didn't they, in fact, meet up and duke it out in Glasgow one time? Ball's in your court, Marvel.



[1]No relation to Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Warheads was a Marvel UK title about a troupe of mercenaries who travelled through wormholes stealing technology and information for the sinister Mys-Tec corporation, and a formative influence on my childhood. I don't ask you for much, Marvel.

Reviewed on: 15 May 2018
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Deadpool brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy with supernatural abilities from time-travelling mutant Cable.
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Director: David Leitch

Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick

Starring: Josh Brolin, Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, Bill Skarsgård, Leslie Uggams

Year: 2018

Runtime: 119 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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