DEADPOOL 2 (2018)
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Karan Soni, Terry Crews, Lewis Tan, Bill Skarsgard, Rob Delaney, Shioli Kutsuna, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, Eddie Marsan, Randal Reeder, Alan Tudyk, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and the voice of Stefan Kapičić.
Screenplay by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds.
Directed by David Leitch.
Distributed by 20th Century Fox. 119 minutes. Rated R.
I wasn’t the biggest fan in the world of the first Deadpool movie, but I did get its selling points for the fans. It was a childish superhero (or anti-hero) tale told with an R-rating; adult humor, topical references, puncturing of the fourth wall, abundant cynicism, crazy-stupid violence, 80s easy-listening music and even some gratuitous sex and nudity.
Deadpool 2 is more of the same, and yet at the same time, it is less. The insanely high and bloody body count is ramped up, if possible. The sense of humor is even more on an eighth-grade level – though in fairness there are some very funny lines here. As for the sex, well that is pretty much left behind – in a plot-driven way, I suppose – and replaced with a surprisingly massive sappy streak.
Yes, somewhere along the line, Deadpool, arguably the most jaded superhero on film, has become a misty-eyed romantic, broken-heartedly pining for his girlfriend and trying desperately to help a young, misunderstood mutant boy. Just because he is telling dick jokes while doing it doesn’t make the change in tone any less shocking.
In the meantime, like the first film, the extreme mayhem is both exhilarating and numbing at the same time. Eventually the body count is so massive that you don’t really care who lives or dies. However, there were a few deaths (particularly in a sequence with a superhero team Deadpool recruited) which became hysterical; mega-extreme gore turned into edgy sight gags that work surprisingly well.
Besides, the movie is offbeat enough to have Brad Pitt, arguably the biggest star in the cast, do a cameo as an invisible man – so you can’t see that it’s even him. Matt Damon also has a nearly unrecognizable cameo.
I wish there was more to recommend about Deadpool 2 than its irreverence, but honestly it is the film’s one true superpower.
Even that superpower can often be faulty, though.
It is supposed to be ironic, I suppose, that the worst of the mayhem is mostly done to a soundtrack of adult contemporary music by the likes of Air Supply, Rupert Holmes and Dolly Parton. I wonder how much they had to pay Celine Dion to make her new song the butt of this particular little joke. Cheesy music is not funny in and of itself. There is a running gag in the film in which Deadpool keeps breaking the fourth wall to call out the film’s lazy writing to the audience. Well, the winking, ironic mocking of old music is the epitome of lazy writing.
If you liked the first Deadpool, chances are you’ll like this one, too. If the first one left you cold, don’t expect this one to change your mind.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2018 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: June 11, 2018.