After a surprisingly good debut with Deadpool, there was plenty of excitement and expectations for Deadpool 2, to say the least. This was further amplified by a pretty genius marketing department that made the imminence of the sequel inevitable for the few who may have been actively avoiding it. Ooh, Celine Dion dropped a new MV? What’s David Beckham been up to? Let’s head to Wal-mart and look at the new DVD releases–well, too bad! Deadpool is everywhere. And I loved it.
However, was the hype worth it for the long-awaited sequel? I headed to an overpriced dine-in movie theater last Friday night and have to say the $16 I dropped on the ticket was not worth the two hours I watched. While I enjoyed the film, for sure, I would have spent $13 on it at most . . . and ideally would have waited for it on DVD.
Something was a bit off about Deadpool 2 the whole time I sat through it. I felt like there wasn’t as much of an impact or overall professionalism as compared to its successful predecessor. Many times it felt like there was too much bantering to make up for the lack of a story line. Things did not move fluidly toward a big end scene; rather there were sporadic fights placed equally throughout the movie to keep you entertained on the action. In-between, there wasn’t much of note except scenes meant for pure humor, nothing of substance. I was surprised by how the movie seemed to be cut up into three obvious acts that confused me as to where I was in the movie. Usually I could tell the beginning, middle, and end, but these acts did not come together to create a fluid progression in plot. Rather they were three acts sewn up together to make one film.
While I enjoyed how the first Deadpool pokes fun at the superhero genre by making pithy remarks and breaking the fourth wall, there wasn’t a sense of its being a parody. It was still a movie. On the other hand, the sequel felt so much as a whole a parody that didn’t take any of its content seriously that I was reminded of skits posted on YouTube. There was quip after quip (and not in a fun Avengers kind of way) and random allusions that had no real punch. For example, there was one remark about Professor X’s headgear smelling like Patrick Steward that had neither impact nor humor. There were many references brought in like this for the pure sake of having outside references.
On top of that, Ryan Reynolds seemed to be improvising a lot of the time, and overall, the hits and misses with the lines were an even 50/50. I felt the need for a Drew Carey to press the buzzer and go, “Change,” whenever Reynolds delivered a rather predictable line that fell short of its intended humor.
And then looking at movie trivia afterwards (which I enjoy doing), I saw a possible explanation for the movie not being as entertaining or thought-out as its marketing ploys. This was very slight, but there was a very subtle amateur feeling about the movie’s production. As a whole, Deadpool 2 seemed less a completed production than Deadpool, and apparently, the first director Tim Miller stepped down due to creative differences with Ryan Reynolds in pre-production. I didn’t know about this until now. The actor was named one of the three writers of the sequel this time around. I believe he was quite active with the first one, too, but it appears he took more of a reign with the sequel. I can’t say he didn’t deserve this because he had a lot to do with the success of this franchise and definitely worked hard on it.
But here’s the thing… I can always tell when an actor takes over a really large production. It’s obvious in a slightly more awkward put-together of everything and a less clean-cut final project. I think it’s great when actors give other areas of production a go, but I would have trusted in the voice of the director who made the first movie such a success over the voice of an actor with far less experience in actually making such a large-budget movie.
It was especially evident in the lack of fluidity between the acts and the lines that were either too subtle for the audience to get (although appreciated by myself) or too flat for the audience to be amused by. I did laugh a great deal during the movie, but I felt like a lot of my laughter, at least in the force if not the frequency, was exaggerated out of pure dedication to enjoying a film I had really looked forward to. Of course, there were many others involved in the production so I don’t mean to put full blame on Ryan Reynolds for a these minor issues (as the movie was overall still a very fun ride), but if his particular involvement (and there appears to be a lot of it) meant the loss of the director… and he’s the only change to the writing team, then… I am left to suspect.
It was still directed very well by replacement David Leitch, and I appreciated that there was less gore in this one than in the last. However, I think it’s safe to say that the very creative and fun methods of marketing left the actual movie to some disappointment. The plot seemed to be a complete ripoff of Looper, and some of the devices did not make sense, like the convenience of the collar that inhibits mutants’ powers. That one mutant in the Ice Box still has blue skin… Isn’t his blue skin technically part of his mutation? So shouldn’t he have a normal skin color? How do these magically convenient collars work? CinemaSins, get on this! At least point out the blue-skinned mutant for me, thanks!
Another issue was with the characters. Since so many come and go in short notice, I don’t get the point of most of them being there except as another gimmick of, “Hey, isn’t this fun?” Not a big deal, but something to remark on (Yukio basically is there to look cute, do one cool move, and be a girlfriend. I love that they added an Asian, but she literally could have been entirely removed without affecting the movie one bit).
You should know by now I like to nitpick on things I didn’t particularly like about this or that TV show, movie, or book, but to keep you from raising your eyebrows at the decent score I’ll be giving this movie in the end, let’s now move onto the good stuff about Deadpool 2. Continuing with the characters, can we just say how amazing Domino is? She’s my favorite part of the movie. My favorite shot in the whole movie was when she jumps down into the open sunroof of a car (which was shown in the trailers). She should get her own movie. However, for someone who’s lucky… (minor spoiler alert–highlight to see) she was sure unlucky for ending up at that abusive rehab center for orphaned mutants when she was younger. And how did they even prove her mutation? Can someone explain how her mutation is even possible, since it relies heavily on external factors? It’s like the universe is her mutation…?
The action was fun and decent. There were humorous parts I did genuinely enjoy. The acting was quite good on all accounts. Ryan Reynolds does a good job switching between the lighthearted moments and the serious ones. He does have a gift of timing and delivery (as long as the lines are good). The effects and CGI were normal for Marvel (as in, much better than DC). The story I do think was more fun overall than the one in the first Deadpool. If I were to rewatch one of the two, I would prefer this one because I like the levity of this plot more, even if the overall quality of the production and writing is less. I absolutely loved the credit scenes. Those were hilarious! Stay for the mid-credit scenes (there is nothing at the very end).
Overall, I did have more qualms than merits to write about for my review of Deadpool 2, but I do have to reiterate that I enjoyed my time with the movie. It could have been better, but it was okay. That’s why my final score puts it above average, but below the other Marvel movies I watched this year. So far, my ranking is Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, and then Deadpool 2. How would you rank them?
Deadpool 2 Rating: