Missing out on the perfect opportunity to premiere in theatres as The Untitled Deadpool Sequel, the follow-up chapter to Deadpool is another R-rated blockbuster that’s filled to the brim with raunchy humour, self-congratulatory winks & pop culture references, at times even overflowing because of it. And despite featuring noticeable upgrades in few aspects, the film as a whole is somewhat inferior to the original.
Set two years after the events of the first film, Deadpool 2 finds Wade Wilson in a whole world of pain after an unexpected tragedy strikes. Spending days trying to kill himself yet failing every time, his road to recovery begins after he encounters an unstable young mutant whom he must protect against all odds from a ruthless time-travelling cyborg who’s after him, and assembles a team of mutants to save the kid.
Directed by David Leitch (best known for John Wick & Atomic Blonde), Deadpool 2 opens with an action-packed prologue that serves as a filler between the two films and culminates with an incident that puts this story into motion. There is more of everything that made its predecessor work yet the film is lacking the freshness of the original, not to mention that its fourth wall breaking & self-referencing gags get old & tiring real soon.
There is a potential overload of all the elements that made the first entry so funny & refreshing and the reason why the whole movie feels like an overkill is because it never aspires for a proper balance between all aspects. With Leitch helming the director’s chair, it’s a given that the action was gonna be thrilling to watch but its drama suffers because the writers are too busy throwing one gag after another at the screen, hoping some of them would stick.
Still, that parody of James Bond opening credit sequence is a delight and Ryan Reynolds’ dialogue delivery is smooth throughout. Not all its attempts at humour hit the mark but the ones that do are instantly catchy & memorable. Camerawork is sharp, colourful & zany throughout. Music works in tandem with its twisted wit. And also notable is the mid-credits sequence that packs the funniest gag the film has in store. Too bad whatever comes before it isn’t as imaginative.
There is way too much emphasis on trying to make it look funny, so much that at some point it all appears a bit too desperate & off-putting. Rather than telling an engrossing story and letting the comedic aspects uplift the overall experience, the writers take the opposite route, which in turn makes the experience a bit jarring and rarely surprising. Even the visual effects aren’t entirely convincing and that’s never excusable for a film produced on over $100 million budget.
Coming to the performances, Deadpool 2 is led by Ryan Reynolds’ flamboyance & swashbuckling charisma as the eponymous vigilante, and he is excellent both in & out of the suit. But the remaining characters don’t have enough flesh on their arcs and most of them are quite forgettable. The new additions aren’t as compelling as I’d hoped while the reprising characters are still stuck in the same place. It’s a repeated mistake to solely focus on Wade Wilson, for it leaves other supporting characters as mere caricatures.
On an overall scale, Deadpool 2 is amusing in bits n pieces and features another standout performance from Ryan Reynolds in the role he was born to play yet it is no more than a generic sequel. Sure it goes bigger, louder & darker but the end result isn’t as satisfying as the original, for the film feels repetitive and at times, no less than a slog. Overstuffed & empty at the same time, there are going to be many who won’t mind its shortcomings but for me, this superhero extravaganza is often dull, at times annoying & above all, soulless. And now I’m not sure if the first film will hold up as well as it did if I decide to revisit.