Ryan Reynolds hit the cinematic mother-lode with the original Deadpool movie, capturing lightning in the bottle twice was never going to be easy.
Following many teasers and somewhat surreal TV spots, we now have the second movie, unsurprisingly titled and as Deadpool/Wade Wilson would say, that’s just lazy writing.
Kicking off with a montage of violent scenes followed by a Bondesque parody credits sequence we are “all caught up”, with why Deadpool is determined to blow himself up.
The film centres around vengeance and personal growth as Deadpool learns to care about more than himself, yes really.
What brings Deadpool to this low point? – A tragedy and a 14 year old New Zealand born kid. “Firefist”, (Julian Dennison) along with the usual teenage growing pains has fire radiating from his fists when he gets angry, which is kinda of awkward.
Whilst dabbling with the X-Men franchise by tooling about the X-Men mansion in Xavier’s cool wheelchair, Deadpool is largely rebuffed by the mainstream X-Men universe. However, he does get a bit of healing assistance from “Colossus” (Stefan Kapicic) and “Negasonic Teenage Warhead” (Brianna Hildebrand) along with her girlfriend “Yukio” (Shioli Kutsuna).
On his first mission as a temporary X-Man, the team try to rescue the aforementioned “FireFist”, which does not go well. It only gets worse when time traveller “Cable” (Josh Brolin) turns up, seeking his own vengeance. Certainly Brolin is having a great year, coming off his “Thanos” ultimate bad guy gig.
To enable Deadpool to take on the really bad guys, he needs help in the shape of generically titled “X-Force”, an eclectic superhero group. This “force” do not always match up to Deadpool’s expectations. In an amusing sequence, the group meets various hazards with differing results.
The first film managed to catch the zeitgeist, mixing Reynold’s irreverent tone, graphic cartoonish violence, ridiculously self knowing whilst breaking the fourth wall by adressing the audience at every turn. Whilst the sequel follows a similar template, it no longer feels as fresh as before.
Deadpool even compares box office takings within the film and introduces “shirtcocking” whilst re-growing toddler legs in a “basic instinct” pastiche, which is as weird as it sounds and arguably is a step too far. The mix of superhero shenanigans with serious subjects like child abuse and paedophilia is also rather dubious. Admittedly this makes for easily disposable henchmen, killed in one bravura sequence but is it necessary?
Poor girlfriend “Vanessa” (Morena Baccarin) only serves to provide a reason for vengeance, although a post credits do-over might be worth watching. Special effects are impressive and there are some cool sequences but it feels more forced this time out.
Nerd note : See if you can spot two A-List cameos, one easy and another, not so much.
Much of the same but the law of diminishing returns applies here. Whether the concept can be diluted still further remains to be seen.
However, box office suggests Reynolds may need to wash the blood off the suit one more time.