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– by Nick Doll

Hide your Chimichangas, the Merc with the Mouth is back, baby!

Deadpool returns to cinemas this Friday, May 18. Still rude, crude, hilarious… and extremely violent, this time good-old Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) has brought along a few new characters from the comics, including mutants Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz). In addition to X-Force, of course.

In Deadpool 2, Deadpool has gone international, making the sweetest hits ever made by a mercenary for hire. Though business is a’booming, Wilson’s life falls apart and he has no one to turn to but the X-Men. Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), always seeing the best in Wade, makes him a X-Men trainee. Unfortunately, on his first official mission for the X-Men, Deadpool spoils the plan, eventually landing him between Cable and a young mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison), who Cable must kill to save his future. Madness ensues, as madness often does. Especially when Deadpool is around.

Deadpool 2 is absolutely a better film than the first, in part because it doesn’t have to waste time on an origin story. If you liked the original, you should love this movie. Though I would say the best parts of the last film are even better here, I would also say the worst parts of the previous film are also amplified, evening out into a great film with some weak points.

Let’s start with Deadpool and his sense of humor. Ryan Reynolds is even more comfortable in the role than before, if that is even possible, as he nailed it the first time. The humor in this film far surpasses that of the first, with an abundance of jokes about nearly every Marvel or DC film that came out since the original film in 2016. Not to spoil the fun, but here are just a few examples: a Martha joke, comparing Cable’s arm to Winter Soldier, and calling Cable Thanos. But, my friend, it goes far deeper than that with oh-so-many references and jokes that it feels this film could only be possible with the last three years of superhero films to providing it material. And, unlike some repeated jokes and gags, these references/jabs work! There is also a great big visual effects sequence that turns into perhaps the biggest laugh in a Deadpool film, something that could not have been afforded with the budget of the first Deadpool.

On the other side of the humor, sometimes Deadpool 2 reuses jokes and/or references from the original film, to diminished effect. The opening credits are great for a different reason than the first time around, with their biggest weakness being recreating the titles that don’t use the filmmakers names… again. The new level to this sequence works, while the repeated joke falls flat. Like the first film, the movie uses meta-humor to try to overcome shortcomings in plot and the usage of superhero cliches, but it doesn’t work so well this time. When Deadpool announces a battle between two CG characters is about to take place, it doesn’t fix the fact it is a bland scene of two entirely CG characters fighting. When he says, “Now that’s just lazy writing,” it really is, and the fact that he points it out doesn’t fix it. Deadpool 2 is a bit of a 22 Jump St. in this way; being meta is no longer effective enough to cover the writer’s laziness and genre cliches in certain areas.

Just like the first film, the plot also suffers. This film is nearly completely linear, Deadpool simply used jumping through time as a way to make a slow origin more exciting, and to trick you into thinking there was more action than there was. Deadpool 2 also suffers in my eyes for having a plot that could have come from any old X-Men film, as I partially liked the first Deadpool film as it didn’t focus on mutants as much as this one does. If you have seen the trailer, you know there is a mutant prison will collars to cancel out their powers, something I’d rather not see Wade get involved in. It also seems too… familiar. In addition, the overall narrative is a little jumpy and uneven, with one scene seemingly coming from nowhere with no explanation. Was it part of a reshoot? I’d bet my ass on it.

The film also lacks a strong villain, as we all know, Cable and Deadpool eventually join forces. That ain’t a spoiler, just look at a Deadpool 2 poster or a comic book! After Deadpool and Cable are (nearly) on the same side, the lack of a real villain really hurts the film. Though there are appearances from fun mutants from Rob Leifeld’s original Deadpool mini-series, including Black Tom Cassidy and another special player hinted at in the trailers…

The new members of the cast are fantastic, especially Josh Brolin as Cable (his second coolest role of this “Summer of Brolin”). Though his backstory is simplified, I cannot wait to see his future adventures trying to put up with Wade in the X-Force films (or how about Deadpool and Cable instead of Deadpool 3? That was a long running comic!). He’s as badass as Brolin has ever been, amplified with director David Leitch (John Wick) at the helm, with his quick, no nonsense, action style. Best of all, he is the perfect straight-man foil to Deadpool’s nonsense. Zazie Beetz as Domino is also a welcome and an incredible addition to the world of Deadpool. The “kid,”Julian Dennison, is almost as funny as Deadpool himself. And… don’t even get me started on the X-Force and Peter. Unbelievable.

Like the first, Deadpool 2 is a bit uneven joyride that compensates mostly (mostly…) with hilarious jokes including spot-on digs at the entire superhero genre. But, with an increased budget comes better action and more expensive jokes. That combined with having the origin out of the way, makes Deadpool 2 better than the first.

Grade: B+

NOTE: I am giving Deadpool 2 a B+, a slightly better review than Joseph gave Avengers: Infinity War. I am not Joseph. I don’t think Deadpool 2 is as good as Infinity War. Because I would give that film an A+, but will stick with my B+ for Deadpool 2. That’s the scale, I suppose.

Will you be checking out Deadpool 2 when it comes out this weekend? Let me know your thoughts down below!

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