I don't think anyone could have imagined how big the first Deadpool turned out to be, I remember loving it when it first came out, but slowly went down in my books with each viewing. It's good fun, but ultimately a very safe and boring origin story mixed with childish humour and adult rated violence.
2 years later and we have the inevitable sequel that had a lot to live up to, and for the most part, it more or less exceeds expectations, despite a few problems. Deadpool 2 is essentially everything the first did, but dialled up to 11. This feels like a hyperbolic statement, but this is one of the most grotesque mainstream releases I remember seeing in quite some time.
It picks up a few years after the first and Deadpool is now an international assassin, taking out kingpins, drug dealers etc, but after some spoilery events he gets involved with a young mutant with fire powers and a time travelling soldier trying to murder the kid. It's straightforward enough, but the stakes are much more worth investing in than the first.
What everyone came for in Deadpool 2 though is the humour and that is both the best and worst part of the sequel. The run-time is extended from the first and the joke rate is so outrageously high, it's a bit relentless. Meaning, since there are such a huge amount of jokes, only a good chunk of them actually hit, with a lot of the gags being instantly outdated and not very funny.
There was a lot of Deadpool saying random things with no real context that mostly left a shrug from me. Where the jokes exceed most though is with its jabs at superhero films, pop-culture and Ryan Reynold's career (The mid-credits scene is genius). It does feel like cameo galore at times too, with a couple of great ones and a couple I didn't even realise till I read online after.
What really interested me in Deadpool 2 was the change of director. The first was directed by a first time filmmaker who did a fine job, even if his action wasn't massively memorable and I was surprised re-watching it recently just how little action there was in it. 2 on the other-hand is a huge improvement in terms of action. John Wick and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch brings such energy and brutality to the action. There's nothing as memorable or impressive as the club scene from John Wick or the stairway fight from Atomic Blonde, but it's still extremely fun to watch and there is a ton of action here that stood out. The opening montage and convoy attack for one. I hope Leitch returns for part 3.
The sequel also includes a much more impressive cast. Josh Brolin is damn good as Cable, a time-travelling cyborg Terminator with a personal mission and a huge improvement over "Francis" from the first. The "X-Force" are also introduced kinda, and in all honesty they are pretty wasted, but done so in way that makes for a genuinely funny and expectation diverting scene. Also did not expect Zazie Beetz Domino to leave much of an impact, but she was definitely one of the better characters. Lastly, T.J. Miller's Weasel is massively sidelined and barely in the film, which is easy to see why, I imagine there is a lot of his work left on the cutting room floor.
None of this really matters though, because this is Ryan Reynold's film through and through, he is still the perfect version of Deadpool, continuing to seek redemption for what was done to the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. While a few of his jokes don't land, Reynold's still carries this film and makes it an endlessly watchable ride that is just a blast despite its shortcomings.
Deadpool 2 isn't perfect and it might be a little too relentless, but it's one of the most entertaining and grotesque mainstream releases I've seen in a while. Insanely violent, a lot of fun and makes up for a lot of the originals shortcomings.
Watch the trailer below:
Deadpool 2 is out now in cinemas in the UK
With a 4K UHD Steelbook available to pre-order from HMV
Twitter: @FigmentReviews and @ArronRoke91
Instagram: @thesurprisingadventuresofdanb and @ArronRoke
YouTube: Figment Reviews
Letterboxd: Dan and Arron