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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Deadpool 2

May 15th, 2018 by Mark McCann Comments

Deadpool 2 (15)
Directed by: David Leitch
Starring: Josh Brolin, Ryan Reynolds & Morena Baccarin
Running Time: 1hr 59min

When Deadpool hit in 2016, it performed one of those rare flukes in closing the divide between audience and critic.

A mere 7% was in it on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to the usual gulf; both sides liked it and, importantly, so did the fans. And on a small budget (comparatively,) and with a hard R-Rating, Deadpool wasn’t just a commercial success, it told studios that audiences were hungry from un-sanitised super-heroics. Once that door was opened, all manner of possibilities came to the fore and laterally gave Audiences the unrestricted Wolverine film they’d always craved with Logan.

So, having blazed a trail against the censors, Deadpool 2 had big expectations. Add a dropped director in DP 1 helmer Tim Miller to the mix (David Leitch stepping in,) and that age-old question of ‘can the sequel meet the original?’ seemed like a potential big ‘no.’

Which makes it that much sweeter when that is exactly what DP2 has done; taking the gag-a-second, hyper-violence of the original and ramping it up. The difference here however, is that even more is at stake, and the film’s core has an even bigger heart.

Leitch is a veteran stunt co-ordinator, his directorial merits to date – John Wick and Atomic Blonde – display a flair for action that’s almost unsurpassed (perhaps only by Gareth Evans.) The plot is a basic time-travel revenge/redemption arc penned by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland, GI Joe: Retaliation) but you can’t help but speculate that star Ryan Reynolds on co-writing is in charge of all the dirty jokes.

The basic structure makes for a film that flies along at pace, filled with spitfire gags, unrelenting action, again beautifully choreographed, and this time around we get some really nice character moments, too. Wade’s relationship with X-Man Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) is brilliantly fleshed out, and while Morena Baccarin doesn’t have a huge amount to do, along with the other supporting cast of characters, from Karan Soni, TJ Miller, Terry Crewes, Leslie Uggams and co, all are given enough to do to make them both funny and memorable.

The main cast of Reynolds as motormouth fourthwall breaker, Deadpool, Josh Brolin as time traveller, Cable, and Zazie Beetz as Luck powered gun for hire, Domino, are hugely entertaining and the chemistry sizzles. This may be Deadpool’s movie, but Cable is a tour de force antagonist and Brolin brings his A-Game gritty performance. Beetz’s Domino segues naturally into the cast and is hugely fun, instantly charismatic and hopefully puts to rest any anxieties fans had about the character pre-production.

The only major issue with DP2 is Julian Dennison’s Russell, who seems to have been cast in an echo of his role in Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople. There’s a definite attempt to recapture that pedestrian anarchy between his character and Sam Neil’s in the aforementioned movie, and while this isn’t hugely distracting, it does come across as overly try-hard and makes for a sub-antagonist who seems somewhat out of place.

Barring that and the odd gag misfire (there are so many, not all of them could be hits) DP2 does that rare thing for a sequel and ups the original: it isn’t just faster, funnier and more violent than the original, it also has a real emotional core. The stakes are high, and this film adds to the original, appreciating on it while giving the audience more of exactly what they paid for.

4 out of 5 Nerds

I came here in a time machine from the 1980s. The time machine was called childhood. I'm getting back there at all costs! (I also live, love, write, lift & pet cats wherever I may find them.)