It’s great when you walk into a theatre knowing you are going to enjoy a film. It happened back in 2016 when I saw Deadpool and it has happened again with Deadpool 2. I am an absolute sucker for big-budget superhero films. Especially ones that are full of humour and generally have a feel-good vibe.
Instead of the “reuniting with your girlfriend and getting revenge on the guy who messed up your face” plot that the first film centred around, this second film sees Deadpool and friends (old and new) in a plot that is only slightly bigger in scale. There are surprises aplenty, something I found welcome and entertaining. Plot points twist the story and characters develop in ways that I did not expect. In an industry so reliant on formulas, this is damned refreshing.
Every character in this film is larger than life, but the absolute stand-outs are Deadpool himself, Cable, Russell and Domino. Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool is incredible as usual. He breaks the fourth wall, drops one-liners and basically makes the entire audience chortle almost consistently. There are a few jokes that fall flat, but when those jokes hit, they are so funny. There are some emotional moments, and Reynolds mostly gets it right. When Deadpool is paired up with Cable, played by Josh Brolin, sparks definitely fly. Brolin has had such a good year for playing compelling bad guys. He might be killing people, but you know and understand why he’s doing that.
I admire Julian Dennison so much for playing Russell Collins. He brings a brooding teen angst to Russell, bubbling just under the surface. I’ve only seen two of the four films he has been in, something I really need to fix. Finally, Zazie Beetz plays Domino. It’s very entertaining seeing her embrace her power of luck. Even when the area immediately around her is constantly blowing up, she has an almost nonchalant attitude. There’s no need to panic when you know you aren’t going to get hit by wreckage. Sure, Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin take top billing in this film but the real talent comes from Beetz and Dennison.
There are plenty of stunts in this film thanks to David Leitch’s eye for impressive action. These stunts did come at a price though, with stunt actress Joi Harris dying mid-way through the shoot. In fact, a few other complications marred the production. A certain controversial scene concerning baby Hitler was supposedly cut from the film. I completely understand why they took this out, especially as it doesn’t really fit into the narrative that well.
Overall, it’s refreshing to see a film that is still quite a personal story. There isn’t a universe that needs saving, there’s no giant laser shooting up into the sky. It proves that bigger isn’t always better. If you can’t stand superhero films, then this probably won’t change your mind. If you are a fan of Deadpool, then this film will satisfy.
And remember people, watch out for the cameos and stay in your seat when the credits start rolling.
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