It seems longer than two years and three months since the original “Deadpool”. Or maybe it’s just me, since I’ve been doing everything possible to forget that film. The biggest question I had going into “Deadpool 2” was would this just be more of the same, or would a new director steer this character and franchise in a different direction?
The answer is: a little bit of both. “Deadpool 2” is just as relentless and obnoxious when it comes to the “not nearly as funny as it thinks it is” dialogue and overwhelming sarcastic tone. Every line from Ryan Reynolds’ potty-mouthed super “hero” is a jab at something – from fellow “X-Men” characters, including Wolverine, to DC Comics characters and the entertainment industry. Fox, who distributes these movies, reportedly forced Reynolds to drop a Disney joke – because of the two studios’ on-going merger talks.
The less than witty wisecracks pile-up quickly, resulting in hundreds by the end of the two hours. And I didn’t laugh once. Deadpool’s next partner should be Hotels.com’s Captain Obvious because every supposedly clever quip Reynolds’ delivers is predictable and way too self-aware. And they just… keep… coming.
The plot here has Deadpool creating his own team of – like himself – odd superheroes, which he calls “X-Force”. And there’s more than one bad guy, including Cable (played by Josh Brolin – yes, the same guy who plays Thanos in “The Avengers” series – don’t ask). There’s definitely more action in this sequel, with plenty of slicing, shooting and buckets of blood. David Leitch, director of “Atomic Blonde” and co-director of “John Wick”, takes advantage of the freedom a fantasy provides for several over-the-top scenes. Overall, the results are pretty mindless.
But I have to say, “Deadpool 2” is notably better than the original, because of a more grounded, character-driven story. It’s not as emotionally effective as Leitch and Reynolds were going for, but at least they tried. And there are three or four scenes that are actually well-written and executed. But because they’re surrounded by such an overwhelming amount of material that doesn’t work, it’s impossible for the good stuff to stand out.
By the end of the movie you feel like you just went 12-rounds with the heavyweight champ who also happens to be the worst stand-up comedian on the planet.
On The Official LCJ Report Card, “Deadpool 2” gets a D+.
Running Time: 119 min.