The Merc with the Mouth is swinging back into cinemas – or should that be exploding? Hard to keep up with these superhero shenanigans these days – for his compulsory Part II (well, the first film is one of the highest-grossing R-rated films of all time so a sequel was inevitable) and this time he’s bringing some new friends along for the ride. Sadly, not the X-Men this time but brace yourself as it may not be too fair away – no this is the tale of Deadpool and the incredible X-Force, coming in to save the day in the bloodiest and funniest ways they know how.
Beginning with some pot shots at the death of Wolverine in Logan and the hilarious script issues with DC’s own Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, DP2 is on a mission to up the ante in every which way particularly with its sarcastic riling of some of its rivals including Marvel who, thanks to the possible Disney/Fox merger, may be rivals no more. Anyhow, Wade Wilson is still taking names and heads on a worldwide scale (a meta-metaphor for its global box-office dominance, anyone?) but is soon dragged into the path of X-Men and mutants, namely Russell (Julian Dennison) who’s fire-shooting hands may have put him on the radar of some pretty immense villains, including Cable (Josh Brolin), an seemingly invincible cyborg from the future. Cue X-Force, including new recruits Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Peter (Rob Delaney), and their insurmountable mission to bring more carnage to the already expansive situation.
Carnage is actually a good word to describe Deadpool 2 as it leaves a hell of a lot in its wake here, both in its pithy retorts and the huge action sequences that punctuate it. Bringing director David Leitch on-board to replace Tim Miller was a clear sign of their intentions – bigger and filthier than ever. And, for the most part, they have succeeded in their goal but while there’s plenty to enjoy in the mix its almost as if everything else has fallen by the wayside, something many superhero sequels do to the detriment of both it and its predecessor. DP2 gets by as it has just enough energy and humour to make sure that the two-hour runtime is filled up with gags and set-pieces aplenty. Just.
Reynolds, here also a co-writer of the sequel, is having the time of his life, again, in the role he was born to play (or, indeed, jabbed enough to play) while Zazie Beetz as Domino is the film’s trump card with a ferocious debut. It’s Brolin who gets the short shrift – as Cable, he never gets enough time to breathe and were given little help in truly understanding his motives and history bar a few fleeting flashbacks. He certainly looks the part and throws down like a champ but we hope we can delve deeper next time around. Similarly, Dennison doesn’t quite work out as well as his stellar turn in Hunt For The Wilderpeople and Russell is an annoyance throughout. Also, you know, Rob Delaney is amazing.
It sounds like this one is a proper mixed bag but Deadpool 2 does have summer entertainment in spades and when it’s on fire, it’s scorching but it feels overly exuberant and outside of its comic-book riffs and the like, the jokes fall flat more times than not. That said, you’ll still have a ball and, if you loved the first one, we can’t imagine you’ll be too upset when leaving the cinema.