Wacky, off the wall comedy is hard to sequelize. Assuming, firstly, you haven’t already mined the best jokes in your previous instalment, there is that danger that you go TOO wacky and reality flies off the rails completely. One Elton John joke too far and like Kingsman 2 you lurch drunkenly from smartly silly into cartoonishly ludicrous and BOOM. Audience lost.
Well, it’s my duty to happily report that Deadpool’s first sequel stays on the right side of crazy and is more than a worthy sequel to the “little movie that could” original.
Since we last saw our beloved Merc With A Mouth, he’s been merrily slaughtering his way through various criminal fraternities all over the world but when blowback from his most recent well meaning massacre leaves him in an inconsolable funk, metal skinned X-Man Colossus steps in to help, making Wade Wilson an honest to god superhero trainee.
His first assignment, however, gets him thrown in mutant jail with teenaged, mutant, bad egg Russell (played by Hunt For The Wilderpeople’s Julian Dennison), but things go from bad to worse when professional skullcracker Cable pops in from the future to terminator the shit out of the angry kid to stop him becoming a kill happy maniac.
It’s down to Deadpool to pull himself together (sometimes literally), forge a new X-team, and save the day.
If the plot sounds as if it wildly careers uncontrollably from plot point to plot point, while smashing head long into numerous crazy action/comedy set pieces, you’d be absolutely right and it’s exhausting. Or at least, it would be if all of those set pieces weren’t pretty much on point. While a tad messier storywise than it’s original, Deadpool 2 works best when it simply goes berserk like an over sugared toddler. A Bond movie credit sequence, huge complicated action sequences and more timeline knotting cameos than is probably healthy, the film gleefully heaps a Loony Tunes amount of slapsticky violence onto it’s title character usually reserved for Bruce Campbell in an Evil Dead movie.
Oh and X-Force’s inaugural mission? Surely one of the funniest things you’ll see this year.
While Ryan Reynold’s weapons grade charisma rightfully hogs the screen beneath that iconic red and black mask, the newcomers do pretty well. Josh Brolin’s one-two casting punch of both Cable AND Thanos is probably the double casting of the century and where Thanos was intelligent, regal and almost noble in his misdeeds, Brolin shifts years and makes the time traveling grump a fifth gear badass, tearing through everyone and everything only slowing up and revealing more depth later in the film. The other new character, Domino (played by Zazie Beetz), is also well utilized despite not having anything to actually do. Her good luck powers allowing her to swagger through the chaotic action with enough style that you’ll definitely want to see more of her down the line.
Problems? Well, saying the plot and tone are messy and chaotic is like saying the same of Airplane, The Naked Gun or The Toxic Avenger, it’s the nature of the beast. But the sheer level of in-jokery makes me worried that all the up to date DC, Marvel and pop culture puns will tarnish future viewings and maybe even date it as horribly as a later Shrek sequel. And some may take issue in the film fully taking advantage of a infamous comic book story trope know as “girl in a refrigerator” story telling ironically coined by an issue Green Lantern, so for all we know it’s probably deliberate. Plus the CGI on a secret X-villain cameo could have used a little longer to render but these irks don’t detract from the whole.
What we do have here is a very VERY funny comic book movie that plays as a light hearted antidote to the MCU’s magnificently heavy Infinity War ending. In fact if Disney does indeed purchase 20th Century Fox and we are somehow denied a third go round on the Deadpool ride, that would be a sad state of affairs indeed.