Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Deadpool 2

(MA15+) ★★★½

Director: David Leitch.

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, Shioli Kutsuna, Eddie Marsan, Terry Crews, Lewis Tan, Bill Skarsgård, Rob Delaney.

"What do you mean 'revoke my licence'?"
It's pretty tempting to re-run my review for the first Deadpool here, because all the same stuff applies.

Flipping the bird at the po-faced seriousness of the DC Extended Universe and the slightly lighter seriousness of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Deadpool is the head-stabbing swear-tastic superhero we need right now. He's here to save the day but he's going to rub his junk on it a little bit too.

Nothing has changed in the world of caped capers since Deadpool came out in 2016 ... except for the fact that Deadpool came out. It was always going to be hard to break new ground when you're the sequel of a groundbreaker, ie a hilarious 'fuck you' to superhero movies that is emphatically definitely still a superhero movie.

So there's a heavy sense of deja vu here, which is a good thing if you liked the first film. Just like before, Deadpool 2 steadily spurts more meta-gags at the expense of other superhero movies, more dick jokes, more creative swearing, more blood, and more wonderfully OTT moments of mutant mayhem (aided this time by a bigger budget and bigger cast).

This time around, the Merc With The Mouth (Reynolds once again, in the role he was born to play) is up against Cable (Brolin), a futuristic super-soldier hellbent on killing a mutant child named Russell (Dennison). Deadpool decides the only way to stop Cable is with a super-team. Enter X-Force.

Probably the biggest criticism of Deadpool was its lack of plot - two-thirds of the film is a car chase/fight sequence intertwined with a massive flashback - and an underwhelming villain. Deadpool 2 fixes both those problems. Firstly, despite feeling somewhat scattershot to start with, it gets a groove in its story and once Cable arrives on the scene it really hits its stride.

Which brings us to the second point, and Cable, who is a more interesting and well-rounded character. There are some other villains here (no spoilers!) that again play with Deadpool's notion of the grey areas between good guy and bad guy, which is what this film is really all about. There's a sliding scale of goodies and baddies, as well as a fascinating perspective on who is good and who is bad, who could be good and who could be bad, and how people end up in these locations on the moral compass.

But really this is all about the dirty jokes and the fourth-wall breaking shenanigans. Once again, Reynolds and his co-writers put their fist through that wall and then stick their dick in the resulting hole. If you don't laugh early on, this film is gonna be a too-long ride for you. If your sides split in the first movie, you're in for a treat.

Sure, some of it feels like going over old ground - Wolverine is again a target of laughs, as is DC (and Marvel for that matter), and Deadpool's power of regrowing body parts is taken to grotesquely funny new places. But if you're still amused by superheros that swear and leave a bloody trail of chaos behind them, then this is for you.

It can't match its predecessor for originality, but the Merc With The Mouth once again brings the mirth.

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