“You can’t really live until you’ve died a little”
I felt very underwhelmed by this film. Coming in off a high from the original, Deadpool 2 unfortunately misses the mark in terms of comedy, which is mostly the reason why I enjoyed the original so much. The sequel also continues the trend of being poorly made on a technical front (one of the main gripes I had with the original) and has surprisingly worsened with some horrendous direction. Having said those issues, there’s still enough (if barely) in terms of the story to lift it up as not a complete failure, and there are some interesting new characters that I thought were notable additions to the series, but I’ll get to that later.
The most disappointing aspect of Deadpool 2 was how unfunny I thought almost everything in the story was. There were only a few moments where I genuinely smiled or chuckled but for the most part, everything was just fairly safe and boring. It was strange seeing a downfall such as this because none of the wit or meta-like charm from the original seem to translate onwards in the second. It kind of boggles me because literally the only difference to those who wrote this film compared to the original is the addition of Ryan Reynolds. But surely the inclusion of its charismatic lead who I praised so much in the review of the first film couldn’t be the factor? Well, I can’t say indefinitely but there was something up with whoever was responsible for writing most of the humor.
None of the jokes hit any of their intended punchlines for me. There were even obvious moments of build up to the end of a certain gag that in turn was met with silence and the sound of crickets in the cinema. It was so weird but at the end of the day, that reflects the quality of writing and perhaps the writers are really just one trick pony’s.
This issue of falling flat also was reflected in the poor marksmanship of the direction. Almost 90% of shots were the same old crap of close-ups on people and objects in every goddamn scene. It was getting ridiculous with the lack of variety and inattention for care. Like here we go, a character walks into a room and talks with people, then cut to several shot reverse shots of everyone’s reactions and when anyone is talking, cut it together in chronological order and that’s it, the job’s done.
Even if it was just a monologue of Deadpool lying down, the camera for some reason wants to come as close as possible to his face and hold it for so long that I don’t get why this is meant to feel cinematic as it’s just stupidly close for no reason. Show me a different angle or some new shot styles that visually reflect how the characters are feeling a certain way. For example, if they’re meant to exuberate a sense of loneliness and hopelessness, why not cleverly represent that by using a wide longshot where the camera has been placed to make the character look alone amongst the backdrop?
Instead what was occurring was this train of thought of “ok this line of dialogue is important and close-up shots are used whenever it’s something important in the film., and because people relate to seeing people’s faces when they can be seen from the front, I’ve got to use a close-up to show them because that’s what I learned in film school, so it must be true. And remember, the only way to show all this is by having a close-up of them talking every time or even laying down thinking or even just sleeping or whatever they are going to do”. *groans*
When it came to action sequences, I felt that the efforts to cheat the punches and blows that weren’t landing was incredibly skewed as those scenes quickly became a jumbled edited mess. It became difficult to decipher every hit that was apparently landing simply with the sheer number of cuts they decided to put together in a ridiculously fast fashion. I’m left wondering, why did no one think to film them with slow-motion cameras, as that was a wonderful aspect that worked so well in the first Deadpool? It doesn’t make sense to me and it’s just reaffirming why I’m not the biggest fan of the director David Leitch who also did John Wick and Atomic Blonde. Yes, I have a soft spot for John Wick simply because of the fun and intentionally nonsensical aspects of the story but technically, it’s not that great.
However, as I did mention in the introduction, it’s not all bad for Deadpool 2. I did enjoy the introduction of the character/sidekick Domino whose superpower is that she’s just very lucky. It’s a feature that Deadpool and others laughed at in the film because it does seem ridiculous, but nevertheless, it turned out to surprisingly handy and I’m now sort of a believer. It was an interesting twist on what was possible on the superpower front and I was a fan of how it all played out in the movie.
I also enjoyed how the story was different to what I expected heading into it. I can’t delve into this greatly without spoiling it but I will say the villain here was not was I was thinking. There are still some issues with this, particularly with who was cast to play that role who didn’t really fit the character (wait till you see the movie as I can’t give this away), but at least it was different, and it was a trope that I didn’t see it coming. But as the saying goes, that’s all folks.
Deadpool 2 wasn’t the fulfillment that I wanted it to be and this isn’t because it was hyped up for me before I went in to see it. Essentially all I wanted was new jokes that had the same styled humor from the first and that would make me enjoy watching it compared to other superhero movies. I was even happy for it to have yet another silly plot (though I did hope for more based on my qualms with the first) so long as the jokes were funny, and I could laugh. But I didn’t get that, and I’m left very underwhelmed.
Ryan Reynolds is still great for the role and Deadpool 2 is still trying to subvert the tropes of what other superhero movies are trying to do, but it ultimately falls flat for me and I’m disappointed with how it turned out to be. I’ll still be recommending you see it for yourself if only to also support more R rated films like it. Take those words with a grain of a salt though as it’s a fairly soft recommendation based mainly on how I am a fan of what the character and series is all about. Watch it if you want to but come in with much lower expectations and you might have a better time than I did. See it.