If you liked Deadpool but wanted more, with Deadpool 2 there’s exponentially more of everything. I mean more filmic reflexivity, more in-jokes, more Marvel-DC cross references, more explosions, more X-Men, more un-sighted gags, more cameos, 100 per cent more New Zealanders, more Dopinder, more violence with maximum effort, and pathos too, as well as more dated pop culture discussions, and absolutely more Ryan Reynolds.
It was MORE.
It was the type of more that requires a second viewing, or IMDb afterwards, due to the blink and you’ll miss it cameos and references. This is a film for fans of minutiae that I will not detail because the fun is in finding it all for yourself.
And it was funny. It was laugh out loud, I can’t believe they just did that all the types of funny. There were well-timed call backs, deliberately mismatched dialogue to action, disturbing crudity and pointed asides.
You might think, as a lefty inclined tree hugging wanna be do-gooder, this film with its graphic violence would be an anathema to me. It’s not, because it is fantasy. Actually it is a science fiction fantasy (more about that later), but my point here is it is not real REAL. And, this film openly loves the fact it is not real and can thus violate the fourth wall at will and speak directly to reality. I wish all violence and murder and injustice only existed in this realm of entertainment for personal catharsis. That it doesn’t is not the fault of film, not even this one.
Despite the speaking to camera, the out loud call outs to foreshadowing and ‘that is why I am here’ reflexivity, this film is traditional. Hero, heroine, family values, trying to do the right thing traditional. I have to say I baulked at the inciting incident for Deadpool, but the momentum of the film swept me away and there was no choice but to go with it. Plus, it was done well. Wade Wilson’s arc while obviously delineated to those who speak film language, was taken seriously. And the denouement was satisfying and sweet and as classically science fictiony as any science fiction film can be.
It might have been easy, with the IKEA references, and the action, and the quietly hilarious taxi driver, to forget the (anti)hero Deadpool is not a comedian but a mutant. The film reminds us there are means to restore Deadpool to Wilson. Obviously too, the plot draws on the comics, bringing in a host of characters from them, so the film doesn’t neglect the wider DC world it forms a part of. That said, it once more likes to pokes big sticks at it, and this time the DC characters poke back.
I recommend seeing it if you liked the style of the first one. I might have to see it twice.