Deadpool 2 is out in the UK today. I just got back from an early evening screening.
You've seen Deadpool? You liked Deadpool? You'll like this. Lots of the same jokes, plenty of over-the-top action scenes that go beyond the original, and a plot that actually works and doesn't just resolve into Save the Woman. I mean, at least, not in the way the first film did. Instead, with new threat Cable, it does a Terminator impression, which had a much better plot to steal. And it coughs to it.
The thing Deadpool 2 doesn't have that Deadpool did is the surprise. The original was constantly surprising through the movie, doing the kind of things superhero movies don't, from the credits up, with constantly ribald jokes, the breaking the fourth wall, and the utter glee of the whole thing. It was consistently fresh, and no one had seen anything like it.
And Deadpool 2 is a lot of that reheated, given some Tabasco sauce. Still tasty, sure, and there is a comfort element to the strap-on and baby dick jokes. But there is something very special about Deadpool 2 that puts it over Deadpool. It's not just that it has a bigger budget and you get the explodo scenes to match — but it's that the movie refuses to use it as much as it could. The action scenes are pumped up, with Deadpool tag teaming them to other cast members, especially Domino, Cable, and the big surprise. But it retains the limitations of the original — Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead and an empty X-Mansion. And it then goes out of its way to show you that this is a choice, and it spends what has to be a tonne on cash on a two-second gag.
It does that again with the cast of X-Force, giving us massive scenes with Bedlam, Shatterstar, Domino, Vanisher, Zeitgeist, and Peter — and then utterly and deliberately wastes it all. Especially Vanisher.
It's up there with George Clooney playing the dog barking in South Park — it's a very self-confident and utterly hilarious move, repeatedly played, that lifts the movie and will guarantee post-movie conversation.
Because that's what Deadpool 2 really wants: to be talked about. And it gives people plenty. There are jokes, there is pathos, and it's probably more of an actual X-Men movie than the actual X-Men movies have sometimes given us — as Wade puts it, announcing their presence as "a dated metaphor for racism in the sixties."
Oh, and yes, you get Cable. Thanos gets mentioned. But so does Rob Liefeld. And through it all, while it could be anyone in that suit, you know it's Ryan Reynolds pulling those shocked faces. Something about the bone structure…
Expect pretty much what you'll be expecting and you should be happy. And, of course, there should always be more Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Especially when her electricity-powered girlfriend Yuki steals every scene from her with a wave…
Stay for the mid-credits — there's nothing post-credits, but the songs are fun, especially the choral operatic one. If you left Infinity War feeling depressed, Deadpool 2 should perk you up. Eventually.