Deadpool 2

Kai Christiansen, A&E Editor

  Deadpool 2 opens with a depressed Wade Wilson trying to kill himself, unsuccessfully of course. Right away I was on board, it seemed as though they were trying to humanize Deadpool. Granted all of this is handled very lightly, and it’s debatable if Deadpool is actually depressed, but from my point of view, there was clear effort put in to add depth to a shallow character.
However, this kind of care isn’t given to other characters. Other than Deadpool, Cable and Firefist are the only characters given motivation and some sort of emotional tie to the plot. Everyone else is entirely disposable or there for a few quips. The film takes about 10 minutes to introduce 5 new characters, only to immediately kill them off for the sake of a joke. It was funny at the time, but thinking back all it does is slow down the pacing.
  I do think this film is a lot better than Deadpool, which I liked upon my initial viewing. However, on repeat viewings, my appreciation for it sunk to an indifferent view on the film. Deadpool 2, on the other hand, does a good job of retaining rewatchability; the plot progression is natural and interesting, and there was a clear improvement in the writing.
In Deadpool the jokes ranged from 4th wall breaks, to movie references, to sex jokes. Deadpool 2 does a good job of mixing things up. Yes there are plenty of references to sex, but the film does a good job toning that sort of stuff down and focusing on a broader range of humor. That’s not to say it’s a perfect comedy. The movie fires off joke after joke, and there are a fair amount of them that don’t land. However, with the better pacing to be found, the movie moves along after each joke. If it doesn’t land, you forget about it after a minute or so.
If there is one thing I hate about Deadpool 2, however, it has to be T.J Miller, best known for leaving Silicon Valley after thinking he would be a movie star since he was cast in The Emoji Movie. This arrogant doofus does his same shtick- Deadpool’s face looks like a thing did something to another thing, making it become a thing. It’s stale and doesn’t work. Maybe if given to a capable actor, the bit would play, but T.J Miller can’t tell a punchline from a setup.
Rant aside, there isn’t too much I dislike with the film. It’s clear to see there was a bigger budget for this film, which adds to the overall effect. Visual effects are well done, and certainly better than the first, and locations and sets look good. This isn’t all due to the increased budget, however, and I think it can be attributed to the director, David Leitch, who co-directed John Wick.
What separates choppy action sequences from fluid ones is the eye of the director. The John Wick films are smooth and well choreographed with minimal cuts. Action is done in the center of the screen, or in a way that your eye can clearly follow the movements. Deadpool 2 takes steps in this direction, but isn’t executed to perfection; there are some frenetic cuts in fights that seemed a bit much.
  However, Leitch’s direction is very basic when it comes to standard dialogue scenes. There isn’t a wide range of shots, and nothing is really done to spice up the scenes. This isn’t the biggest issue ever, but it is more noticeable when the acting isn’t always the best – I’m looking at you T.J Miller.
The best part of this movie, by far, is Ryan Reynolds and the relationship between Wade Wilson and Firefist. I’ve always considered Ryan Reynolds to be a very shallow actor, but this character was made for him. His own dodgy career provides the perfect fodder for Deadpool’s self-deprecating jokes, and his chemistry with Julian Dennison is truly fantastic. It’s not all to Ryan Reynolds’ credit, though, because Julian Dennison is fantastic in this movie. There are a few emotional scenes that he has to shoulder, and he knocks it out of the park. Believably showing emotional pain is incredibly hard to do convincing, I’ve seen mainstream movies where the actor looks like an actor crying and not the character crying. Julian Dennison, who has only been in 6 movies, delivers the best performance out of the entire ensemble.
  I didn’t think I’d have this much to write about a sequel to a movie I didn’t particularly like, but Deadpool 2 did do a good job. It’s by no means a perfect film, some jokes don’t land, some performances are lackluster (T.J) and the film could use a tighter story arc. But overall, I had a good time in the film, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again.
3/4