Deadpool 2 review: still the perfect antidote to superhero fatigue


Review by Matthew Turner 

Ryan Reynolds' X-rated superhero is back for a second outing with a foul-mouthed and furiously funny sequel that's packed with surprises.

As with the first film, it proves the perfect antidote to superhero fatigue, gleefully poking fun at the genre via Deadpool's constant fourth wall breaking, and constantly pushing boundaries with humour and violence.

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This time round, Atomic Blonde director David Leitch ("one of the guys who killed John Wick's dog") takes the reins, with Reynolds credited as one of the film's writers.

Director: David LeitchStarring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, Julian Dennison, Stefan Kapicic, T.J. Miller, Terry Crews, Bill Skarsgard, Rob Delaney, Shioli Kutsuna, Leslie Uggams, Karan SoniGenre: Fantasy / ThrillerCountry: United StatesRelease date: 15 May, 2018Cert: 15Running time: 119 mins

As the film opens, Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Reynolds) is in a bad place. His mutant healing ability means he's not even able to blow himself to smithereens without growing all his parts back.

To help Deadpool recover, his metal friend Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) makes him a trainee X-Man, but his first mission goes badly and he ends up being thrown in mutant prison 'The Ice Box', along with Russell Johnson (Julian Dennison, more or less reprising his role from The Hunt for the Wilderpeople); the flame-fisted kid he was trying to save.

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Things get worse for Deadpool when a metal-enhanced soldier from the future called Cable (Josh Brolin) arrives at the prison, intent on killing Russell.

Realising he needs back-up, Deadpool assembles a superhero strike team he dubs X-Force to take on Cable, but things don't go entirely according to plan.

The jokes come thick and fast

In light of Avengers: Infinity War, the irony of Reynolds assembling a super-team to take on a villain played by Josh Brolin isn't lost on Reynolds, who cheekily refers to Cable as "Thanos".

Josh Brolin: in-demand superhero villain (Photo: 20th Century Fox)

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Despite the fact that the film begins with extreme violence and misery, Deadpool insists that the sequel is "a family film", and in its own twisted way, it is, albeit a family film strewn with foul language (arguably going too far in that regard this time round), extreme violence and outrageous gross-out humour (you might want to look away for the Basic Instinct gag).

As with the first film, it's fair to say that not all of the jokes work, but they come so thick and fast that you're never more than a few seconds away from a witty line or a killer sight gag and there are plenty more hits than misses.

To that end, Leitch proves a safe pair of hands, pulling off a number of impressive action set pieces '“ the highlight being a demonstration of the good luck powers of X-Force member Domino (a scene-stealing Zazie Beetz), variously derided by Deadpool as "not very cinematic" and "lazy writing" - and striking precisely the right tone, so that the film's weapons grade irreverence still leaves room for genuine emotion.

A potent cocktail of action and humour

In addition, the script is packed with delightful surprises, from crowd-pleasing cameos to obscure comics nods and inspired soundtrack choices.

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Julian Dennison - Hunt For The Wilderpeople fans will be pleased to see his plucky turn here (Photo: 20th Century Fox)

Once again, Reynolds is terrific as the self-styled 'Merc with the mouth', and the role provides a near-perfect match of actor and character, fully exploiting his wise-cracking skills, his bone-dry delivery and his self-awareness. Even in his normal films you often feel like he's just seconds away from a knowing glance to camera.

Similarly, Brolin is great fun as Cable and there's strong comic support from Dennison, Beetz and a returning T.J. Miller (as Wade's best friend Weasel), though Morena Baccarin is sadly wasted as Deadpool's wife, Vanessa.

Bigger, funnier and filthier than the first film, Deadpool 2 doesn't disappoint, delivering a potent cocktail of action and humour that's shot through with the joyfully irreverent attitude that made the original such a hit.

And yes, Negasonic Teenage Warhead is back... (Photo: 20th Century Fox)

[Main image: 20th Century Fox]

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