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Deadpool 2 (dir. Leitch)

Image: Ryan Reynolds and Zazie Beetz in Deadpool 2 © Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. [Source: IMDB]

 ★★★☆☆

Wisecracking, fourth wall breaking and foul-mouthed mutant merc with the mouth Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), returns. Bringing together a team of fellow mutants, he goes toe-to-toe with time travelling mutant, Cable (Josh Brolin). Deadpool attempting to stop Cable from assassinating a young boy with superpowers, which Deadpool has taken a liking to.

Director: David Leitch. Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz [15]

By far one of the most notable things about Deadpool is that Ryan Reynolds clearly adores this character and I have to agree with the merc himself – he was born to play this role. It is that love for the character that absolutely seeps through the blank expressioned mask that makes Reynolds’ performance both in and out of costume as pure as it could ever be. Reynolds is able to bring the larger than life character to the screen with ease, grounded in an absurdist parody of superheroes which unfortunately highlights that this time around the merc’s mouth has got a muzzle on.

While there is still plenty of crazy comedy, sequences that do nothing but make you laugh with joy and touching moments to add some depth to the character. Deadpool 2 feels as though it has been reigned in after his first outing. The lines not quite as foul, the comedy not quite as appropriately deranged, the subversion of expectations severely lacking, the parody of the superhero genre somewhat missing and the timing not quite as razor-sharp. Shamefully Deadpool retreats from its subversive nature and instead bases the plot around an emotional core and expecting laughs from its name-drop references. While the emotional backdrop does a lot for making Deadpool more relatable and more grounded, I cannot help but feel this is the opposite of what Deadpool should be. Wade Wilson should be ridiculous but Leitch has turned Deadpool 2 into a generic superhero movie with some splashes of foul-mouthed humour that we expect from this character.

However, Leitch has successfully made Deadpool 2 – bigger. This time around the narrative scope and character arcs are certainly more juicy with more to digest and sink your teeth into. Leitch also successfully manages to add more dynamics to the Deadpool world, tieing it into a larger cinematic landscape without it feeling too forced (Although I fully expect the churning out of an X-Force franchise). It’s in Deadpool 2‘s second half that this bigger scope culminates. Then it really takes off into what we came to see, the generic narrative is put aside in favour of subverting expectations with absurdist comedy and exciting us with large action set pieces that (with some crude CGI aside) rival the first film easily. Sadly its climax is clearly trying too hard and you’re left wondering when the quip will come but Deadpool takes this moment far too seriously for a character that shouldn’t allow it. It is rectified with one of the most side-splitting end credits scenes I have witnessed but all it did was give me the question “Why wasn’t the whole film like this?”

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