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Reviews » Theatrical Reviews » Deadpool 2
Deadpool 2
20th Century Fox // R // May 11, 2018
Review by Oktay Ege Kozak | posted May 11, 2018 | E-mail the Author
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During our superhero fatigue years of modern blockbuster cinema, the first Deadpool was certainly a breath of fresh air with how much glee it was willing to lampoon the genre's cliches while honestly delivering a bona fide example of its strengths. It also proved that R-rated superhero films can be major hits, opening the door to miracles like Logan. The inevitable sequel strictly follows the structure and the tone of the first film so religiously, that I could have easily copy-pasted my review for that one and called it a day.

Of course it's hard to blame producer/star Ryan Reynolds and company for sticking so close to what worked before, especially when we're dealing with a franchise with such a unique and specific approach to character and narrative. The point with a sequel to such original work is to prove to the masses that the first attempt wasn't just lightining in a bottle, and the same quality and irreverence can be duplicated for some time to come. If the work is still exactly the same by the time we get to the third film, that's another story.

I have to confess that I was worried when it was announced that the director of the first film quit over arguments regarding the sequel's scope and budget with Ryan Reynolds. When Will Leitch, who's known for the more self-serious John Wick franchise, was tapped to helm the sequel, the anxiety worsened. Would Deadpool 2 crap the bed by getting cold feet about the chances it once took and deliver the kind of milquetoast, generic megabudget superhero fare it once had so much fun lampooning?

Fortunately, Deadpool 2 not only delivers more of the same, but doubles down on some self-referential humor, to a point where the thin line between this franchise and the old genre spoof days of the ZAZ team and Mel Brooks is getting even thinner. The first film was a "love story" underneath all the dick jokes and carnage. The sequel takes a page out of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2's playbook and covers it in themes regarding "the importance of family". There's just enough emotion and credible character development in the script to keep it from turning into a full-on parody, so we can at least feel some personal connection to the story, but it's cleverly barely there to keep the jokes and the action strung together into a cohesive whole.

The sequel sees Deadpool battling Cable (Josh Brolin), an entirely too self-serious soldier from the future, to save the life of a troubled teenage mutant (Hunt for the Wilderpeople's Julian Dennison). Fans of the comic book will be more than familiar with the "odd couple" dynamic between the abrasive, silly Deadpool and the sense-of-humor-impaired Cable. In that sense, Reynolds and Brolin do a great job playing off of one another. Of course Brolin's casting brings about a couple of Thanos jokes. Just like the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, the novelty and freshness is gone this time around, as we get admittedly funny repetitions of whatever worked the first time. Yet that's precisely why it should please fans.

Oktay Ege Kozak is a film critic and screenwriter based in Portland, Oregon. He also writes for The Playlist, The Oregon Herald, and Beyazperde.com

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