Review: Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 has a lot in common with Deadpool 1: it’s irreverent, self-deprecating, cynical and sarcastic; incessantly mocking the superhero genre, while leveraging the very plot devices and character quirks that have come to define superhero movies in general and Marvel movies in particular; and, it’s weird, gross, and generally entertaining. But yes – there’s a ‘but’ coming… the R-rating could easily stand for ‘Redundant’ (in addition to, um, other stuff that makes Deadpool 2, like its predecessor, an anti-superhero flick for older teens and adults only). The shock value humor that made Deadpool such a ‘WTF’ hit in 2016 simply can’t be replicated in a sequel. Instead, we get more of the same. More of Ryan Reynolds breaking the fourth wall as Wade Wilson aka Deadpool whose superpower is, as he describes it, “unbridled cancer”; More overt and covert pop culture references; More melodramatic 80s music; More opening credit gags and CGI extravaganzas.

Even the storyline provided by the studio is, intentionally, a load of bull:

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover. – Twentieth Century Fox

So what’s it really about? In a nutshell: Wade struggles to find purpose and meaning in life after (yet another) personal tragedy. He gathers a ragtag team of fellow mutant rogues to try and protect a mutant boy (Julian Dennison, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) from a time-traveling mutant bad-ass named Cable, played by Josh Brolin. The same Josh Brolin that every Marvel fan just saw playing uber-villain Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. Too much. Too soon. Brolin is perfectly suited for both roles, but c’mon. It’s a bit of killer overkill!

Deadpool 2 inched me perilously close to superhero fatigue for the first time in years. So take heed: If you’re still processing Infinity War, you may want to take a Marvel break before revisiting the quirky world of Avengers reject and X-Men ‘trainee’ Deadpool. There, I said it. Deadpool 2 isn’t a must-see. At least, not right away. Unless you really, really crave a warped, R-rated tragicomedy superhero flick that – unlike Infinity War – provides some closure along with its hints of things to come for Deadpool and his… X-Force.

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