Rated: 7.1 out of 10
Once again, Marvel has unleashed its adult-content MCU back onto the big screen with a sequel to the highly popular, Deadpool, called Deadpool 2: The Second Coming. And, while the first movie was so highly popular due to its “out-of-the-box” gritty nature, knowing that the “shock” value was gone, instead of building the story, Marvel sought to up the ante – and it was both a complete success and a total failure. I saw this movie in a Regal Cinema, standard lowest end Cinema offered with no 3D and a horrible attempt at surround-sound (with really cr@ppy seating). While I consider myself an audio and video person (and typically demand bigger and better), the smaller screen actually helped to keep up with everything going on and the audio was so crisp and clear (having been filmed with the IMAX hack theater in mind), that it sounded amazing. So, other than a cruddy theater experience (to which I do not hold the movie accountable), the massive cost savings was WAY worth it (cheaper for 2 adults in a regular Regal Cinema than 1 adult in a Regal IMax “experience” / aka IMAX hack).
If you want to laugh … and you don’t take kids under 17 … and you want some quick, no-story, fast-action, stupid humor, no-thinking, down and dirty Deadpool beat-down fun, then go see this movie. It is a great, 1 night flick (that you will probably never watch again), and hits the spot. It’s like wanting a Carl’s Jr. Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger on the same night you just went out to buy pizza … mmmm … just that ‘little’ upgrade from joy to ecstasy, makes this a great movie at a cheap price. Don’t spend your money on IMAX “experiences” … SO not worth the cost.
David Lietch, who has a fairly impressive movie “involvement” career, took over for director Tim Miller from the first Deadpool movie. Setting aside the many negative things I will hit upon later in this review, I think David Lietch did an ‘okay’ job with the directing. He tackled the fight scenes in a non “cut-shot at every hit” way that truly reflected his stunt-person background. The shots were clean, the use of surroundings was mostly impressive, and the amount of directing-to-content (which is a term I “just” made up for this review as a way to say that the directing fit the script vs. the script fitting the directing, like in architecture, form follows function), was extremely well done. Deadpool definitely puts a heavy load on a director, trying to pull off non-stop campy humor in the midst of huge amounts of action. Add to this some very impressive use of CGI (without too much or too little), and like I said, it was a pretty good job. There were definite “tells” that David Lietch is not a veteran director, so for a first time, without being “great”, and not being bad (like JJ Abrams), I would give the filmography a 7 out of 10.
The audio was exceptional in this movie. The music was ‘mostly’ well selected albeit not too impressive while the sound effects were spot on. It was so incredibly easy to be drawn into every scene and feel the full emotional effect and impact, from funny to sad, that it was non-stop “great”. Without needing to say much more on that, for the audio, I give an 8.5 out of 10, only cutting it short for what could have been a better selection of music.
The story line was … well … this is going to go mostly into the next sections of this review. As for the good, the humor was shockingly great for about 90% of the movie. I literally did not stop laughing from beginning to end – and once more at the very last minute with the “Oh Sh!@, Here Comes the Juggernaut” song. That was, awesome! The background story for this movie was weak – very weak. Since it was Deadpool, we did not need “too much”. Honestly, I was “REALLY” hoping that Marvel would have pulled their heads out of their rear ends and created a Deadpool / Lady Death relationship so that the second part of the Infinity Gauntlet could focus on just how much Deadpool could taunt Thanos and make him miserable … but alas … that did not make its appearance (and I’ll refrain from docking the movie for this HUGELY missed opportunity – although it would be worth a LOT of negative points!!). Instead, setting aside the “stupid”, the cross-genre references in this movie numbered in the dozens (or more), the opening credits assault on Hollywood was funnier than before, and throughout the movie, laughter roared through the audience. So, even though the anti-superhero shock value is gone, we are getting to see even more Deadpool funny with much of it new, building up to an easy 9 out of 10 on the comedy scale. I would have gone full 10, but I am not counting 12-year old butt humor and baby ball jokes as ‘funny’.
The characters … so … um … Deadpool 2 really isn’t about anyone else other than Deadpool. There were plenty of cameos, quick inclusions of other characters, and probably the largest supporting cast in history. Otherwise, it was pretty much Deadpool – and Ryan Reynolds has that role nailed! I would only give this movie a 6 out of 10 for characters for all the missed opportunities, the wasted time on characters, and not giving Reynolds a chance to build Deadpool into something “more”, for a third movie or inclusion in other MCU content (as it really is getting limited … going on a “too much Jack Sparrow” run if it keeps going like it is). And, I would have gone lower, except that they gave Domino (played by the lovely Zazie Beetz) just enough extra screen time to show off her stuff and make her character really lovable.
Some of the story, for which I will not dock points, was just badly written. For instance, we got it that the interns and director were zapping mutants – but nothing implied they were pedophiles. So, that just created an unnecessary nastiness. Besides, if they were, the fact that the X-Men did not save them and Colossus still punished Deadpool would have made that fact a whole, lot more difficult to accept. This was a juxtaposition that “dumbed” down the story line and was evidence of some lazy writing.
The story line was horrid. It was a “neat” Deadpool-can’t-die concept and how sad it was for him to be a superhero, but … no. Reynolds and Morena Baccarin (as Vanessa) continued to make an amazing team, bringing the only real, ‘heartfelt’ emotions to the story. There was literally nothing to give the Cable (played by Josh Brolin) story ANY value. I think the idea was to ‘shock’ the audience with a delayed reveal on his family’s death, but was so obvious that we walked into the theater expecting it. Thus, it was a wasted reveal that could have been WAY better spent using Brolin’s excellent acting abilities and building the sadness between his life and Deadpool’s that would have been phenomenal (a “Martha” moment, as I believe it shall forever be known!!)! The waste of time in the story is a -0.5 points.
The humor in Deadpool 2 was, as previously stated, side-splitting funny for “most” of the movie. Three, major, “obvious first time director”, flaws in the humor that hurt the movie. The first was the “amount” of humor trying to be thrown in which ended up “dragging” out and ruining many of the jokes. Wade’s “baby balls” shirt joke was funny for 2 seconds with Blind Al (played by Leslie Uggams), but after that – went flat and just drug on. Another example of this was the constant, non-stop idiocy of Deadpool. While in Professor Xavier’s school, Deadpool stole Xavier’s wheelchair, complaining about the mansion and then made a joke as to why the movie was being too cheap to bring in any of the X-Men only for us to see them standing right there, trying to hide from Wade (because none of them like Deadpool). It was funny and well-timed, but was ultimately, also a sad statement on the fact that the movie “was” being cheap (especially since it wasn’t even real cameos as those weren’t the real “movie” X-Men, but I don’t want to rate this movie down because of Hollywood / actor / overpriced B.S.). However, in contrast to this, when Deadpool wouldn’t stop grabbing Colosses’ butt (played by CGI), along with all the other sexual reference jokes, it just kept beating down the relationship between the two – way too far.
The second major mistake was the use of 12-year old “fart/butt-style jokes.” We didn’t need to see a close-up of baby-butt on Deadpool, or the Juggernaut’s butt. Albeit funny – it is not part of the quality humor that was otherwise spread throughout the movie. The “shank” pen in Russell’s butt – not funny. This same type of low-grade humor was constantly used with all the sexual reference jokes to being gay. It’s not a gender-bias thing, it’s just that it went on so much that it became unpleasant. The first movie’s inclusion of these types of jokes was well balanced with the rest of the movie. However, I would wager that less than 10% of Deadpool’s lines were anything other than sarcasm or humor. That destroys content.
Finally, the third major mistake was the screen-time filler, buffering the movie with useless content for a single joke. So, it turns out that the X-Force theme that dominated the previews was nothing more than a long joke that was thrown into the movie for a way to 1) Introduce Domino – which could have happened a thousand other ways, and 2) make the joke of killing everyone else on the X-Force team right away (except when Deadpool saved “only” Peter, played by Rob Delaney, with his time travel / post movie skit). The interviews with the superheroes were reminiscent of the 1999 Mystery Men, movie with an immediate kill that echoed the 1988 I’m Gonna Git You Sucka movie when one of the main heroes dies immediately after gearing up. And, the pen in Russell’s butt went on for so long that it lost value. So, for these mistakes, being too derivative and cliche, and not using the time well spent, this is a -1.5 points.
The use of Julian Dennison as a major character in this movie … the “kid to be saved” – was not interesting. I won’t dock the movie for this – but they could have done a LOT better.
While I won’t knock points off of the movie, the “15,000 people were employed to make this film” inclusion at the very end was super annoying. Do we care? Do we feel for Marvel and all the money they put out? I don’t. Considering what my tickets cost … and how Hollywood has been cheating the system, how Marvel cheated the Infinity War (and banked off of it), and how everyone in the IMax theater was paying more than twice as much for half as much content – I care because …? Listen, Hollywood, first off: you’re as bad as Uncle Sam when it comes to overpaying people, so figure it out. We don’t make 6 digit figures every 3 – 4 years for a movie. In fact, many of us won’t make 6 digits in more than 20 years of working. So … try to see it from our perspective. Second, you have been increasing the costs of movies so rapidly, and for terrible content, that it feels like it is literally stealing from people. Finally (and this is not the last of it – I have a VERY long list), you engage in inappropriate political behavior with the public, influence children in really bad ways, and literally abuse the audience. You helped create a generation of people that stopped caring about you – so you fix it. Sorry readers … I digress …
Electrocution by … bunghole? So, while I commented earlier about the over-abundance of gay-reference / butt humor, one of the scenes that takes it beyond just ‘funny’ (for example), is the scene when Colossus shoves an electrical cable in the Juggernaut’s rear end (played by … again … CGI / Reynolds … ? Justifies Deadpool signing a cereal box with his real life name I suppose …). Was it necessary? Did it give us anything more, funny? Knowing that the Juggernaut was trapped underwater and being electrocuted to unconsciousness was … already funny. It even gave the movie a way to include Yukio (played by Shioli Kutsuna) with mutant powers (although, sadly leaving out Brianna Hildebrand / Negasonic blah blah name too long). But, the butt-plug scene was just a little, too, over the top for this movie. It is a ‘superhero / anti-superhero’ movie and I do expect a lot of ill-humor – but not that. Again, it is only my opinion, but we don’t need to have anymore condescending Hollywood garbage. This was condescending and dul-drum, trying to appease … what audience (I don’t know)? For that, a -0.5.
The “Papa Can You Hear Me”, joke was actually pretty funny. But, it is pretty outdated, since audiences were bringing this up years ago. Still, it was a creative way to throw in that joke, so I won’t downgrade for outdated humor, but it was definitely not the “top” of what the movie could have been and was a sign of some “not-so-pleasant” lazy writing. That, and what makes it fit in the “Ugly” category – is that this scene was a painful reminder that this is a “Fox” branch of movie makers, who are actually now the Disney branch, which is now becoming a confusing / limitations on cross overs due to proprietary B.S. / “thing”, that audience members should not have to be dealing with.
Last, but not least – Hollywood: STOP WITH THE NEWBIE AND CRAP DIRECTORS – REALLY! Seriously, Infinite War was not directed by the guys that transformed Thor: Ragnorok into a hit … nooo. It’s like going from a really bad director, like JJ Abrams, and giving him a Star Wars movie that was MORE impossible to butcher than toast (although he butchered it worse than a slaughterhouse), to a no-name director for the sequel, giving someone who had no business handling such a big movie the job!?!? There are a LOT of good directors out there … and writers … so WHERE ARE THEY? Seriously … they give Michael Bay Transformers and he butchers it. To make things worse, they keep picking worse directors going down the list as they drag out terrible versions of the movie? Why? It’s not hard. In fact, NO director OR writer has a SINGLE excuse for a bad Marvel movie (bad X-Men outfits, Green Lantern, and Logan included). These movies are based on Comic Book characters. The costumes are made, the story boards are written, and all you gotta’ do is put it into film. This is NOT a “creative” issue requiring “interpretation” (I know – I’ve done it). It’s easy. If one more of these movies is directed by and written by a no-name or crappy director who can’t stop himself from butchering a good story or doesn’t know how to write / direct well … I will deduct points! For now … I will let Deadpool ride because it is a pretty open story line. But, it could have been … and should have been … better.
Setting aside all of the shameless plugs, annoying and not funny promos, and the fact that Marvel and other studios will not stop using stupid directors (JJ Abrams) and first timers / no ‘namers’, Deadpool turned out to be about as much fun as I expected for a sequel. Sequels are rarely ever as good as the original – but also rarely this funny. It reminds me of the National Lampoon’s Griswold movies and their sequels. They were never as good as the original, but I never stopped laughing! In fact, I think, except for some small effort to make this a ‘superhero’ movie, this was such a departure from Deadpool and the MCU that it became more like a National Lampoon’s / Wayne’s World ‘campy’ movie and the only way to enjoy it, is to expect just that … campy. Going in under the pretense of all the continuously improving MCU titles and expecting more is probably a reason that many audiences felt a little ’empty’ after Deadpool 2.
Directing / Filmography: A 7 out of 10 for good effort and some really successful shots / timing with the script, but too many ‘newbie’ mistakes to be great.
Audio: An 8.5 out of 10 for “smashingly” awesome sound effects, but the 1.5 off for not giving us “great” music choices.
The Story Line: A VERY generous 9 out of 10 for the ‘almost’ non-stop laughs, the attack on DC, the attack on the Green Lantern, and the excellent “I’m Batman” reference. Not perfect since the holes and lack of effort in the story line were too glaring.
The Characters: A 6 out of 10 as the make-up, special effects, Deadpool, Cable, and Domino were all excellent. Unfortunately, that was all that was excellent. Cable needed more ‘story’, Russell (played by Julian Dennison) was not enjoyable, and the use of an almost “all supporting cast” with just Deadpool as the sole focus in a movie that was “not” Deadpool as the sole focus, fell a little short.
-0.5 for wasting time in the story line.
-1.5 for failing to fully utilize the humor well and mix that in with a story so that this sequel could have been AWESOME! (Think of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 vs. No. 1!!!).
-0.5 for condescending jokes like shoving a cable in the Juggernaut’s butt, Deadpool with baby balls, the X-Force cameo for being derivative, and so on.
That brings us down from an average of 7.6 to 5.1 out of 10. However, for as many of the bad things that I left out of this review, there were still a lot of good aspects of the movie, too. It was, after all, Deadpool and a break from the “drama-driven” MCU. It did have potential and they didn’t screw around with trying to appease “too many” people … although they were obviously trying to be “PC” with a trans-gender crowd (and kudos to them for effort … although it’s still just “using” and playing to people’s differences for money). And, from mocking the poorly done movie Logan, to mocking the director for being a stunt man, to the time travel repair of Deadpool’s stupid twisted appearance in the 2009 movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, (and many more mocks, like Martha, executing pedophiles, applying gay lip balm, and more, can be found on IMDB, here), it’s hard to let this movie ride in the middle. So, I’m going to forgive the other screw-ups and bump it up 2 points to a 7.1 out of 10 for all those other, awesome additions that really made the movie hilarious and a fast-thrills, fun ride! (Although, warning you must be this tall (points to ceiling), to “safely” ride this roller coaster!)
I would have given it 1 extra bump point if the story had been better, there had been a Lady Death / Infinity War inclusion, or even 2 more points if Marvel had made this into more of the MCU universe than a campy off-shoot, but alas, those things, did not happen.
Thanks for Reading, hope you got something out of this! Not my most in-depth, deepest, or best review, but I am being brief on this one since there are already so many other reviews on line. Please feel free to comment, rebuke, rebut, flame, agree with, offer to pay me cash, or make any other comment you would like!
Cable: “I got two charges, one to get me here, one to get me home.”
Deadpool: “Well that’s just lazy writing.”
(Hey – they SAID it in the movie … so I’m not making this stuff up!)