Deadpool 2 (2018) – Don’t call it a comeback!

Our favorite R-rated superhero is back with the second installment of his franchise. After the first movie performed unexpectedly well, there were fears of typical mistakes of a sequel: That it just blows everything out of proportions and pursues the “bigger, faster, louder” approach. However, just as Deadpool is not a typical comic book character and the 2016 adaptation is everything other than a generic superhero movie, this sequel manages to avoid the usual stepping stones and turns out to be an even rounder film.

Initially, it didn’t quite feel like a step up from the original. Even though there are a few very clever ideas and lines, the story approach feels rather atypical of a comedy. The trailers did an excellent job of barely revealing anything of the story, so I will honor this feat rare enough in today’s movie industry and stay silent about the story. Suffice it to say that the movie needs about 30 minutes to pick up speed and from that point onwards, it does not cease to entertain, surprise and arouse laughter.

Firstly, one of the shortcomings of the first movie is improved upon. While Deadpool told a rather uninspired story with a lame villain and got away due to it not wanting to be a superhero movie, part two ups the ante and unveils a surprisingly emotional and interesting story. It is very challenging to evoke an emotional response from an audience that is perpetually bursting into laughter and the movie succeeds thanks to Ryan Reynolds’s fantastic comedic timing. With a character as bluntly frank as Deadpool, giving zero f-s about most things, the moments when he does give a crap, you buy it as a viewer, which is also established pretty aptly in the somewhat bumpy exposition. However, they also find a well-dosed mixture of comedy and sincere moments, the tension of which is relieved by funny one-liners at just the right moment without rendering it ingenuine. In this movie, Deadpool becomes a more fleshed-out character and is added some depth, which I hadn’t seen coming beforehand.

 

Some of the characters from the first movie are featured less prominently than in part one. We do see the taxi driver, TJ Miller’s character, Colossus and Deadpool’s blind elderly roommate again in similarly funny, albeit shorter, appearances, but Morena Baccarin’s screentime is considerably smaller, which is a shame since the first movie definitely benefited from her chemistry with Ryan Reynolds and their sexual tension. However, the newly introduced characters can compensate for that. The first mission of the X-Force is when the movie really clicked for me and I burst out into heartfelt laughter for the entirety of the sequence. The silly violence is used to subvert expectations and definitely succeeds in doing so. Domino is the most important new character from the X-Force and at first sight her powers might sound a little dull but the movie addresses that and proves us all wrong with some fun and impressive action sequences. In general, the movie uses its higher budget to include more setpieces and bigger action sequences, which still do not look great but are fun (and funny) enough so that you don’t care. The movie still is an almost pure comedy but the action sequences spread in between create some diversions as a counterweight to the hilarious humor.

 

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Copyright: Twentieth Century Fox

 

The other prominent new character is Cable, played by Josh Brolin, who, for the second time in a month, portrays an antagonist in a comic book movie (and of course, Deadpool makes sure to address that briefly). And again he does a good job of conveying the character’s feelings and again, he is a surprisingly interesting and three-dimensional character. His tech is a fun addition to the movie and the taciturn grumpy guy goes enormously well with Deadpool’s silliness and his sexually suggestive jokes. I was not too crazy about the boy, even though he made me crack up a couple of times and serves his purpose storywise.

But the aspect that epitomizes the movie and best captures the feeling of watching it is the insanely hilarious humor. In addition to raunchy jokes and bashes against other genre representants, the film is pervaded by a meta layer that results in so many ambiguities and clever gags that you basically have to rewatch the movie to catch all of them. Moreover, there are even more pop culture references, to which the astoundingly good music choices in the soundtrack contribute a great deal, and which do not go on your nerves since the movie does not draw too much attention to them nor does it go out of its way to incorporate them.

In total, Deadpool 2 is hilarious, entertaining for most of its runtime and an improvement on its predecessor. With its explicit violence, the over-the-topness of which evokes much laughter, and its unique humor, it brings a lot of fresh air into the same-old, same-old of the superhero genre and in my opinion, it counts among the best of the genre.

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all images: © by 20th Century Fox, taken from IMDb


shorter German version:

Deadpool 2 macht nicht den typischen Fortsetzungsfehler und macht komplett alles eine Nummer größer, sondern besinnt sich auf seine Stärken und schafft es, mit einer storytechnisch ungewöhnlichen Herangehensweise an eine Komödie eine durchaus zum Schreien komische und gleichzeitig auch rührende Geschichte zu erzählen, sodass der Film meiner Meinung nach seinen Vorgänger übertrifft.
Auch wenn der Film in der ersten halben Stunde trotz einer gelungener Gags und Ideen etwas braucht, um in Fahrt zu kommen, ist es spätestens der erste Auftritt der X-Force, die mich überzeugt hat, was für ein super unterhaltsamer Film das werden wird. Es werden genauso sehr wie im ersten Teil Erwartungen subvertiert und horrende Gewaltszenen gezeigt, die zum Brüllen komisch sind, wobei gerade die Actionszenen durch mehr Setpieces und mehr Anarcho-Chaos mehr Spaß machen als im ersten, wo sie zusammen mit dem lahmen Bösewicht eher die Schwachstelle waren. Auch bezüglich des Antagonisten gibt es einige interessante Entwicklungen und Josh Brolin (der zweite grimmige Comic-Gegenspieler innerhalb eines Monats) macht hier, wie auch in Infinity War, einen tollen Job, auch weil er von den Autoren sehr gut aufgebaut und entwickelt wird. Der Film setzt noch eine ganze Schippe drauf auf die Meta-Ebene, doppelbödige WItze im Sekundentakt und enorm viele popkulturelle Referenzen, die allerdings nicht im Sinne eines “Schaut mal, wie clever wir sind” nerven, sondern auch einige sehr herzhafte Lacher hervorrufen konnten. Neuzugang Domino möchte ich noch positiv hervorheben, die echt einige super Actionszenen hat. Morena Baccarins Screentime wurde leider stark zurückgefahren, was leider der einzige Nachteil gegenüber dem ersten Teil ist: weniger Sex. Ryan Reynolds brilliert hier wieder in einer Rolle, die einfach für ihn geschaffen scheint; sein komödiantisches Timing, sein Charisma und seine zero-fucks-given-Attitüde heben den Film neben seiner Explizitheit (gewalttechnisch wie sprachlich) vom mittlerweile eher Einheitsbrei des Superheldenkinos ab.
Ansonsten geht man aus dem Kino raus und denkt sich, ich muss den unbedingt noch mal sehen, weil die Gagdichte so unfassbar hoch ist, dass man unweigerlich nicht alles mitbekommen konnte. Wo der erste gerade in der zweiten Hälfte etwas abflaute und vor allem im Rewatch einiges an Unterhaltungswert verlor, hab ich hier das Gefühl, dass man noch so viel entdecken kann und dass einige Witze auch beim zweiten Mal noch genauso gut funktionieren (vor allem die fantastischen visuellen Gags/Slapstickmomente). Gehört für mich schon absolut zu den besten der Superheldenfilme, nicht zu den aller-allerbesten, aber definitiv zu den unterhaltsamsten.

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