feedingbrett’s review published on Letterboxd:
While the contemporary blockbusters and the superhero genre is saturated with a great deal of self-seriousness as they find their heroes constantly under immense threat and within inches of disintegration, films like Deadpool enter into the scene with a wide smirk on it’s face as a means of bringing something wholly refreshing and exciting. With almost nil synonymous films in competition and it’s strong adherence to the character’s foundations in the comic book, the film has generated a strong following and has been heralded for the doings that it’s peers are resisting to provide. But despite in it’s attempt of bringing something innovative, does that necessarily warrant immediate admiration?
To those who are aware of my feelings towards the original film - which was deeply critical and revealed my overall disconnect with the material - would probably guess that I would be dreading in finally seeing this film. Despite such an unfavourable first impression, a part of me held on hope (much like I have for this recent iteration for Spider-Man) that through it’s commitment in translating this character for how he truly was in the source material, would eventually find it’s footing that will connect me in the same level as it’s current peers. With this sequel managing to remedy some issues that I felt plagued the first, some of it’s trademark qualities remain just as irritating as they previously were, leaving me in fear but confident that a part of me would always despise the films for the approaches that it takes.
The crux of my discomfort and frustration rests with it’s self-congratulatory and meta humour that extends beyond the point of indulgent. The comic punches come at you with fiery, and at times rapid, intensity that it actually caused a disruption between myself and whatever connection I had with on screen. This is a film that is certainly capable of bringing forward some genuineness and emotional depth, as demonstrated in Deadpool’s longing and desperation, and just when things start to get comfortable and humble, it finds some sort of way to disrupt that vibe and connection, severing it for a joke that misses more often than it lands.
However, Deadpool 2 does attempt to somehow convey an emotional and developmental motivation for it’s titular character, where it’s original entry focused on his battle with mortality, insecurity, and re-assimilation (wrapped in an unfortunately bland origin tale), this one reroutes it’s focus on Wade Wilson’s search for meaning upon times of loss, hopelessness, and incapable mortality. Personally, I found the storytelling and narrative pathway in this second entry to be far more engaging and wholesome than it’s aggressive predecessor, where themes of family and loss become interwoven in the character’s identification of justice under a corrupt, broken and delayed system. He constantly finds himself in conflict of not just those under the X-Men banner but also with himself, attempting to understand where his own moral code could fit in such an oppressive world.
But at it’s heart, Deadpool 2 is a film that seeks out to entertain it’s audience, and therefore it enters into the traditional formula of confrontations, humour, battles, and arcs that one would expect from the genre, notably if one came in having seen the original. However, since the film actually disregards itself from time to time, reducing it’s dramatic value for the sake of a throwaway laugh, I found it difficult to find myself entertained by the prospect. Having director David Leitch come in to replace Tim Miller for this second run-through may have seemed like a prosperous idea and wonderful opportunity to highlight the film’s choreographic confrontations and excessive carnage, but funnily enough, the film feels rather tamed and overshadowed by it’s comedy, especially Ryan Reynolds’ commanding performance and when comparing the film to the standard that Leitch has brought in his previous two entries.
Deadpool 2 will cater to it’s fans, and I am glad that such a film exists for that particular demographic. Unfortunately, through my perspective, I would be one of those who would see the film’s apparent “redeeming qualities” to be the ultimate cause of my dissatisfaction.