Michelle’s review published on Letterboxd:
Superfluous opening paragraph that solidifies my nerd cred so that the comic book dorks will take my review seriously:
I have been a huge fan of Deadpool for years with his zany brand of meta-humor and wacky personality. He was co-created by Rob Liefeld as a sort of his own version of Wolverine, and his similarity to DC's Deathstroke inspired writer Fabian Nivieza to give him the name Wade Wilson. Deadpool started out more serious in tone, but became snarky and self-aware under Joe Kelly's tenure as his writer. Kelly also introduced Deadpool's fourth-wall breaking and heavy use of pop culture references. The movie adaptations are heavily influenced by Kelly's '90s iteration of the character.
Actual introductory paragraph that also serves to pad out the review so that I can reach my minimum word count:
The first Deadpool movie was a surprise hit which can be mostly attributed to Ryan Reynolds' enthusiastic embracing of the role and the R-rated raunchy dialog and humor. It was pretty accurate to the comic book version as well. Like everything that makes money in Hollywood, a sequel was quickly planned and this time around they secured David Leitch of John Wick (2014) and Atomic Blonde (2017) fame. In this newest installment, Deadpool finds himself protecting a young mutant boy named Firefist (Julian Dennison) from Cable (Josh Brolin), a time-travelling bad ass who is trying to assassinate him for some mysterious reason.
Here's the part where I talk about boring stuff like cinematography, character arcs, and the writing. You can start skimming now:
While Deadpool can be clever and self-aware at times, in the first film even though they would drolly point out they were using cliches, that didn't make the actual film itself less cliche. This is fixed in the sequel as the story actually subverts expectations at every opportunity it can with truly hilarious results. Reynolds again puts in a spirited performance, playing the "Merc with a Mouth" with joyful glee. Cable is the straight-man here, and Brolin has the stoic alpha-male archetype down pat. This movie hints at the "buddy-cop" relationship that Deadpool and Cable have in the comics. One major negative is the special effects range from passable to downright ugly in some sequences. I'm pretty sure the first movie made a lot of money, so I don't know why this sequel looks so cheap. Fortunately, the overall atmosphere of the film is cartoony so it doesn't detract from the enjoyment too much.
Keep on skimming, you are almost there!
The humor has been dialed up to eleven in this one and if you weren't a fan of it in the first film you definitely won't be convinced by this sequel. There is a joke every thirty seconds or so, and not all of them land, but the constant jabbing at the MCU and superhero films in general is refreshing. There are a few points where the story tries to have a bit of emotion, but almost every serious moment is immediately undercut with a joke. Deadpool is the definition of a "popcorn film" and makes no attempt to be anything more than that.
Finally we have reached the conclusion. This is where I try to summarize the film into a quotable soundbite that will hopefully get cherry-picked by Rotten Tomatoes!
Deadpool 2 is essentially a live action Looney Toons cartoon masquerading as a superhero film. It's not trying to be high art, it's just trying to make you laugh. Even with its technical shortcomings it occupies a comedic niche that is sorely lacking in an era of self-serious epic comic book films.