I’m normally not into superhero movies because they’re violent gore-fests. But the first Deadpool movie had so much humor wrapped around the gore that I actually found myself enjoying the violence.
This gave me cause for concern. Could humor be used as a sort of “gateway drug” to violence. I worried that I was somehow developing a taste for it. That I had come over to the dark side. Deadpool 2 relieved me of that notion when I saw it a few days ago. The movie was funny but the overall mood felt darker which affected my ability to tolerate some of the more violent scenes.
The short of it is that Deadpool 2 had a lot to live up to and, like most sequels, failed to deliver. I enjoyed aspects of the film but I didn’t have same the feel-good fuzzies the first one left me with. It wasn’t consistently funny in the way the first movie was and it lacked a strong (superhero) story.
The film begins with Deadpool trying, unsuccessfully, to kill himself because he was unable to stop a bad guy from killing his lover. Deadpool exacts his revenge on all the obvious bad guys shortly after each appears in the film.
So right off the bat, a very dark tone is set. After the initial bad guys are knocked off, we’re left without any real antagonist to hang our hat on. What is the measure-or point- of a hero other than the way they eventually best an impossible-to-beat villain?
Because there’s no real villain to sink our teeth into, it never feels as though there’s a central, guiding/organizing force to the story. I wish the villain who killed his lover had been a super-villain who caused all sorts of mischief until the end of the film. Isn’t that how these things are supposed to play out? Who cares if it’s formulaic. The fun part is experiencing how the formula is twisted and played with. Within reason.
We do meet a tortured, bullied boy who turns out to be the villain (in the future). But we don’t know that at the onset. Actually, we don’t know that until fairly late into the film. The closest thing to an antagonist for most of the film is an angry, heartbroken, badass cyborg from the future who is hell-bent on murdering the kid. We eventually learn that the cyborg came back in time to kill the boy because he will develop a taste for bar-b-queuing people in the future. His victims will include the cyborg’s family. The story, then, becomes Deadpool’s attempt to prevent the creation of this future villain while preventing the cyborg from killing the boy outright.
Like the last film, the bar owner was one of my favorite characters. He was an unapologetically wussy insult machine. I also loved Blind Al and wish there was more of her. Actually, there were lots of great characters I’d love to have seen more of. One of my favorite new characters was Domino. I loved her superpower plus she was ridiculously cool.
Breaking the fourth wall was as common a practice in the sequel as it was in the original. It’s fun but so overused I found myself rolling the old eyeballs after a while.
There are happy endings all around (except for Deadpool’s dead lover). If only Megasonic Teenage What’s-Her-Face and her same-sex lover can fix the hand-held time-machine device from Mr. Cyborg. Then, maybe Deadpool could undead his lover. Would he unsuperhero himself too? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.