Deadpool 2 review: Not better, but still enough bloody fun for series fans

May 17, 2018

Enlarge / Ryan Reynolds stars as Deadpool. In this scene, he is shouting at one very weird member of the X-Force. (You’ll have to see the film for more info and for any of the jokes, as this review is gloriously spoiler-free!) (credit: 20th Century Fox)

Last time Marvel’s Deadpool landed on cinema screens, the anti-hero blew away expectations with twisted humor and giddy ultra-violence. And the film really had to lean on those qualities (and Ryan Reynolds’ out-of-the-park performance), as the production felt trapped beneath budgetary issues and flimsy connections to the greater X-Men universe.

The 2016 film’s surprise success has clearly opened doors for the sequel to dig its Wolverine-mocking claws into all things Marvel. Deadpool 2 delivers that on paper, with major X-Force characters (particularly Cable) anchoring this as a full-blooded, big-M Marvel film. That hasn’t dampened the fact that this is a Deadpool-caliber sequel, with gross gags, juvenile jokes, and cutting sarcasm for days.

But last time, I remarked on how the parts of Deadpool 1 that felt too formulaic ever so slightly dragged that film’s fun down. This time around, Deadpool 2 has absolutely fallen into a formulaic-sequel rut. It shouldn’t keep dedicated fans from buying a ticket, but anyone hoping for a sequel that feels more like a Deadpool romp—meaning, more willing to sacrifice sacred cows in a “nihilistic Three Stooges” way—should check their bloody expectations at the door.

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