Am I supposed to hate Deadpool 2 for being so meta they can get away with manifold superhero clichés – or tip my hat to the self-referential acknowledgments of them blatantly doing it? Who knows, who cares – that is the point of the merc with the mouth, Deadpool, the invincible, wise-cracking Marvel property who is as aware and as tired as we are of the last decade’s smorgasbord of superhero films, and yet is still profiting off that very thing.

Hate him or love him, Deadpool is the voice of the people and his shtick of breaking the fourth wall to speak directly to us and say what we’ve all been thinking is the one refreshing element that sets this film apart from the Justice Leagues and the Avengers of the world. He blatantly refers to pop culture as a tool for humour (and sometimes a narrative device) and the fact the film is rated R in America means the script is not sugarcoated but revels in its glory of political incorrectness and vulgarity.

Ryan Reynolds basically plays himself, in the role he was born to perform, and nails it again as he did in the first iteration. It’s great to see Fox take another punt on this series and try a different direction in terms of the story – though at times the mismatch of scenes makes the movie feel like a sketch show rather than a thorough plot.

We have newcomers to the series in Cable (Josh Brolin), Domino (Zazie Beetz) and NZ’s own Julian Dennison as Russell aka Fire Fist, who all help to elevate the story and the humour with their own moments in the sun. I just can’t help but feel none of them got enough time for us to really know them, or care.

With that being said, with a bigger budget and more hype, Deadpool 2 does go beyond the first, is slightly more bombastic, slightly cruder and overall slightly better (if only just).

No time is needed to be spent setting up this absurd world, mostly because by now we know the X-Men universe pretty well, anyway. We’re thrown right into the action and it doesn’t ease up, which works to new director in the series David Leitch’s strong point. Having recently come off John Wick, he knows how to do a shoot-out and fight scene pretty well, though not to the detriment of the constant onslaught of jokes – what Deadpool is most loved for, and there’s plenty of that. Almost too much.

You know this movie exists, the marketing campaign was the most intense (and successful) I’ve seen recently. What you don’t know is what actually happens in the plot, and to that I give props to the trailer for not giving anything away, which is commonplace in the modern cinema sphere now. I genuinely had moments of shock and surprise, which made those moments either more impactful or funnier.  I recommend the same to you.

Just don’t take your kids or grandma with you.

Deadpool 2: 8/10

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