As enjoyable and gleefully insane the first Deadpool was, it suffered from a bit of an identity crisis; constantly wrestling between the iconic character’s self-aware comedy and the need for an actual emotional connection with the dark and dramatic moments feeling out of place. Two years later, Deadpool 2 takes everything that was crazy about the first film and turns it up to eleven with an added dose of time travel. However, with everything bigger, the faults become magnified too and the film becomes weighted by severe tonal inconsistencies.
Following the merc with a mouth on his quest to protect a young dangerous mutant, we once again deal with smaller stakes than most superhero films yet the film takes this as a catalyst for insanity. Fighting off mutant hating fanatics, the time-traveling Cable, and his own personal demons, Deadpool 2 feels the closest yet to reading an actual comic complete with the fall-back of a serialized narrative and lack of development. Despite trying to force in emotional moments that break the flow of the film, once the credits roll nothing has really changed for our hero.
Holding the film on his shoulders once again is an incredibly charismatic lead performance by Ryan Reynolds who completely embodies the role of the nutty anti-hero to the extent that the film wouldn’t even exist without his skill and passion for the character. The roster isn’t as huge as the trailers would have you believe but new additions Cable and Domino certainly work well against such an unconventional protagonist even if they fail to steal the show. It’s not till the second half of the film that they really come into play and this certainly attributes to the overstuffed but far more impressive action of the climactic few battles. While the weaker effects can be distracting at times, the film still pushes the creativity and visual flair of the action twice as far with half the budget of a true superhero blockbuster. Its ambition constantly keeps you impressed even if doesn’t always deliver.
Deadpool 2 may be flawed but it still has more personality and creative risks than a lot of the completion; fully indulging in the insanity of super heroics even if the budget can’t allow the full possibilities of the wider X-Men universe.