Thoughts on Deadpool 2

Caught an early showing of Deadpool 2 last night. I wanted to take a few moments to talk about my impression from the movie. There are going to be some spoilers here, hopefully nothing too significant, but enough to explain what I’m talking about.

Spoilers Ahead

I really liked Deadpool 1. This rash of comic book movies is pretty hit or miss for me, overall, but Logan and Deadpool definitely rank among my favorites. To be fair, Logan and then, somewhere in the distance, Deadpool. But I did like it quite a bit. Not only that, the X-Men/X-Force era of 90s comics is the main root of my attachment to any of these franchises. This was the time period in which Cable and Spawn were popular, and Spiderman was a dude named Ben Reilly who was a clone, and then turned out to not be a clone or… let’s not get into that.

Cable is probably my number one favorite comic book character, so I was excited to see him brought to life on screen as well.

Overall, I thought the movie was a little bit underwhelming. This was most likely a combination of my high expectations and legitimate issues with the movie. I did like it, but I’ll say it this way: I went in expecting an A+, and I got a B. I want to talk about what I didn’t like first, so I can end on what I did.

What I didn’t like

One of the key issues for me was it had too much drama. Obviously, the film needs some amount of drama to have an emotional spine, but the first film struck the balance perfectly. Here, the balance didn’t manifest. The first act is almost entirely joke free, is very serious, and is entirely too long.

Once the movie finally gets going, it balances the drama and the comedy decently well, but then it faces another issue: it’s not as funny as the first one. Part of that is just an inherent problem with sequel-itis — the first one was fresh and different and had a lot of novelty. Not only do they face some joke-fatigue from redoing a lot of similar jokes from the first movie, the darker emotional tone of the movie overall colors the humor in a darker way. It’s no longer “hilarious”, it’s “your dying friend cracked a joke and it cut the tension in the hospital room.”

That’s not to say I didn’t want it to be dark. I just think the balance was off. It went 20% too far with it, and now I’m drinking a soda with too much seltzer in it. I feel like it played that way with the audience, too. There was a lot less laughter than in Deadpool 1, or even Thor: Ragnarok.

I guess those are my biggest issues with the movie, but they’re overarching things that affect the film’s entire runtime, not one-off problems like, say, some awkwardly delivered lines, or some weird CGI. More minor nitpicks would be: the couple of moments to make boy-scout Colossus do something raunchy felt forced. Little bit cringy even. I thought the big LA Confidential scene that everyone talked up was… well, I thought it was a good scene, but I didn’t think it was as funny as everyone else did.

Cable didn’t quite do it for me, but I think it’s mostly because we barely learned anything about him. You can count what we know about him on one hand: 1) he came from the future; 2) his family died; 3) his daughter’s name is Hope (easter egg, I guess) and… well, that’s about it, really. I guess in my head I had expected some kind of a buddy cop style first act, like Lethal Weapon, where we would go back and forth between the two before they eventually join up. That’s not how it played out. Like 45 minutes into the movie, it just cuts to Cable and he’s like “I’m mad, murder time,” and there’s really not much more to the character than that.

What I did like

Okay, so, that’s that. Let’s talk about the good things.
– The kid, Russell, was hilarious. And I hate kids in movies, usually. He did a really good job. The scenes with him in prison with Wade in the cafeteria were hilarious.
– The one liners that weren’t retreads from Deadpool 1 hit pretty cleanly. The shtick about Deadpool trollingly accusing Cable of racism was pretty funny, for instance. DP’s sweet “Hi, Yukio” bit was another good example.
– Deadpool’s uh, brief fight with Juggernaut was really good.
– Domino, overall, was a huge positive for the movie. Not only was her banter with DP pretty funny, her fight scenes were probably the best fight scenes in the movie.
– The banter between the (final) X-Force members was really good. It made me wish they all got together sooner.
– The X-Force bit was pretty funny, it was a nice twist (assuming it didn’t get spoiled for you).
– Cable’s action scenes were really cool overall.

I’d say the best thing about the movie, if I were to name just one thing, was the banter between characters. Domino playing off Deadpool’s stupidity, Deadpool trolling Cable’s over-seriousness, Yukio’s bubbliness juxtaposed with Negasonic’s angst. All that stuff was golden.

Final Thoughts

If I could go back and change a few things about this movie, I would do this: have the first act get to the point a little faster without spending quite so much time trying to make the emotional weight settle in, and also bring in Cable and the parallel to Deadpool’s story earlier. Give Cable a little more backstory. The X-Force bit was funny, so I’m conflicted on this, but the movie may have been better served by cutting that out, or the Xavier School part out, and getting Domino in sooner.

Those are my thoughts immediately after watching the movie for the first time.

What did you think of Deadpool 2? What were your first impressions?