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Exactly what you are expecting (a no spoilers Deadpool 2 review)

I’m not a fan of Deadpool comics. I get why so many people are, but it’s never really been for me. And that’s fine. Not everything has to be for me. And that’s fine. It’s just not my thing.

That said, I really liked the first Deadpool movie. I liked it far more than I expected to, in fact. A lot of that had to do with the fact that it was way more than what I was expecting. I knew to expect the basic tenets of Deadpool. I knew it would be fourth wall breaking meta commentary on the comic book superhero genre. I knew it would be raunchy and violent. I expected it to be at least somewhat funny.

But it was so much more. It exceeded expectations on every level. I did not expect it to be a charming, and actually somewhat moving, romantic comedy. In fact, I was so surprised that I probably rated it higher than I should have. I ended up giving it 4.33 stars. Having seen it again since, it’s probably more legitimately in the high 3 star range. But it’s still a good movie. It’s still so much more than it had to be.

This wasn’t that. Deadpool 2 wasn’t a bad movie. But it wasn’t a great one either. It was an ok movie. It was… exactly what it had to be. In fact, it was more or less exactly the movie that I thought the first one would be. It was transposing a Deadpool comic to the screen. It was fine… but it wasn’t much more than that.

When I reviewed the first movie I pointed out that one of the things that really made it work was that the limited budget forced them to make choices in the name of making a compelling story. The key example being that they wanted to include Taskmaster in the first film and literally couldn’t afford to. Which was great, because it meant that the film didn’t need to explain to a bunch of non-comic fans who the fuck Taskmaster was. This movie had double the budget and there are therefore cameos ALL THE FUCK OVER THE PLACE. As a comic book fan, I guess that’s kind of neat. There were a few laughs that I got because I’m me. And a lot of other fans will get and chuckle as well. If I was just a fan of the movie, though… I’d be aware of a lot of plot hammer cameos that literally go nowhere… and I’d be confused as to what they mean. That’s actually kind of the point. I’m sure it’s intentional. The film gives cameos so as to comment on the trope of overused pointless cameos… But it’s maybe too inside baseball. And it doesn’t go anywhere… the film literally goes “yes, here’s a gratuitous cameo. It’s gratuitous, see? It doesn’t do anything! See! See! See!!!” and it’s a little much. Especially when the cameo is of someone too obscure for the non-comic fan to understand… but blatant enough that they can’t ignore it. “Hey kids, it’s Black Tom Cassidy! Who’s that? Well we’re not going to tell you, but you better remember his name because you might want to google it when you get home.” And then when you get home and google it you’ll find out that there was really no reason for you to give a shit after all. The movie certainly doesn’t,

Yes… I know, that’s the point. That’s why they did it. That doesn’t change the fact that they did.

And that’s sort of indicative of the entire film. It was very on the nose. It opens with a neat little twist. And because of the way the film is constructed and the tropes it introduces you’ll be 100% aware of how the twist is going to be resolved pretty much as soon as it happens. And then several other plot twists happen that have the exact same way. The movie feels like it wants to have the emotional pull that the first film did, but since everything is so on the nose and so obvious as to where it’s going, you never really get the emotion appeal that the film wants you to. There are about three details that create the emotional center for the film… but since you’ll be pretty sure how they’re going to turn out the entire time, you’re left with a sense that there are no real stakes at all. Does the film NEED stakes? Not really. It could just be a dumb but fun superhero farce… the way Deadpool is intended to be. But since it wants to pretend that it is more than it is, it comes across as kind of vapid in ways that it shouldn’t.

That said, it is fun. I don’t want it to seem like this is bad. It’s not. It’s just… Deadpool. The cameos made me laugh. The action is amusing. The CGI is good enough. It’s got jokes. It has some commentary. For all it’s faults, it sort of works because it doesn’t HAVE to be any better. Deadpool being what he is, sort of allows the film to get away with some fairly stupid things that wouldn’t work in any other movie. But that pass only goes so far without there being more. It’s fine. And fine may be enough. And if you like Deadpool…or you’re just impressed by crassness in general… or gratuitous cameos… well, I guess there may be a little something extra for you.

★★½☆☆+[✝???⚾](2.5 out of 5 stars… plus Holy Shit Balls… if you’re into that sort of thing)

28 comments for “Exactly what you are expecting (a no spoilers Deadpool 2 review)

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    May 19, 2018 at 8:20 pm

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  6. avatar
    May 19, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    I enjoyed it, but can’t disagree with your assessment. I felt the fates of some of the characters like Black Tom Cassidy and Shatterstar were a little bit of a waste, but they still made the impact for a fanboy like me that the movie seemed to be wanting to make. Really it was more the hidden actor cameos (using initials so as to not spoil, but BP and MD especially), that I enjoyed more than the comic book references. But yeah, this one was simply a Deadpool flavored version of a standard comic book action movie with a little extra humor and gratuitousness thrown in. Personally I can pass on the crassness, but I was aware that’s what I’d be getting with Deadpool (though I really could’ve done without that trailer for that puppet movie, that was way over the top for my personal tastes). And let’s be honest, Sugar Bear was the real star of all this anyway, I want to be Peter when I grow up.

  7. avatar
    May 19, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Was “Shatterstar” as awful as looks/expected? Because he looks awful.

  8. avatar
    May 19, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    I can only assume that characters like Shatterstar & BTC and such were included in this film because the writers went to the other X-Men movie people and said “Hey, what characters are you absolutely never ever going to use so you won’t care what we do with them?”

    Anyways, yeah, you’re exactly right, it’s a Deadpool movie and it follows well in the original’s footsteps. If I have any kind of criticism towards it, it’s that they kind of squandered Negasonic Teenage Warhead after she became the “breakout character” of the original film (at least as far as Internet thinkpiece articles made it seem) so having her really not “in” the film for a large majority of it seemed like a misstep… but then again, like you said, this was kind of like the “Infinity War” of the X-Men franchise, tons of characters but nobody doing much of anything except DP, Cable, Domino, & Colossus.

  9. avatar
    May 19, 2018 at 9:31 pm

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  10. avatar
    May 19, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    The James Bond opening alone was fairly awesome. I also found myself laughing at scenes that the rest of the audience didn’t understand.

  11. avatar
    May 20, 2018 at 5:40 am

    I hate Deadpool, and I don’t care if he knows it!

  12. avatar
    May 20, 2018 at 6:32 am

    Jesus. I guess I’m just easy AF.

  13. avatar
    May 20, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    So… I liked the first one more. Except for Domino. I thought she was amazingly bad-ass, and I loved the choreography of her ‘luck’ powers. I’d definitely watch an entire movie of her.

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