Review: ‘Deadpool 2’ (rhymes with “wholly split-dolls”)

It’s more of the same and makes even less sense, but does it really matter?

After going international and making bank taking down bad guys worse than himself, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) endures a personal tragedy and finds himself lacking direction. Like a bad steel penny, Colossus (voice of Stefan Kapicic) turns up and drafts DP into the X-men long enough to get him and a pyromaniac kid (Julian Dennison) thrown into a mutant prison called “The Icebox.” Faster than you can say “DMC,” a time-traveler named Cable (Josh Brolin) arrives to shoot up the place, prompting Mr. Pool to put together a super-duper team to go after Cable, save the kid, and destroy as many people, places, and things as possible in the process.

Yes… he’s back. Yes, it’s R-rated. And yes, it breaks the fourth wall and even literal walls spewing merc-with-a-mouth-isms all over the screen. An assault of trailers and general Deadpoolery has been going on for months, from a Thanksgiving painting session to a Celine Dion tie-in video. Since the release of Avengers: Infinity War, the advertising has reached maximum overdrive, from photoshopping DP onto old movie covers in Walmart to popping in on late-night talk show monologues. It’s hard not to know a new Deadpool movie is coming out, but is it everything the first one was and then some?

In spite of all the ridiculousness, has Marvel Studios spoiled us into needing a coherent plot to enjoy superhero overload at the movies? Or is too much Deadpool a bad thing? The plot of the original movie was fairly simple and straightforward, the perfect framework to stitch all manner of silliness onto, but with more plot, more character, and 180-degree tonal shifts independent of the inside jokes, Deadpool 2 accomplishes everything it sets out to do while inexplicably being less the sum of its parts.

Don’t take this the wrong way: the sequel is fun, wrong in the right ways, and completely over-the-top. The issue is in the editing; it doesn’t flow. Perhaps in an effort to get as many gags stuffed in as possible, the conscious decision to sacrifice some coherency was made. It was in this way the first film worked better; it was such a simple linear plot that loading layers of gags didn’t derail the narrative. While Zazie Beetz’s Domino is an above-average scene-stealer, the sequel needed a lot more Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and friend (Shioli Kutsuna); nearly all their stuff is pretty much given away in the trailers, and not just the good parts. Be on the lookout for cameos filling bit roles; if someone looks or sounds familiar, you might be right (no peeking at IMDB beforehand, cheaters).

If you don’t notice any missteps, forget about it. History suggests most moviegoers rate a film on how they felt on the way out, and the mid-credits scenes alone are worth the price of admission. There’s nothing to see at the actual end of the credits… but there is a song that isn’t on the soundtrack — grr — and someone needs to fix that pronto; everyone will want that for their new ringtone. Enjoy!

Deadpool 2 is rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual references, brief drug material, and Wade’s affectionate ass-grabbing and other inappropriate touching at every opportunity.

Three skull recommendation out of four

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