I decided to make my review of Deadpool 2 a spoiler review so I could discuss the specific things with which I had a problem in the movie. Spoiler warning, this review is intended only for people who have already seen Deadpool 2 or who do not care about spoiling the film.
Below this picture are all spoilers.
It’s really unfortunate that Deadpool 2 chose killing off Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) as a way to motivate Wade (Ryan Reynolds)’s character. Once again, a female character has to die to service a male’s arc. Domino (Zazie Beetz) gets to be badass but they just don’t know what to do with a regular old human woman.
What’s worse is Deadpool 2 treats it like it’s supposed to be a really big surprise. Their opening credits jokes are all about “can you believe that happened?” Does Deadpool 2 really expect its audience to not have seen all the action movie sequels that killed off the love interest character as a “surprise?” Worse, do you think the writers of Deadpool 2 haven’t seen them? Do they actually believe they’re being original?
Spoiler alert for other franchises now, but here are some of the high profile sequels that pulled the same twist of killing off the love interest: The Bourne Supremacy, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Fast & Furious (the fourth one for those who’ve lost track of the titles). The Fast franchise actually realized they’d made a terrible mistake and corrected it by saying she was still alive at the end of Fast Five. Even Austin Powers did it and they made a better joke out of it than Deadpool 2. So no, I’m not surprised Deadpool 2 did that, and stop patting yourselves on the back.
The end credits scenes actually treat the cliche with the irreverence it deserves. Wade uses Cable (Josh Brolin)’s time machine to go back and undo not only all the deaths in this movie, thus robbing them of their faux-gravitas, but also mistakes of previous movies. The actual film should have had that level of self-awareness that it was exploiting tired cliches, but the main movie wanted to have the emotion of Wade mourning. You get what you pay for when you use recycled plot twists.
They don’t even make jokes about how Marvel movies always kill characters and bring them back. If they’re not even aware of the most basic cliche in their own universe, what business do they have asking us to care that Wade wanted to be a dad and may have become a surrogate father to Russell (Julian Dennison)?
Jesus, they talk about family throughout the movie and don’t even reference The Fast and the Furious. Does this movie know it’s being released in 2018?
There may be some funny jokes scattered throughout, but the overall tone of sad mopey Deadpool makes the movie a bummer. Of all the Marvel characters, Deadpool is not the guy who can pull off gravitas. He should be the guy making fun of Peter Parker and Tony Stark for being so emo. And maybe there are some mopey Deadpool comics, but it’s certainly not true to the Deadpool introduced in the first movie.
I did think the X-Men background gag was well pulled off, and it’s funny that the X-men keep reminding him he’s a trainee. The Martha joke, man, we’ve all been making that same joke for two years now. I get that you probably wrote it right after Batman Vs. Superman came out but it took two years to make the movie and you could’ve updated it with ADR.
The huge centerpiece X-Force scene where everyone but Domino dies has also been done before. I can be a little more forgiving of recycling that joke, since it comes from MacGruber. MacGruber is a masterpiece but nobody saw it, so I can’t get too defensive about that.
All of the problems I had with Deadpool 2 seem to be attributable to the screenplay. The film’s action is solid, with some innovative long takes and lots of fights where we can see the actors’ faces (although we know they can put their faces on stuntmen now, and Wade is covered with face makeup anyway). I just want to be clear I can appreciate the technique even when it’s in service of a misguided script.