American films

Deadpool 2 film review: Ryan Reynolds’ potty-mouthed superhero returns for bigger, louder sequel

If the first film was a love story, the sequel is a family drama as a grieving Wade Wilson strives to become surrogate father to a young mutant. Josh Brolin lends depth as Cable, but it’s the laugh-out-loud gags and wince-inducing kills that count

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 May, 2018, 11:50am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 May, 2018, 11:50am

3/5 stars

Following the surprise success of Deadpool a sequel was inevitable, and two years on Ryan Reynolds reprises his role as the “merc with the mouth” for an amped-up second go-around.

Deadpool 2 knows it has its work cut out, but also revels in its own unexpected pedigree. Within its opening moments, reference is made to Deadpool’s box office achievements as an R-rated film, and how that opened the door for more “adult” superhero movies, such as last year’s Oscar-nominated Logan .

If the first film, as our hero claims, was a love story, the sequel is a family drama. A grieving Wade Wilson strives to become surrogate father to a combustible young mutant (Julian Dennison), pursued by a time-travelling killer cyborg named Cable (Josh Brolin). The X-Men once again hope to recruit the potty-mouthed superhero into their unconventional family, only for “Red” to assemble his own rival X-Force, with hilariously violent results.

As with many sequels, Deadpool 2 is bigger, louder and considerably more expensive than its predecessor, but incoming director David Leitch ( John Wick , Atomic Blonde ) ensures the action set pieces are even more ambitious than those of its predecessor. Where the first film leaned heavily into its hero’s propensity for dick jokes and self-awareness to get its laughs, here they are supplemented by a gratuitous line in bone-crunching physical comedy.

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Reynolds, here also credited as a writer and producer, seizes the opportunity to advance his pet project, unleashing an endless barrage of double entendres and pop culture references matched only by the film’s bullet and body count. Brolin, as he did as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War , brings depth and compassion to the unstoppable Cable, while Zazie Beetz delivers a star-making turn as the luck-empowered X-Force recruit Domino.

Deadpool 2 occasionally threatens to overstretch its material, but comes equipped with enough laugh-out-loud gags, wince-inducing kills and surprising cameos to delight diehard fans and casual viewers alike. Even on a pair of silky smooth baby legs.

Deadpool 2 opens on May 15

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