When the first film in a series is such a success, it’s very hard for any sequel to live up to the standards set. Deadpool was a surprise hit that became a cinematic phenomenon with its satirical take on the superhero genre; naturally we’ve gotten a very awaited sequel.
Deadpool 2 is a more complex story than the first film. In it our anti-hero Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) seeks to save a mutant child named Russell (Julian Dennison) from the time-traveling Cable (Josh Brolin).
The film seeks to top the first film by throwing more stuff at the screen, be it by introducing an army of new characters, to a denser storyline, celebrity cameos, or a more diverse array of cultural references. Some of this helps the film retain the original flavor that made the first film so refreshing.
However, a lot of these additions overstuff the film and make it very difficult to keep track of the story and the endless references spewing from Reynolds’ mouth. In a sense Deadpool 2 couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be a legitimate superhero movie, or to maintain its satire, something similarly happened with Kingsman: The Golden Circle in late 2017.
The humor still lands, and while there might be fewer laughs than in the first film, it’s still a fun ride. Nevertheless, the spark and surprise factor of the original is lost, which smudges the impeccable cultural credentials that had made the first Deadpool such a hit.