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Review: Deadpool 2 – “Filthy and fun”

The Merc with a (foul) mouth is back in Deadpool 2.

Again starring Ryan Reynolds as the indestructible assassin, this time around David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, John Wick) is directing, and DP finds himself surrounded by returning friends: Colussus (Stefan Kapicic), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Dopinda (Karan Soni), and Al (Leslie Uggams); as well as girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin); and new faces Cable (Josh Brolin), Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Russell (Julian Dennison) a.k.a. “Fire Fist”.

Post-Deadpool 1, DP has become an international hitman – meaning that the film kicks off with a kick-ass compilation of kills inventively shot and beautifully choreographed and captured. An increase in budget and Leitch’s clearly increased confidence immediately mark the sequel as far more cinematic than the original, with our twirling anti-hero dispatching bad dudes with his katanas – and anything else he can lay his hands on – in epic environs, and in sumptuous slo-mo, and to Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5’.

Reynolds is clearly having the time of his life with complete control over a film even more cathartic for his career missteps than the original. Ragging on everything from the studio to the DCEU to his own blind faith in ‘Green Lantern’, the constant gags barrage probably splits 60-40 in terms of jokes hitting and missing, but the sheer volume and the utter shock at what is fair game – everything – is audacious and hilarious.

There is noticeably less Negasonic Teenage Warhead this time around, which is a shame as she was a highlight of the first film, but Pool 2 makes up for this gap by providing a huge and fantastic supporting cast that are full of surprises and laughs themselves.

Assembled to help DP combat Cable – an enormous half-machine killer from the future – who has travelled back in time to assassinate a young mutant (Dennison), Deadpool’sX-Force” sequences make for an insanely energetic and bonkers middle section that takes the edge off some surprising dark and heavy drama.

As hard as the film may try to then undercut these tough and emotional scenes, they are still pretty powerful and well played by Reynolds – before he makes a terrible choice or an extremely off-colour joke to break the tension. Dennison’s conflicted burgeoning mutant is an excellent new addition, and although it at first seems like a reprise of his (awesome) character in ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’, his arc provides plenty of space for a performance of pathos and pain.

Fellow new addition, Domino, adds another dynamic to the film. Domino’s power is that she is very lucky, which allows for her to steal the show in incredibly cool action scenes that looked awesome on the enormous IMAX screen we saw the film on. Her battles with Cable may utilise every inch of the enormous screen space, but it is her supreme confidence in a destiny that she is still unclear on, and her take-no-shit-from-Deadpool attitude that make her not just a standout, but also your new favourite superhero.

Deadpool 2’s language, gags, action and violence are filthy and fun and far beyond a 15 certificate; and after the brilliant bummer of Infinity War, it’s brash and anarchic irreverence are extremely welcome – with Brolin managing to steal the entire Summer again already.

PS. There are two mid-credits scenes – but nothing at the very end.

Deadpool 2 is in UK cinemas now.

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