The first Deadpool movie gave audiences something to (howlingly) laugh at, and Ryan Reynolds the comic book film franchise he'd been so desperately clawing for. But according to the critics, the sequel is funny, but missing some of the novelty of its predecessor.
Depending on which critic you read, Deadpool 2 is either propped up by its supporting cast, or doesn't give them enough to do (though, both may be true). And while Ryan Reynolds apparently still has his signature comic timing as he voices Mr. Pool, some write the film relies too much on pop culture references.
Here's what the critics are saying about Deadpool 2:
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At Vulture, David Edelstein's most charitable reading of Deadpool 2 is that it's a satire of the genre, and not its own act.
"The basic joke, repeated ad infinitum, is that that Deadpool has seen the Terminator films ... He’s like an especially obnoxious fanboy except you could punch a fanboy and he’d shut up." — David Edelstein, Vulture
"I suppose you could make a case for Deadpool 2 the way people do for Joe Dante’s ramshackle sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch — a spirited goof on Gremlins — and, further back, Warner cartoon alum Frank Tashlin’s antic Son of Paleface, in which Bob Hope shared the screen with Roy Rogers and Trigger. A superhero movie with the looseness of a Mad magazine parody remains a viable idea, as demonstrated by the underrated Mystery Men and, of course, Deadpool."
"The basic joke, repeated ad infinitum, is that that Deadpool has seen the Terminator films, along with the Marvel and DC and Star Wars movies. He’s like an especially obnoxious fanboy except you could punch a fanboy and he’d shut up. Deadpool takes a licking and keeps on shticking."
"We’ve reached superhero saturation point, and Deadpool 2 is less a satire of that condition than a symptom of it. It has zero suspense — it’s too hip, too meta, for suspense."
In Bryan Bishop's review at The Verge, he gives Deadpool 2 moderate applause for its jokes, and alerts audiences that the film has must-see post-credits scenes.
"To top it all off, the film ends with some truly fantastic post-credits scenes that play with the format and arguably surpass the credits scenes of most recent Marvel films." — Bryan Bishop, The Verge
"Deadpool 2 has to go about the more traditional business of crafting a sequel that delivers on fan expectations, while also giving them just enough of a fresh twist that the entire thing doesn’t feel completely cynical. The result isn't as novel as the original, or as effortlessly kinetic, but it is nevertheless a joke-packed action film that continues to deliver on the character's potential, while opening up the door to an even bigger series of sarcastic superhero adventures."
"Atlanta’s Zazie Beetz, as Domino, is particularly memorable. Where the original movie was able to upend all expectations about what a superhero film should be, Deadpool 2 upends expectations about superhero team-ups."
"What detracts from the proceedings is that sometimes Deadpool 2 does exactly what viewers should expect, resulting in a movie that feels decidedly uneven at times. One moment the character, and the film, are actively surprising the audience, squeezing out laughs at a rapid clip. Other times, it’s like watching yet another Deadpool commercial or TV spot, with his bro-humor schtick growing less interesting with every passing quip."
Brian Truitt's review for USA Today (opens in new tab) compliments the film's acting, particularly with regard to the performances of Ryan Reynolds and franchise-newcomer Zazie Beetz.
"Reynolds' comic timing, exquisite delivery of one-liners and self-deprecating manner give life to this Looney Tunes-esque character." — Brian Truitt, USA Today
"The newcomers are strong across the board, though. Director David Leitch (John Wick) ups the dizzying action, Brolin chews scenery as a futuristic Clint Eastwood type, comedian Rob Delaney has a fun role as regular-guy X-Force member Peter, but Atlanta’s Zazie Beetz is a captivating standout as Domino, a mutant with luck-altering powers and an aversion to Deadpool’s usual nonsense."
"Reynolds is still the highlight of this franchise: His comic timing, exquisite delivery of one-liners and self-deprecating manner give life to this Looney Tunes-esque character."
"While there are plenty of gags, some miss the mark — though the hit percentage is decent — and everything involving Deadpool's supporting friends, bartender Weasel (T.J. Miller) and cabbie Dopinder (Karan Soni), is pretty much recycled from the first movie."
While it Germain Lussier's review for io9 may often sound positive, his remark that the shock-and-awe moments tend to overshadow the film's major themes points out an inability to highlight both.
"The sequel smartly dials each back just enough to give the weightier stuff that’s in there more impact." — Germain Lussier, io9
"So if you loved the first movie because of the pop culture references, fourth-wall breaking, and crazy R-rated madness, don’t worry; there’s plenty of it in Deadpool 2. If you’re not into all that, though, the sequel smartly dials each back just enough to give the weightier stuff that’s in there more impact."
"Those crazy moments come in many forms, but maybe the most unique in Deadpool 2 is the soundtrack. Composer Tyler Bates takes what could have been a traditional superhero score and really gives it a “Deadpool” touch with some lyrics, a chorus, and a few other odd additions."
"The references, cameos, winks, and moments of self-awareness in Deadpool 2 are so memorable, they tend to overshadow the film’s more substantial themes. So while we’re engaged with the family elements and introduced to new characters like Cable and Domino, ultimately their impact feels overshadowed by the “oh shit” moments that happen every five to 10 minutes in the movie."
"On the other hand, if you couldn’t care less about being grossed out, snickering at Hollywood gossip, or laughing at a random comic book references, this isn’t the film for you."
At The Guardian, Steve Rose complimented the zippy script before bemoaning the lack of character development for the supporting cast.
"Worst of all is Karan Soni’s taxi driver Dopinder, a weedy, emasculated Indian stereotype whose superhero aspirations make him the beta-male butt of the joke. Looks as if the writers haven’t got up to speed with The Simpson’s Apu controversy." — Steve Rose, The Guardian
"What made the first Deadpool, and saves this one, is the way they mix emotional sincerity in with the meta-movie wisecracking. The comedy comes from a place of pain, and Ryan Reynolds’ ability to flip between both registers so effortlessly is a superpower few actors possess."
"Snappy, self-aware, fourth-wall-breaking lines like that flow fast and rarely miss their targets in the ensuing adventure."
"Only Brolin’s Cable gets anything resembling a fleshed-out character. Dennison gets some space to make an impression but he’s virtually reprising his Hunt for the Wilderpeople persona, and Deadpool’s bromance with Colossus is the most meaningful relationship in the movie."
"More problematic is Deadpool’s cool, new African American accomplice Domino, played by Atlanta’s Zazie Beetz (at one point he refers to her as “black black widow”). Her superpower is luck, which gets the plot out of many a corner, but doesn’t extend to the script giving her any decent lines. Worst of all is Karan Soni’s taxi driver Dopinder, a weedy, emasculated Indian stereotype whose superhero aspirations make him the beta-male butt of the joke. Looks as if the writers haven’t got up to speed with The Simpson’s Apu controversy."
Credit: Twentieth Century Fox