I don’t think I’ll ever get the universal, unwavering, unapologetic love for Deadpool.  His detractors seem rare, and his appeal continues to elude me.  Not that I absolutely loathe him, but there’s nothing I’ve ever seen from him, in either comic book or movie form, that’s ever blown me away or elicited more than an occasional chuckle at best. I was actually already set to dislike the first Deadpool before I saw it (which already put me at odds with most of humanity) but when I finally did I have to admit that it did its job well: it was definitely entertaining and had some laughs, though there was nothing groundbreaking or particularly original about it.  If anything, Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead was the real revelation.

So now you know where I stand and onto Deadpool 2, which essentially has the same main problem as the first which is that the filmmakers can’t decide whether it’s supposed to be a subversive, raunchy, meta parody of the genre or a bona fide, actual story with characters and themes we’re actually supposed to give a shit about.  With both films, they want it both ways, and it just doesn’t work… Deadpool gleefully raises both middle fingers at everything and everyone including himself but only so much. The fourth-wall breaking and self-parody that seems to play such a big part in his fans’ (i.e. you) adoration would work a lot better if there weren’t huge chunks of the films spent on actual character development (when, you know, DP keeps making fun of everyone and reminding us that they’re only characters from either a comic book or other action movie tropes) and if the films didn’t just randomly decide that certain things are meant to be taken seriously while most of the rest shouldn’t.

In the first film we were supposed to care about Wade’s relationship with Vanessa and empathize with his horrible, horrible disfiguration. As well as having a standard third act of ‘’save the kidnapped girl while getting revenge on the bad guy and try to win back the girl’’ in a movie that acted all the while that it was too clever for that kind of thing by telling us it was with most of the jokes throughout. You’re either a parody or you’re not.

This time around (without spoiling anything), we’re once again meant to care about the fate of certain characters (one early scene is so jarring in its sudden serious tone that it just felt uncomfortable) and there’s even a ‘’lesson to be learned’’ in all of this. Really? Isn’t what the people love about DP his complete irreverence? Don’t expect me to suddenly care if the character’s whole raison d’être is that he’s a self-proclaimed character himself who doesn’t take anything or anyone seriously. Except when he does. I don’t buy it.

So this has basically been a rant about what I don’t like about Deadpool (the pop culture phenomenon), but what about the movie? The plot is basically the Terminator/Days of Future Past time-travel premise with Josh Brolin’s Cable as the time-traveller from the future come to our present and butting heads with Deadpool while trying to get to his target to change certain events in his time. There are the usual action tropes where hordes of bad guys are dispatched because it’s been established that they’re the bad guys and there’s a big action set piece that takes place in the streets of a city to make sure that lots of collateral damage is made (but the only thing that matters are our main characters, right? Right).

Josh Brolin is predictably good as Cable, who is played straight throughout as if he was in a serious movie. Morena Baccarin also delivers a surprisingly heartfelt performance. Surprising in the sense that it seems to belong in a different movie.

So is Deadpool 2 entertaining? Definitely. Like the first was. If you loved the first, you should love this one. I went in with an open mind (hard to believe, I know) but in the end, I just don’t care about Deadpool. And if the filmmakers really went all-out with the subversiveness,  parody and *really* pushed the envelope, it could be really good. Also, if more jokes were really funny, it would be great. Most of them aren’t as clever as they think they are.  At least for me, and the loyal audience were eating it up. Because they wanted to. Because People Love Deadpool.

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