It’s always a matter of apprehension when a blockbuster hit produces a sequel. Most are never as good as the original, and most fall flat when trying to continue the success of a hopeful potential franchise. Thankfully Deadpool 2 (for the most part) doesn’t fall victim to this trend. While it isn’t as good as the original, it delivers a solid story and enough action, jokes, and fun that it is an absolute joy to watch.

Deadpool 2 picks up with our favourite merc with a mouth trying to lead a somewhat regular life. Business is good and his home life with Vanessa has resumed what ever form of normalcy they had. While this one doesn’t come right out of the gate with its one liners, it takes it’s time setting the stage for whats to come. Once all that is established, however, the jokes and action, for the most part, don’t stop coming until the credits roll. Deadpool 2 isn’t a “save the world” type film. It’s smaller, family focus helps ground it and honestly, it’s probably for the best. Yes, there is over the top action and city-wide destruction, but at its heart this film is about Deadpool trying to save his family and attempt to do whats right.

Make no mistake, this is Ryan Reynolds film. At no point is the focus taken off our favorite vigilante, no matter how many cameos or side characters are introduced, and trust me, there are a LOT. From Matt Damon to Terry Cruz this film is loaded with familiar faces and the way most of them are introduced is part of what helps certain jokes land on their feet. The film utilizes these slap in the face surprises to drive their jokes home and keep the momentum going. Thankfully there are still enough Deadpool-type moments that allow the film to succeed on its own rather than relying solely on who they got to make an appearance.

The addition of some secondary characters and the return of some other familiar faces help round out the movie as well. Weasel, Blind Al, and Dopinder all have their own moments that help give them their time in the spot light before it’s yanked away and refocused on Deadpool. This is done with purposeful intent and helps the film keep on track with its overall theme, this is Deadpool’s movie after all. The addition of characters like Domino and Cable feels like a natural step in the right direction. These characters, as well as the ones Deadpool recruits for his X-Force expand the universe in logical, meaningful way, and the actors behind the characters deliver performances that make you want to continue seeing them return. Zazie Beetz kills it as Domino, giving us yet another bad-ass heroine that we will surely see more of. Josh Brolin’s Cable is of course spot on as well. The two “side-kicks” get the attention they deserve and deliver some truly memorable moments. Julian Dennison embraces the roll of Firefist and makes sure that the character receives his own time in the lime light, all I’ll say is pens and prison purses.

The only glaring issue with Deadpool 2 is the pacing. Mainly at the start, the film stumbles a bit with its delivery of certain jokes. At other times it feels like they’re trying to hard to get the audience to laugh instead of giving us jokes that fit and feel natural, some just come off as forced. We as an audience know what we’re getting with a Deadpool movie, there shouldn’t be that blatant need to make us laugh, because we know it will happen. Make no mistake, after the initial 20-30 minutes, the film picks up the pace and from then on its nothing but hilarious antics and fast paced action, so it’s at least forgivable that the film takes a bit to find its footing.

Overall Deadpool 2 is the sequel we’ve been waiting for. It’s expansion of the universe makes you excited to see what comes next. The supporting cast delivers memorable performances, and the ridiculous number of cameos will make you want to see it again, just to make sure there wasn’t one you missed. The after credits scenes, and there’s quite a few, are absolutely perfect as well, ensuring you walk out of the theater with a grin on your face. Personally, this film was everything I wanted it to be, and I can’t wait to see the X-Force return to the big screen.

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