‘Deadpool 2’ is a sugar high, and that’s good and bad

“Deadpool 2” – Have you ever eaten Pixy Stix?   They are a granular powder of sugary goodness that Nestle Global pours in a straw for children of all ages to rip open and dump the concoction down their throats.  The experience is a visceral rush of spazzy, beautiful nonsense, but 10 seconds later, you’ll want another hit….or walk away with a headache.

A Pixy Stix meal seems about the best way to describe “Deadpool 2”, the sequel to the hilarious and effective original from 2016, and Ryan Reynolds triumphantly returns as the flawed hero, a role that he was born to play.

Unlike Superman, Deadpool/Wade Wilson (Reynolds) is perfectly content killing bad guys, and as the movie opens, we see our hero cutting up dozens and dozens of run-of-the-mill villains in many global locales.  Surely, he is earning and saving his airline miles, but the new film tests him to save his humanity, well sort of.

Sort of, because the stakes aren’t very high in saving his humanity or anything else in this film.  Deadpool is asked to think of someone other than himself, and this other should be a child.   So, he aims to help a troubled teen Russell (Julian Dennison, from “The Hunt for the Wilderpeople”), who is struggling against a sinister scientist who tinkers with the young man’s mutant powers.

That’s the plot.  That’s about it.

Oh, and when Josh Brolin isn’t attempting to wipe out half the universe in “Avengers: Infinity War”, he plays Cable, a time-traveling, battle-weary soldier, and he steps in Deadpool’s way, because he wishes to kill Russell.

Ok, that’s about it, and with next-to-zero substance, the film fills the 1-hour 59-minute runtime with the formula that makes the original great, but just more of it.

The formula now overfloweth.

Deadpool regularly breaks the fourth wall with hilarious quips about other X-Men and D.C. characters, including Reynolds’s own past creations.   Reynolds’s rapid-fire, crude quick wit will deliver belly laughs throughout the whole movie, and even though he sometimes breaks the fourth wall, he never cracks from his wise guy antics and observations.

In one way, “Deadpool 2” and “Thor: Ragnorok” are completely aligned, because they really act as pure comedies rather than superhero/action pictures, and rather than stress about a hopeful resolution of a gravitas-filled plot while counting up the dead bodies, the audience is best-served just counting up the jokes, puns and sight gags that truly bombard our senses.

Plenty of surprises are in store, including the hopeful formation of Deadpool’s own team, in addition to Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) from the first picture.  Dominio (Zazle Beetz) is the best new addition in the entire film, but Cable unfortunately just seems a bit out of place.   This isn’t the best fit for Dennison either, and in the last act, his character may have screamed the phrase, “Say it!” to the aforementioned mean-spirited scientist about 11 times in 20 minutes.

It all adds up to collection of spazzy, beautiful nonsense.  Deadpool is an iconic, charismatic hero, but certainly, he can tell jokes and participate in a meaningful story at the same time, right?  Apparently not in this movie.

Deadpool fans should walk away loving this film, and perhaps the tone strikes the same chord as the comics.  Let’s assume so, and after “Deadpool 2” makes billions of dollars, a similar sequel will most likely arrive in 2020.  Unfortunately, I’m in no hurry to rush out and see it.  I’m still recovering from a headache.

⭐⭐  out of  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Image credits, Trailer credits: 20th Century Fox

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