deadpool2I made a pact with myself some time ago that I was done with Marvel movies. So far, I’ve been good to my promise and since Thor: Ragnarok, I haven’t crossed the threshold of another stupid offering in the MCU. This presented me with a dilemma, though, because I actually quite liked the first Deadpool. It was clever. It was meta. And despite Ryan Reynolds being Ryan Reynolds, I thought it was pretty cute. Thanks, then, for Stepson #1 for informing me that, technically, this isn’t a Marvel movie. It’s a Fox movie based on a Marvel character. Well, that makes all the difference in the world. (I have no idea if this is true. If it isn’t, keep it to yourself)

We pick up events shortly after the end of the first movie. Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is all over the world killing bad guys in increasingly painful manners. Then he comes home, decides to start a family with Vanessa, and then thanks to a mis-thrown cheese knife, Vanessa dies. Look, this is all before the opening credits have run so … shut up.

Deadpool is in a spiral of misery after this and tries to kill himself, which of course, he can’t do. Colossus shows up, makes Deadpool a trainee X-Person and on their first mission, he meets the 15 year old Firefist (Julian Dennison), an angry and abused young man who wants revenge on the headmaster of the orphan school he attends (played by Eddie Marsan, one of my absolute fave actors). Deadpool fights his case, kills a couple of the abusing teachers and then they both end up in the Ice Box — a prison for mutants — where they have neck bracelets that suppress their powers. For Deadpool, this means cancer and death. Then some heavily-armored robot / guy hybrid from the future appears, determined to kill Firefist. Oh dear.

In all honesty, the first half is a bit of a slog. All that meta stuff from the first movie gets a bit dull after a while and throughout, Ryan Reynolds is operating at 120% Ryan Reynolds; at least 50% more Ryan Reynolds than I can typically stand. I struggled.

But despite the time travel element more or less telegraphing how the movie is destined to end, I finally became invested in the second half and enjoyed myself quite a bit. There’s a sequence where Deadpool’s team jump out of a plane and the consequences of not paying attention to warnings of wind speed have some disastrous outcomes. It woke me up. It started to connect with me.

Stand out for me is a member of that parachuting team. Domino (Zazie Beetz) is a hero blessed with good luck. Deadpool is hesitant to call this a power, but within the same sequence mentioned above, the practical result is played out and is hugely entertaining. What a great character. Perhaps a little light to demand a standalone movie, but if there’s a Deadpool 3 I would hope that she plays a key role.

So, not as good as the first outing, overplays the meta stuff by a degree or two, Ryan Reynolds, but for a sequel where we’re working with secondary ideas, it stands on its own two feet pretty well. And there’s some interesting stuff in the credits that will have fangirls and fanboys cooing all the way to the foyer.

Now if someone can give me an out so I can see the new Antman and Wasp, I’d appreciate it greatly.