Dead pool 2 tries to live up to its foul-mouthed, anti-hero predecessor and suffers from a classic case of 'throw money at something and it will surely be better' fatigue, and ultimately falls flat.

When the marketing materials came out for Deadpool 2 they made the jokes themselves – spend double the money on the marketing for a sequel, right? Then spend double the money on the film itself and plump for the bigger the better rule. Right…right? Has Hollywood learned nothing? Throwing money at something doesn’t make it any better. It should have been obvious from the roping in of David Beckham, who proved in last year’s King Arthur that all his talent was concentrated in his feet. How much did Beckham get paid for a skit promoting the film? Who knows, but however much it was they probably should have used it to pay a better writer.

Cable Deadpool 2 Josh Brolin Ryan Reynolds

Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2. Photo: Courtesy Twentieth – © TM & © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

The second instalment of Marvel’s anti-hero comedy, Deadpool, follows Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) causing general carnage in a bid to save a young mutant with fire-throwing capabilities, Russell (Julian Dennison), from himself. Along the way they pick up a range of celebrities in cameo roles and Domino (Zazie Beetz) whose purpose is essentially to fulfil the gender equality check box. Her introduction is somewhat of a welcome relief following the early exit of Wade’s soon to be baby momma, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). The major villain, however, is Cable (Josh Brolin) who seems to have done remarkably well from the Marvel Universe this year, but whose role in the film is to cause as much carnage as possible as he tries to kill Russell before he grows up into a power-hungry villain himself.

Deadpool is supposed to be subversive, we get it, but there’s satire on the self-indulgent superhero craze the world seems to currently be going through, and then there’s flagrant stereotyping for lowest common denominator, cheap laughs. Dopinder (Karan Soni), who doesn’t even make it onto the first page of the IMDB credits despite being one of the characters who spends more than five seconds on screen (cough, Brad Pitt), is an Indian cab driver desperate to join in but bullied by his white friends who don’t let him. Russell is obese, for no reason other than it’s apparently funnier. Everything it’s possible to joke about is joked about, and that’s fine, as long as it’s actually funny. Deadpool 2 throws away jokes about cancer like they’re going out of fashion, without spending any time cleverly crafting them.  

If you don’t watch Marvel films or know anything about the Marvel universe, it’s probably best you avoid Deadpool 2 since it’s references are successful in alienating anyone who doesn’t know or care about Wolverine, the Avengers or the X-Men. The storyline is weak and predictable, the number of fights in which bodies get blown up in all manner of ways renders the pacing dizzying, and most of the jokes are less laugh a minute than cringe a minute. As was pointed out in Reynolds last film, repeatedly swearing isn’t actually funny on its own.

Deadpool 2 is long, there are too many CGI-heavy fights that leave for disinterest in who eventually stabs who, and too many niche references for the general cinemagoer to get. Maybe that’s how they wanted it, but what the rest of us might want is a little more conversation, a little less mind-numbingly tedious action, please

★☆☆☆☆

Deadpool 2 is out now. Book IMAX tickets here