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More than one critic compares the sequel to “Family Guy,” while others lament it’s become what it makes fun of: a tentpole superhero franchise film.
"Deadpool 2" will likely be another hit under star Ryan Reynolds’ belt, and it’s off to a strong start with a solid 85 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which of course means not everyone is in love with it.
The majority of critics are hailing "Deadpool 2" to be a rousing success, bringing back more of what fans loved about the original, including a nonstop stream of pop culture references, bad jokes, sexual innuendos and fourth-wall breaking shenaningans mixed in with our gratuitous violence and superheroically over-the-top action. The minority, on the other hand, had a surprising number of issues. In fact, we counted six.
We assume most fans of the original will flock to see Deadpool create the X-Force to take on new bad guy Cable (Josh Brolin), but in case you’re weary of the hype — or just curious how cranky critics could possibly hate a movie that looks like this much fun — we rounded up all of the biggest complaints below.
IT’S TOO RELIANT ON REFERENCES
It’s rare that the humor works in this film — like an episode of "Family Guy," this seems more dedicated to just overloading the script full of references, within or outside of the Marvel universe, than it is in attempting to be funny. (Josh Spiegel, /Film)
What’s taking up most of the room that would otherwise be occupied by jokes in "Deadpool 2’s" screenplay are those many, many, many references. It’s "Family Guy: The Movie." Or, technically I suppose, it’s "Family Guy 2: Here Are Some More Mentions Of Other, Tangentially Related Things You Recognize And Like." (Glen Weldon, NPR)
The basic joke, repeated ad infinitum, is that that Deadpool has seen the "Terminator" films, along with the Marvel and DC and Star Wars movies. He’s like an especially obnoxious fanboy except you could punch a fanboy and he’d shut up. Deadpool takes a licking and keeps on shticking. (David Edelstein, Vulture)
AND THEY REQUIRE TOO MUCH BACK-KNOWLEDGE
That’s the major issue of "Deadpool 2." The cast is largely talented enough, and willing to laugh at themselves. And anyone with even a moderate level of knowledge of superhero movies of the last decade will spot plenty of winking nods, from references to Marvel’s rival to an Airplane!-level attempt to mock the faux-profound musical compositions that accompany intense fights. But this movie’s script is so inside-baseball that it’s moderately alienating. (Josh Spiegel, /Film)
As for the jokes themselves, they frequently fall flat, as Deadpool’s witticisms are mostly empty rejoinders to easy setups by other characters. Furthermore, these comebacks consist of little more than references to DC and Marvel properties–which is to say, tailor-made for knowing fans. "Deadpool 2" believes this to all be peevish, deconstructive parody, even though it’s how most major comic-book movies are now written. Indeed, the only significant difference between the callbacks here and the ones in, say, Anthony and Joe Russo’s "Avengers: Infinity War," is that they’re played for laughs rather than applause. (Jake Cole, Slant Magazine)
For "Deadpool 2" to approach coherence, you must have seen "Deadpool," "Logan," and a couple of "X-Men," and maintain a working knowledge of the corporate and contractual absurdities that make Deadpool’s Marvel Universe distinct from the X-Men’s and both distinct from the Avengers’. If you’ve ever feared, watching the superhero movies, that there might be a test later, I have to warn you: This is it. (Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice)
THE SCRIPT IS VERY IMMATURE
Certainly there’s nothing moving about watching Ryan Reynolds ham it up under his red mask, nor much entertaining about "Deadpool 2" unless you’re a sex-obsessed teenage boy or someone who still finds gay jokes funny. All that "Deadpool 2" teaches us is that studios will cash in on anything they can, and that cinematic junk food – cheap and disposable, aimed at those looking for a sugar high and ease of consumption – lives on. (Hannah Woodhead, Little White Lies)
The sequel to 2016′s surprise hit – which proved that the global box office could not only stomach a comic-book character who swears and slays, but was desperate for such a bad widdle boy – is the closest Hollywood’s superhero industrial complex has come to appealing directly to the mind of a Grade 5 classroom. The violence is extreme and non-stop. The editing is perfect for those whose attention spans are taxed by a tweet. (Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail)
IT’S ALSO NOT VERY ORIGINAL
What seemed surprising, fresh and hilarious at the outset automatically breeds familiarity the second time around. That’s why "Deadpool 2" was destined for disappointment. Even the anti-superhero’s brutally funny contempt for rival Wolverine loses a bit of luster because of the anticipated punch lines. (Mara Reinstein, Us Weekly)
"Deadpool 2" is kind of like that zany guy you met at a party once. Yeah, he was fun that first time out. But when you meet him again, he’s just more of the same and that’s … boring. (Mark Daniell, Toronto Sun)
While the sequel benefits from Reynolds’ superhuman charisma as the charmingly annoying, katana-wielding protagonist, the film nevertheless feels too much like more of the same: more of the same gross-out gags, more of the same irreverent jokes, more bits where Deadpool has to regrow severed limbs to the disgust of everyone around him, more running commentary on the movie he’s in. (Jen Yamato, Los Angeles Times)
AND IT’S WAY TOO PREDICTABLE
For a film which makes a big deal out of being zany and unpredictable, everything’s very much paint-by-numbers – even the gross-out SFX and bloody fight sequences. (Hannah Woodhead, Little White Lies)
Action scene, joke, action scene, joke, action scene joke, action scene set to cheesy pop ballad, joke about said cheesy pop ballad. Director David Leitch ("John Wick") strictly adheres to this clunky formula in hopes that audiences will be too busy guffawing at the salty humor to care about the repetition. (Mara Reinstein, Us Weekly)
A film that spits one-liners as mechanically as a tennis-ball launcher is even more tediously predictable than one with no sense of humor at all. (David Edelstein, Vulture)
WORST OF ALL, IT HAS BECOME WHAT IT MOCKS
"Deadpool 2" succumbs to the same comic-book tropes that it so frequently mocked the first time out. … The fact that the film can mock the conventions of its sister X-Men movies in one breath and exploit the worst narrative crutches of comics in another (look up "Women in Refrigerators" afterward, if you want to have a really bad day) indicates the film is inherently conflicted with itself. There is an interesting superhero movie lurking in here, somewhere. (Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail)
"Deadpool 2," cracking wise at the expense of nearly every intellectual property in the DC and Marvel universes — and occasionally drawing metaphorical blood to go along with the abundant onscreen gore — uses its self-aware irreverence to perform the kind of brand extension and franchise building it pretends to lampoon. By the end, a motley band of warriors has been assembled to fight evil. Another one. Just what we needed. Those jokes about sequels lined up into the next decade aren’t really jokes, are they? (A.O. Scott, New York Times)
Screen Grab Via Just Jared
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