What The Haters Are Saying About Deadpool 2
Even though it made more than $300 million globally in its opening weekend, haters have been quick to document everything wrong with Deadpool 2. The sequel gives fans more of the same action, graphic violence, surprise cameos, and forth-wall-breaking gags that they loved in the 2016 predecessor, and it's enjoyed a mostly positive reception from critics and the general public alike.
But, as in his own comic book and cinematic world, not everyone is a fan of Wade Wilson's brand of nihilistic humor. For some, they've heard enough facts about Deadpool, seen one too many Deadpool movie posters, and aren't willing to cut the movie any slack. Some critics just have Deadpool's number, and here's what the haters are saying about Deadpool 2.
This article is SPOILER-FREE (with the exception of ONE entry that has a spoiler warning at the start).
It's Empty Of Meaning
Deadpool's brand is not taking itself too seriously, but The Tribune News Service's Katie Walsh felt that the rare serious moments fail to pack the punch they're meant to. "The whole thing feels weightless, a series of comedy sketches peppered with a few fun cameos, but there's nothing with any real physical or even emotional heft," Walsh wrote. "Even the moments between Wade and his girlfriend Vanessa feel overly affected and ironic."
The New Yorker's Richard Brody went so far as to say the film for lacks any real meaning or depth at all:
Marvel has already set the bar high for the societal implications of its myth-making, most notably with Black Panther, and Deadpool 2 makes no efforts in that direction—in fact, it does its best to efface its traces with the wider world. The movie is seemingly shot with such bright lights that no shadows can fall outside the frame, recorded so closely that its sound never echoes. Yet the hermeticism of Deadpool 2 proves remarkably symbolic nonetheless: its anti-historical, anti-psychological, anti-societal notion of solely personal responsibility and solely personal freedom is far more than an oversight—it’s an ideology.
It's Not As Subversive As It Wants You To Think It Is
One of the main tentpoles holding up the Deadpool brand is subversiveness. Not everyone thought the sequel's genre-bashing and inclusiveness was as clever or progressive as the film wanted us to think, though.
"For all the wise-ass reflexivity of Deadpool 2, for all the self-referential it’s-only-a-movie jokes, the film’s makers appear utterly unaware of its self-positioning," Richard Brody wrote for The New Yorker. "It’s as if the entire movie were a joke: a white guy, two black women, a Japanese woman, a white lesbian, a South Asian man, and a metal man go to a bar, and the white guy, who co-wrote the script, does most of the talking."
Slate's Sam Adams used this metaphor to sum up the film:
You know that uncle? Not the racist one. The one who’s always the life of the party, even when there’s no party, who has one beer too many and punches your arm just a little too hard, who’s always telling jokes even when no one laughs and takes that silence as an invitation to try even harder. That’s Deadpool 2.
It's Feels Too Corporate
Despite marketing itself as the tonic for those feeling the effects of so-called "superhero fatigue," Deadpool 2's efforts to be unruly and free from the constraints that shackle other films of the same genre didn't succeed for everyone. The New Yorker's Richard Brody wrote:
What’s ultimately most deadening about Deadpool 2, like many entries in the genre, is the burden of the money that’s riding on it, and the weight of fan service on which that money is believed to depend. The action of Deadpool 2 is, above all, in the executive suite; every detail in Deadpool 2 feels like a laboratory-and-boardroom simulacrum of the creative process. For all the impulsive flamboyance of Deadpool’s patter, the liberating power of personal virtue, and the disinhibiting promise of second chances, Deadpool 2 feels narrowly impersonal and oppressively unfree.
It's Overstuffed With References
Deadpool has been described as a "romantic" movie, and Deadpool 2 claims to be a "family" flick. At their heart, though, they're both comedies. As such, the gags come hard and fast [cue mugging to the audience at that double entendre] to the degree that they even threaten to derail to the plot of Deadpool 2.
For Phil De Semlyen of Time Out, this made for a drawn-out and tiresome end result. "It’s a long movie and when its star isn’t on screen and cracking wise, the boundary-pushing shocks and endless self-references wear thin," De Semlyen wrote.
It's Not For Newcomers
For a sequel like this, if you haven't seen the first entry, you're going to be coming into Deadpool 2 missing some key background details. Some feel that every film in a series should work as a standalone, a requisite that Time Out's Phil De Semlyen thought this follow-up didn't manage well:
If you haven’t seen the first movie, which charted how gonzo mercenary Wade Wilson became Deadpool, good luck following this equally violent and potty-mouthed sequel. With its steady stream of butt gags and CGI viscera spliced in between self-commentary and several hundred in-jokes, no film has been as unforgiving to latecomers since Alfred Hitchcock locked tardy Psycho ticket holders out of theaters when the opening credits rolled. If you’re not a fan, you may as well be living in a cave.
The Plot Is Incoherent
No-one walks into a Deadpool movie expecting a highly-cerebral plotline. We're just here for Wolverine insults and Ryan Reynolds roasting his past career mistakes. But, that doesn't mean the story isn't important, and for some critics, the plot didn't amount to much. "I got confused and then bored," Matthew Bond wrote for The Daily Mail.
Slate's Sam Adams agreed, writing, "The movie feels patched together from scraps, including some sentimental interludes that seem designed to give it 'heart' but merely come off as insincere." Tribune News Service's Katie Walsh criticized the film for ignoring basic storytelling in favor of ultra-violent distractions:
Deadpool doesn't assemble his team until almost an hour into the film. The main villain's motivation isn't articulated until an hour and 20 minutes. Until then, it's just a chaotic mess of bland fights and sarcastic one-liners.