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Another summer, another onslaught of comic book movies. This year, we're spared the misery of another of Warner's DC Comic movies, so we get two Marvel movies (including the recently-released Infinity War and the soon-to-be-released Ant Man and the Wasp), and we get a sequel to Fox's Deadpool. The first Deadpool was pretty great, even though it wasn't as groundbreaking as it seemed to think it was. Nevertheless, it was thoroughly entertaining, and the sequel follows suit.

I do think that the first movie's humor is executed much better though, as the sequel frequently fell flat for me. That isn't for lack of trying though. Deadpool 2 almost tries too hard. The jokes come fast and relentless. A lot of them fall flat, but the volume of attempts is so high that the audience the audience is chuckling or laughing every couple minutes. It's almost a "Barney Stinson" approach to joke-telling: if you tell enough, at least some of them will work. Then again, it might also be different jokes for different people.

I rarely ever found myself laughing out loud during this movie. I laughed out loud to a few jokes in the first movie, but hardly anything in this one. It was a lot more quietly chuckling to myself or nodding along that "Ah, I get it". At least there weren't quite as many contemporary pop culture references this time around (which means this movie will probably age better than the first one will), as more of the jokes were at the expense of comic book movies and comic books in general. Since I didn't read X-Men too extensively, a lot of it probably just went over my head.

I only found myself laughing at a small fraction of the jokes, including the extended X-Force gag.

Again, Deadpool takes a lot of shots at the studio, complaining once again about the lower budget of the movie and the lack of any recognizable X-Men. He asks if Cable is from the DC Universe because Cable is so dark and brooding, and he takes several other shots at Batman v Superman and Justice League. He also takes a couple shots at Marvel Studios, including referring to Cable as Thanos.

Is the crappy quality of the CGI villain intentional? Is that supposed to be a joke? If so, does that justify the dated CG that was used?

Cable and Deadpool play off each other really well.

It's hard to tell if other signs of uninspired writing are deliberate jokes, or just examples of uninspired writing, especially since Deadpool quips once or twice about the movie's lazy writing. For example, does it really make sense that Deadpool and Cable are trying to stop Firefist from going on a killing spree, even though Deadpool and Cable kill literally everyone in their path to do so? Wouldn't that just reinforce in Firefist's mind that killing is acceptable?

[Show Major Spoilers] [Hide Major Spoilers]

Also, why would Cable use his only time-travel charge to potentially undo the fixes he made to the timeline? If Deadpool doesn't die, then will Firefist still see it as a sacrifice? Worse yet, what if he bungles the execution and fails in the task that he already succeeded at? Cable is so single-mindedly focused on his purpose that it just seems like a complete cop-out for him to go back and undo Deadpool's death. Heck, why not go back further and stop Deadpool from getting his entire X-Force team killed? Or stop himself from attacking the prison (and accidentally unleashing Juggernaut) to begin with?

Deadpool jokes about the crappy CG fight that happens at the end.

In fact, earlier in the movie, hadn't they made a point about how he doesn't have full control over exactly when he ends up whenever he jumps? That's part of why he couldn't go back to kill Firefist as an infant. Ah well, Deadpool writes that off as lazy writing, so I guess we're supposed to just accept it as part of the movie's meta-humor. I just don't want to fall down the trap of thinking that poor script-writing is a deliberate joke; I don't want to give studios that as a viable excuse.

End of Major Spoilers

With a point this time

What does separate this movie from the first is that even though it's script seems a bit clumsier, the movie seems a lot more earnest and sincere, even though it seems to try a lot harder to throw in jokes as often as it can. The script isn't bad, it just isn't as focused and well-thought-out as the first movie. The actual message of the movie is much more on-point and appropriate to the general X-Men mythos this time around, and the dichotomy between Deadpool and Cable plays out really well. The supporting cast is pretty good too, especially Zazie Beetz as Domino who's very existence is pretty much a running gag throughout the second half of the movie. Yukio and Deadpool's cutesy little wave is also the kind of thing that could get annoying and grating, but her and Deadpool pull it off every time, and it never got old.

The supporting cast is excellent, but Zazie Beetz surprisingly steals the show as Domino

The whole joke surrounding the X-Force team (including Vanisher and Peter and his mustache) is very well-conceived and executed, and is probably the highlight of the entire movie, especially when viewed as a satirical take-down of other half-baked ensemble team-up movies like Suicide Squad. The mid-credits scene is also pretty hilarious.

There's a lot of unexpected surprises in this one, but it just doesn't feel quite as bold as the first movie was.

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