Deadpool 2: What the critics are saying

Walking into Deadpool 2, like any sequel that follows an out-of-this-world original, can be daunting. Fans wonder if the characters will be just as fresh and fun the second time around, if another story will be equally as funny, and, in the case of Deadpool 2, if Ryan Reynolds' leather-clad anti-hero will be as raunchy and rambunctious as everyone remembers. While the public won't be able to settle their busy minds by catching Deadpool 2 in theaters until May 18, critics have rolled out their official reviews of the film, giving fans an idea of how the sequel lives up to the original's action and adventure.

The consensus? It does that and more. 

Critical response to Deadpool 2 has been largely positive, with only a handful of reviewers (so far, at least) holding off on blind praise due to some less-than-ideal portrayals of supporting characters and dashes of a franchise-building feel throughout (in order to set up X-Forceof course). Apart from that, critics have applauded Deadpool 2 as blowing the first film out of the water, subverting the tropes associated with both cinematic superheroes and superhero sequels and keenly blending together humor and heart. 

John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter was one critic who argued the second coming of Deadpool is, in many ways, better than his inaugural arrival: "Deadpool 2 is, if less of a surprise than its predecessor, just as funny; if it's less sexy, that doesn't mean you're not going to get to see the protagonist walking around with no pants … There's action aplenty throughout the film, but Deadpool 2 doesn't bog down in it as many overcooked comic-book sequels do. With Reynolds' charismatic irreverence at its core, the pic moves from bloody mayhem to lewd comedy and back fluidly, occasionally even making room to go warm and mushy."

IndieWire critic Kate Erbland wrote that all the "subversive goodness" of the first Deadpool is "on wild display in Deadpool 2, which delivers on the promise of the first film (and more)." However, she also noted that the sequel does have some issues — namely a "frenetic, uneven pace" that sees the movie's first act "hopscotching through at least four different set-ups that could spawn its own full-length feature" — but was impressed by the time Zazie Beetz's Domino, Josh Brolin's Cable, and Julian Dennison's Russell showed up on screen. One of the best parts of Deadpool 2 for Erbland? The "bonkers" mid-credits scene, "one littered with references and cameos and callbacks that also, gasp, genuinely impacts (and maybe even forever changes) the entire movie that played before it."

Rolling Stone's Peter Travers handed the film three and a half out of four stars, giving it his stamp of approval in saying, "Deadpool 2 throws everything it has at you until you throw your arms up in happy surrender. Like its predecessor, the sequel is a grab-bag of humor, sorrow, sensation, and silliness. None of it should work — but it does like gangbusters, creating a sequel that will blow you away with nonstop action and hardcore haha. It's a summer movie that trips over itself in a mad-crazy dash to make us laugh till it hurts. That's what kind of f***sicle this is." 

Steve Rose of The Guardian kept his praise close to his chest, pointing out that Deadpool 2 hits all the right notes in terms of belly-rumbling laughs, but often leans on the dangerous crutch of ethnic stereotypes. "The movie's other major weakness is its continued foregrounding of the white guys at the expense of the consciously inclusive cast around them," Rose wrote. "Worst of all is Karan Soni's taxi driver Dopinder, a weedy, emasculated Indian stereotype whose superhero aspirations make him the beta-male butt of the joke." Still, though, Rose handed Deadpool 2 three out of five stars and lifted the sequel up overall: "What made the first Deadpool, and saves this one, is the way they mix emotional sincerity in with the meta-movie wisecracking."

Uproxx senior editor Vince Mancini had a good amount of love for Deadpool 2, writing that it's "obnoxious," "needlessly self-aware," "drunk on its own fairly tame naughtiness," and "so stuffed full of unrelated pop culture references that it sort of feels like a meme shirt come to life" — in the very best way. He noted that the film is also refreshing and "has something its main competitors at Marvel lack: a sense of play." Mancini, who admitted he was lukewarm on the first Deadpool, concluded that the sequel "revels in the small victories, in simply feeling like it was written by dorks and not an algorithm," and acts as the "perfect counter-programming for Infinity War."

Deadpool fans can decide how they feel about the hotly anticipated sequel when it opens wide on May 18.