Is “Deadpool 2” Somehow Better Than The Original?

Matthew Loffhagen
20th Century Fox
(Photo: 20th Century Fox)

Ever since Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds had a falling out while putting together the second Deadpool film, I’ve been fascinated to see how this movie turns out.

There’s been a lot of noise generated over the past few years about “Deadpool”, and how the movie really shouldn’t have worked, but somehow got put together anyway. Against all odds, the film became a phenomenal success, and it’s hard to argue with just how much of a cultural impact it has made.

So the question has been, was this success due to the Ryan Reynolds, or Tim Miller? Was the film’s big star, or its talented director, responsible for crafting something so beloved?

Deadpool
Source: 20th Century Fox

I’d initially suspected that Tim Miller was the magic ingredient here, but it seems I may be wrong. As it turns out, a Miller-free “Deadpool 2” is winning over critics even more than the original.

Broad strokes time: “Deadpool” has earned 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 7/10. While the freshness score may seem low, it’s clear from the solid 7/10 that the majority of critics rate the film fairly highly.

While the results for “Deadpool 2” are still coming in, the movie currently has 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a score of 7.2/10.

There’s not much in it, but “Deadpool 2” seems to be winning. This I did not expect.

More Than Just a Number

I think it’s worth bearing in mind that movie sequels like this get to trade off the popularity of their first instalment. I can imagine that a lot of critics were initially hesitant about “Deadpool”, but after seeing the popularity of the first movie, they’re willing to give the sequel the benefit of the doubt.

Similarly, though, a sequel has to overcome the expectations of the original, and it’s certainly true that the hype for this movie is pretty high.

It’s not all that surprising that the movie has turned out well, considering that David Leitch of “Atomic Blonde” and “John Wick” fame has taken over in Tim Miller’s place. I’m willing to accept that this is a director who knows his stuff.

Deadpool 2 Trailer
Source: 20th Century Fox

Of course, while a lot of people are going to be making a big deal of the relative merits of both movies, I think it’s important to note that Rotten Tomatoes scores don’t actually mean a thing.

Movie studios are going to be more interested in the long-term revenue generated by both movies, and there’s no competition between the two there. Fans are going to pick their favorite based on their own preferences, and ignore anyone else’s critical opinions either way.

Ignore the Ratings

Personally, I like to categorize movies by numerical scores, because I am a nerd and I hate myself.

If you can avoid this, don’t worry too much about the critical scores for either of these movies. You probably won’t have 2% more fun at “Deadpool 2” than you did at the first movie, because these scores are ultimately meaningless.

Just be aware that people, by and large, are enjoying “Deadpool 2”, and if you liked the first movie, you’ll probably like the second as well.

But, then, if you’re reading this, you’d probably already decided to like “Deadpool 2” either way.