GENRE: Action Comedy

CAST: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Morena Baccarin

Director: David Leitch

“Deadpool 2” begins from where the first instalment left off. Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Reynolds) returns from a “world tour ” of murdering criminals, and plans to start a family with his sweetheart (Baccarin). However, a botched raid at his apartment goes tragic, and Reynolds plunges into alcoholism.

Wilson is reunited with his old friends after a life-threatening explosion which blows his body to pieces. He is unwilling to be a hero, but one day he runs into Russell/Firefist, a teenage plus-size mutant, with whom he eventually gets incarcerated. Things get complicated with the arrival of Cable (Brolin), a soldier from the future out to get Russel, and Wilson decides to assemble a team of mutants to rescue Russell and stop the marauding Cable.

The movie, which explores friendship and conflicting morality, sees Ryan Reynolds break the fourth wall again and again in this sequel. There are pop culture references all over the place, and from Dave Matthews to Matthew McConaughey, from the DC universe to older Marvel movies, from Martin Luther King Jr to Jesus, everyone and everything gets a piece of this foul-mouthed antihero. Compared to the previous Deadpool, the jokes are more daring, more inappropriate, more weighty and a whole lot funnier. The score is suggestive too, with tracks from Celine Dion, DMX and even Enya.

Away from the hilarity, the story itself appears wanting in structure, and for a moment there’s the fear of being left with that feeling similar to what obtains in Toyin Abraham movies; funny, but lacking substance. In a few scenes, the emotions seem forced, and the motives of the main characters do not quite pack the punch: a man losing his family and going back in time, an abuse victim wanting to burn an orphanage, a trash-talking vigilante having a crisis of conscience. The fight scenes are not mind-blowing either, but the cast manages to navigate things to a fairly reasonable conclusion, with not-so-subtle hints at sexual diversity and racial tolerance.

Ultimately, “Deadpool 2” is a movie for the geeks, the comic enthusiasts, the ones given to raunchy jokes, the serial YouTube commenters, and lovers of Reddit. Those hoping for that Black Panther-esque feeling would be let down, and indeed the film does not appear to aim for the widest demographic, but it has got its target audience, and it not only fulfils its promise of being funnier than its predecessor, it trumps Guardians of the Galaxy in the ‘one-liners and witty retorts’ game.

Movie goers who struggle with appreciating pop culture references will find it hard to enjoy this movie, so they can stay away, but they won’t be missed; this one is meant to be digested selfishly, without needing to explain the humour to anyone. In essence, “Deadpool 2” is a long in-joke with very good punchlines, and if the hints in the post-credit scenes are anything to go by, Wilson may not be done yapping just yet.

Rating: 6.5/10