Deadpool (2016) was an unpredictable, riotous origin story about a man whose face looked “like an avocado had sex with an older avocado”. Wade Wilson, also known as Deadpool is back in the “superzero” film with Ryan Reynolds being all about breaking the fourth wall.
Before getting into the sequel, a quick refresher: In part one, Wade Wilson, a former special operations agent, becomes the subject of inhuman experiments at the hands of Ajax/ Francis (Ed Skrein), which lead to complete disfiguration. Wade decides to exact revenge.
The sequel sets up events through a flashback. We dash back and forth in time for a while before settling in the present. In the past, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and Wade are contemplating starting a family, but domestic bliss and being a Marvel superhero are hardly compatible. In the present, Wade is protecting a mutant called Russell or Firefist (Julian Dennison) from a reformist headmaster, vicious prison-mates and a time-travelling super-soldier called named (Josh Brolin).
In order to save Russell from Cable, Wade decides to build his own army. Called the X-Force, the raggedy team consists of bargain-basement mutants – Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard), Bedlam (Terry Crews), Domino (Zazie Beetz) and a chap called Peter (Rob Delaney) who has no powers but responded to the advertisement. There’s also Vanisher, an invisible man who has blink-and-miss visibility to reveal a delicious cameo by a mega Hollywood star.
Besides a host of new characters, there are Deadpool regulars: Dopinder (Karan Soni), the taxi driver who dreams of becoming an assassin, bar owner Weasel (TJ Miller) and Blind Al (Leslie Uggams). Then there are a host of X-Men including Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, plus several cheeky cameos and many references to Wolverine.
David Leitch (John Wick) directs a screenplay written by Reynolds, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Leitch shows his skills strongly in the action scenes, but the script itself is a bit chaotic. The opening credits send up the Bond movies and are set to a Celine Dion track. The soundtrack is a mix of 1980s hits, featuring new tracks and artists from Air Supply to Dolly Parton. In Deadpool, the radio in Dopinder’s cab was playing Mera Joota Hai Japani from Shree 420 (1955). In Deadpool 2, it’s Yun Hi Chala Chal Rahi from Swades (2004).
Reynolds misses no opportunity to plug his country of origin, Canada, and apologise for the disastrous 2011 Green Lantern adaptation, in which he starred. At one point Wade snaps at Cable saying, “Zip it, Thanos”, referencing Brolin’s recent role in the blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War. There are many more such meta-moments, making this movie a fanboy’s playground (especially one of the scenes embedded in the end credits).
Deadpool is a trash talker, but the brash attitude and incessant chatter are the balm that Wade spreads over his pain. His jibber-jabber gets tiresome after a while, however, and irreverent, subversive and shocking humour is funny only upto a point. After which, the grand action scenes aside, it feels like a pattern: Offend. Kill. Make an inside Marvel joke. Repeat.