The “merc with a mouth” is back and determined to prove that his 2016 box office hit Deadpool was no fluke. Deadpool 2 does not attempt to move to superhero genre forward, but rather solidifies the unique niche the franchise has carved out.

The original film wanted to be a scathing satire of superhero films while being a traditional superhero film itself, Deadpool 2 is much more comfortable in its own shoes. It does not pretend it is above the tropes of the genre, instead it embraces the clunky aspects of superhero blockbusters, lazy plot points and all.

The film finds Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), better known as the foul-mouth mercenary Deadpool, dealing with personal loss. After crossing paths with a troubled young mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison), Wilson assembles a team of heroes, including the perpetually lucky Domino (Zazie Beetz), to protect the boy from the time-travelling mutant known as Cable (Josh Brolin). Filled with grief, and the knowledge of the vicious man that the boy will become, Cable believes that killing Russell is the only way to fix the future.

Taking over the reigns from Tim Miller, director David Leitch does a good job of keeping the R-rated action moving at a decent pace. As with most blockbuster sequels, Deadpool 2 follows the more is more strategy. This means ratcheting up the number of meta jokes and fourth wall breaking moments. Wilson constantly walks a fine line between wanting to be a progressive and inclusive hero, and a guy who revels in crude juvenile humour.

The film also ups the number of characters that Wilson interacts with. Characters such as Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) and Dopinder (Karan Soni) are all back, while audiences are introduced to third tier mutants like Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Bedlam (Terry Crew) and Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna). Individuals like Domino are a welcome edition to the franchise, Beetz is great in the role, but the franchise still has a long way to go in giving its female characters more depth. The film sacrifices the character development of Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Domino in favour of increasing the frat boy humour, which is perplexing considering the large legion of female fans the comics have amassed over the years.

An improvement on its predecessor, Deadpool 2 offers plenty of laughs, and a few well-placed cameos, however, due to the fast rate at which they come, a good chunk of the jokes will not linger in the mind long. Regardless, those who enjoyed the original film will have fun with this one as well.

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