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Marvel’s latest release ‘Deadpool 2’ is not just taking over the International market but is ruling over the Indian audience as well. Obviously, actor Karan Soni is one reason that people can’t resist to watch the superhero flick but there is one more reason. Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool 2 has a strong Shah Rukh Khan connection. Do you remember in the introductory scene of Deadpool (2016), we find Wade Wilson and Ryan Reynolds fidgeting on the back seat of a cab with the Hindi song ‘Mera Joota Hai Japani’ from Mera Naam Joker (1970) playing in the stereo? Well, this time Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Yun Hi Chala Chal Raahi’ from Swades plays in the movie.

art of the Marvel Comics universe, but proudly sitting outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe, 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool sequel offers a continuation of the first’s cheeky fourth-wall breaking and edgy, look-at-me violence. For those who need catching up, Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is a burns victim with a bad attitude and worse jokes whose superpower is superfast healing, rendering him basically indestructible. A personal tragedy involving his girlfriend (who, in a juvenile romantic gesture, presents him with her IUD in a box) puts him on a redemption arc. Teaming up with cyborg time-traveller Cable (Josh Brolin) and lucky charm Domino (Zazie Beetz) among others, Deadpool’s team sets out to protect firestarter Russell (Kiwi actor Julian Dennison), a teen mutant of the X-Men variety.

The sentimental core of Deadpool remains intact for Deadpool 2, and is even enhanced in ways I didn’t expect. The sequel eagerly wants its audiences to care about Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), the contract killer who had a grudge to settle in his debut film. And so, for reasons I can’t reveal without sharing a juicy spoiler, our hero finds himself in a spot where he has lost a lot and needs to find new reasons to continue living. Reuniting with Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Deadpool discovers that purpose when he encounters Russell (Julian Dennison), a hot-headed teenage mutant who claims he’s being abused by the leader (Eddie Marsan) of an anti-mutant program.

That’s the least of Russell’s problems. Unbeknownst to both Russell AND Deadpool, the kid also is the target of a lethal hunter named Cable (Josh Brolin), who has traveled from the future to eliminate Russell because this very powerful mutant becomes the cause of too much pain and suffering in Cable’s time. Yep, Deadpool 2blatantly rips from Terminator, sending a virtually unstoppable killing machine back in time to remove a future threat before the kid is able to make his first kill, and realize how much he likes it.

The amount of story trying to be told in Deadpool 2 slows the film’s pace ever so slightly in the first act, as screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick set the table with a lot of plot points that asked to be explored. Wade (Ryan Reynolds), Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), Dopinder (Karan Soni), Weasel (TJ Miller), Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) and the X-Men get valuable face time as the movie also tries to establish Russell’s plight and Cable’s motivations, all while slinging hysterical lines about heroes with moms named “Martha.”

The plot streamlines, however, once Deadpool 2 establishes why Deadpool and Cable are at odds, prompting Wade to put together his own super team in the form of X-Force. It’s here that we are introduced to the two standouts of Deadpool 2: Domino (Zazie Beetz), a lithe mutant fighter whose incredible superpower is luck; and Peter (Rob Delaney), a powerless suburban dweeb who happened to read Deadpool’s recruitment ad and thought joining a team would be fun.

One crucial change happened behind the scenes on Deadpool 2. Director Tim Miller left the sequel due to creative differences, with John Wick helmer David Leitch stepping in as a replacement. This ups the ante on all of Deadpool’s action and fight sequences (Leitch also did Atomic Blonde), to the point where the film’s entire second act is basically one long action set piece that involves sky diving, stunt driving, fights on and around high-speed trucks, and the introduction of a classic comic villain. No spoilers.

The beauty of Deadpool 2, though, is that the success of the first movie has removed any shackles from Ryan Reynolds and his co-writers, encouraging them to confidently unleash the full force of this wise-cracking gnat of a superhero who admittedly fights “dirty” in order to do what he thinks is right. Because they know the idea works, Team Deadpool is able to push all the envelopes forward — on meta jokes, on mutant mutilation — because the line of acceptance has moved. We think we know what to expect. Reynolds thinks he knows what we expect. So they give us the unexpected, and it works very well.

Part of me wants to see Deadpool 2 a second time before finalizing a grade. Scenes that elicit laughs for their shock value will lose impact, but I can’t tell if that will hurt the overall experience of this deeply satisfying sequel. As it stands, Deadpool 2 is an outrageous, surprising, hysterical, emotional, vulgar, creative and uproarious summer blockbuster that fans of this genre — and of comedy, in general — will devour.

 

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