And, in true blockbuster fashion, Deadpool 2 saves its best wisecracks for the post-credits scene.
The primary appeal of the so-called Merc with a Mouth is that he takes playful, irreverent potshots at other superhero films: Deadpool 2 opens with voice-over narration mocking last year's Oscar-nominated X-men movie Logan, which also arrived with an R-rating, and doesn't let up for its two-hour runtime. The happy-go-lucky Marvel Cinematic Universe (including the most recent Avengers film) and the po-faced DC movies (like the Justice League) all get name-checked in a blur of quips, explosions, and familiar needle-drops.
But, like many comedians, Deadpool's best material is often self-deprecating. He dishes out meta-barbs and ironic asides at the expense of other franchises; he can also take it. In the post-credits scene, which finds the smarmy assassin using time-travel technology he steals from Josh Brolin's Cable to "fix" past wrongs, Deadpool 2 skewers two embarrassing chapters in Reynolds' own long journey to super-hero stardom. Fittingly, it shows no mercy.