Reynolds as­cends a few steps in comic high dive

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - Broward - - MOVIES - By Michael Phillips

“Dead­pool 2” is just like “Dead­pool” only more so. It’s ac­tu­ally a fair bit bet­ter — fun­nier, more in­ven­tive than the 2016 smash (which made $783 mil­lion world­wide, on a sen­si­ble $58 mil­lion pro­duc­tion bud­get), and more con­sis­tent in its cho­sen tone and style: ul­tra­vi­o­lent screw­ball com­edy.

The movie of­fers a brac­ing cor­rec­tive to the Marvel traf­fic man­age­ment smash of the mo­ment, “Avengers: Infinity War,” which has sent mil­lions of pre­teens into a col­lec­tive, low-grade cloud of fa­tal­ism while prov­ing to kids and adults, once again, that a su­per­hero movie doesn’t need rhythm or even in­ter­est­ing ac­tion scenes to ful­fill its cor­po­rate di­rec­tive. “Dead­pool 2” isn’t for your kids, at least those un­der 14 or 15. It’s for the jaded, ar­rested-de­vel­op­ment ado­les­cent lurk­ing in­side your adult self.

Let’s be re­al­is­tic. If “Infinity War” didn’t find ways to plea­sure a large per­cent­age of its fan base, while tak­ing pre-or­ders for the con­clu­sion of the long, long war in ques­tion next May, it wouldn’t be the boss of the in­ter­ga­lac­tic box of­fice. Still. The stakes are grat­i­fy­ingly lower in Dead­pool’s uni­verse, although (Para­dox 1) the hu­man stakes ac­tu­ally count for some­thing. The theme of cre­at­ing an ad hoc fam­ily to call your own is al­ter­nately cham­pi­oned, un­der­mined and then, wryly, cham­pi­oned again.

There’s no infinity any­thing in “Dead­pool 2” ex­cept an in­fi­nite num­ber of mul­ti­di­rec­tion­ally of­fen­sive throw­away jokes. On the other hand (Para­dox 2): Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wil­son, aka Dead­pool, whose su­per­hu­manly MPAA rat­ing: R (for strong vi­o­lence and lan­guage through­out, sexual ref­er­ences and brief drug ma­te­rial) Run­ning time: 1:59 Opens: Thurs­day evening re­silient heal­ing prop­er­ties and fight­ing skills are matched only by the speed of his ban­ter, goes out of his way to com­pare the sus­pi­ciously sim­i­lar melody lines of “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” from “Yentl” and “Do You Want to Build a Snow­man?” from “Frozen.” Noth­ing of­fen­sive there. Just good, solid am­a­teur mu­si­col­ogy, in be­tween dis­mem­ber­ments.

Reynolds, one of three cred­ited writ­ers, took more cre­ative con­trol with this se­quel. That may sound like trou­ble, but the in­nate self-ef­face­ment built into the ac­tor’s breezy mo­tor­mouth skill set ap­par­ently kept his bet­ter in­stincts at the fore.

At the urg­ing of his beloved Vanessa (Morena Bac­carin), with whom things are get­ting se­ri­ous at the out­set of “Dead­pool 2,” Dead­pool is emo­tion­ally black­mailed into serv­ing as guardian of or­phaned teenage mu­tant Rus­sell (Ju­lian Den­ni­son). He’s be­ing hunted by Cable (Josh Brolin, Marvel’s cur­rent an­tag­o­nist of choice), a cy­borg from the fu­ture and a tough ad­ver­sary. Dead­pool re­sponds by as­sem­bling a band of broth­ers and sisters, in­clud­ing Colos­sus (Ste­fan Kapi­cic), Bed­lam (Terry Crews), Shat­ter­star (Lewis Tan), Zeit­geist (Bill Skars­gard) and a stun­ningly or­di­nary fel­low named Peter (Rob De­laney).

There are oth­ers, among them the wel­come re­turn of Blind Al (Les­lie Uggams), Dead­pool’s tetchy neigh­bor, and the cab­bie Dopin­der (Karan Soni), yearn­ing for adventure. But we’re for­get­ting the best of the bunch. Domino, por­trayed by a daz­zlingly as­sured Zazie Beetz, is blessed with the charm­ing su­per­power of ex­cel­lent luck, which keeps her out of se­ri­ous trou­ble and opens up a whole new di­men­sion of vis­ual comic pos­si­bil­i­ties. Best known for “At­lanta,” Beetz needs about 90 sec­onds of screen time to get the au­di­ence won­der­ing: When does she get her own movie? Michael Phillips is a Tri­bune critic.

20TH CEN­TURY FOX

Ryan Reynolds re­turns as Wade Wil­son, aka Dead­pool, a man of heal­ing pow­ers and speedy ban­ter in “Dead­pool 2.”

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