deadpool 2 (David Leitch) does its best to recapture lightning in a bottle, as Ryan Reynolds slips back into the redand-black bodysuit of Marvel’s wisecracking antihero, an assassin with the mutant ability to jump around really fast, heal from any wound and break the fourth wall. But new director Leitch (Atomic Blonde, the John Wick series) just isn’t as comfortable with comedy as this project needs him to be, which leads to long stretches where Deadpool 2 plays like a conventional superhero picture with too many secondary characters and an over-complicated plot. (One exceptionally structured set piece – a multi-vehicle jailbreak through a barely disguised Vancouver – could slot into any Marvel movie, which is kind of the problem.) Reynolds continues to delight – and, in the film’s more emotionally grounded moments, to surprise – and the new supporting players are perfectly cast: Atlanta’s Zazie Beetz is the snappy Domino; Josh “Thanos” Brolin is curt cyborg soldier Cable; and Hunt For The Wilderpeople’s Julian Dennison plays a young mutant with fiery anger issues. They’re all great; it’s the movie around them that comes up short. 119 min. NNN (Norman Wilner)
Ryan Reynolds will say anything in Deadpool 2.