Reynolds as­cends a few steps in comic high dive

Orlando Sentinel - - CALENDAR -

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 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?

20TH CEN­TURY FOX

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

MPAA rat­ing: R (for strong vi­o­lence and lan­guage through­out, sexual ref­er­ences and brief drug ma­te­rial)

Run­ning time: 1:59

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