For those keeping score at home, it now stands at Deadpool - 2, all other super-hero movies - 0. The vulgar, hilariously politically-incorrect, mutant mercenary Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) returns in "Deadpool 2," the follow-up to what is the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all-time. Somehow, someway, Reynolds and new director David Leitch ("Atomic Blonde") are able to re-create and even build on the balls-to-the-wall comedic attitude that made the first film such a huge success. It's self-referential and meta, pulls no punches, is equally offensive to everything and everyone and holds every other super-hero movie in contempt. As a parody, it has clear targets and has something to say. As a comedy, it's among the funniest films of the year.
This time around, the plot involves Deadpool getting tangled up with a young mutant, Russell (Julian Dennison, the boy from the scarcely-seen "Hunt for the Wilderpeople"), and a bad-ass soldier from the future, Cable (go-to Marvel Universe villain, Josh Brolin, who also plays Thanos in "The Avengers: Infinity War"). Deadpool tries forming his own super-hero team, X-Force, with shocking results. Reynolds is perfect in the role, and his supporting ensemble (from T.J. Miller, to Morena Baccarin, to Terry Crews) all add to the fun. And stay around for the end credits for not one, but two stinger scenes that - if taken as canon - could change everything.
There simply isn't anything else like the Deadpool movies these days. It's comedic tone lands somewhere between that of the Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker films of the 70s and 80s ("Airplane!" or "The Naked Gun") and "Austin Powers." To criticize the film at all, many of the jokes are topical, meaning that re-watching "Deadpool 2" in 10 or 20 years probably will be confusing...this movie isn't going to age well. However, it's the perfect movie at this particular time. There's no need to spoil the comedy here, but just go in with a thick skin because its no-holds-barred, and the gross-out factor is through the roof, in the best of ways.
If you enjoyed the first "Deadpool," you will most likely love the second one. It's the anti-super-hero movie in the Comic Book Movie Age, and it thumbs its nose at everything the genre has held to be sacred over the past decade. It's the movie we need right now. Deadpool may not be the hero we want, but he is the hero we need.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy. Run Time: 1 hour and 59 minutes.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, T.J. MIller, Terry Crews, Julian Dennison
Directed by Ron Howard ("Inferno," "Rush," "The Da Vinci Code," "Cinderella Man," "Apollo 13," "Backdraft," "Willow," "Cocoon").