DEADPOOL 2: Movie sequels embrace what I call the “tried and true syndrome” believing that if a plot formula worked once then it’s bound to work again. This second installment showcasing Marvel’s regenerating anti-superhero (Ryan Reynolds) retains a lot of the edgy, self-referential humor of its’ predecessor while staying true to its over the top comic book origin. I have to hand it to a film that not only skews the Wolverine storyline from LOGAN (2017) but also is audacious enough to “borrow” it for its own use with a screenplay that has a mutant adult out to save a mutant child (Julian Dennison) from the clutches of a time traveler played by Josh Brolin (See CLOSING CREDITS.) who’s become Marvel’s franchise villain of the moment. There are some extremely clever sequences throughout the mayhem like the opening credits parodying those of the James Bond movies as well as the assembling of a rescue team where most of the members die. Not all of the gags register and Brolin’s Cable character retains a sort of quizzical expression through the final half-hour that appears to be saying, “Okay…am I supposed to be bad or good here? Someone help me out here”. But just when you think the work might cross the line of taking itself a tad seriously, a well-timed verbal witticism is fired to get the tone back on track. The musical soundtrack serves the movie well which is buoyed again by Reynolds’ (THE PROPOSAL) charismatically sardonic performance in a role that fits him like the proverbial glove. A common thread among Marvel flicks is an overriding sense of fun even when the backdrop is a civil war or the demise of some of its’ players. Put the title character down as the most iconoclastic and irreverent superhero whose refusal to take himself or anything else seriously manages to overcome a decided plot shortage. CRITIC’S GRADE: B

CLOSING CREDITS: Here are some other good movies starring Josh Brolin – MIMIC (1997), THE DEAD GIRL (2006), AMERICAN GANGSTER (2007), IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH (2007), NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007), GRINDHOUSE (2007), MILK (2008)*, WOMEN IN TROUBLE (2009), TRUE GRIT (2010), YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER (2010), MEN IN BLACK 3 (2012), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014), INHERENT VICE (2014), SICARIO (2015), HAIL, CAESAR! (2016), AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (2018)

*Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor