‘Deadpool’ returned in full, profane force

Zazie Beetz, Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin (from left) in “Deadpool 2”

It’s no wonder that the character Deadpool wasn’t part of the all-star gatherings of Marvel’s Avengers. For one thing, he’s much more antihero than hero, even though the Avengers-embraced Guardians of the Galaxy also have taken shots at their own genre.

Additionally, Deadpool’s sense of humor often borders on the gross and/or gory, if it doesn’t plunge right into that. That’s even more the case with “Deadpool 2” (Sunday and Monday, Oct 18 and 19, on FX), which lets Ryan Reynolds — who also co-wrote the script — throw caution to the wind with even more abandon than in the hugely profitable first edition.

Now the leader of a band of younger super-powered warriors who are unique in their own ways, the smart-alecky Deadpool finds himself cast in the role of reluctant protector when one youthful mutant needs his help against an enemy played by Josh Brolin (who, combined with his work in “Avengers: Infinity War,” made Marvel sort of a second career for himself).

That’s the linear plot of “Deadpool 2,” but a lot of the movie plays as relatively disjointed jokes and scenes that originally were intent on pushing the picture’s “R” rating as far as it could go. For this material, that’s OK, but the result would be better overall if the parts were more connected.

Still, Reynolds clearly has a lot of fun with the title role … which absolutely requires the right actor for it to be successful. The audience is brought in with direct-to-them comments and knowing winks, and not every performer is necessarily fluid enough to make that style work.

Reynolds is, and his technique is better matched to the borderline wackiness here than it was in his by-the-book turn representing that “other” superhero-comic brand in “Green Lantern.” (To his personal benefit, though, that project brought him a then-future wife in co-star Blake Lively.) Other films such as “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” also have confirmed that the looser Reynolds can be on screen, the better the overall effect.

With “Deadpool 2,” Deadpool remains just as profane and violent as he wants to be — and as the many fans he has likely want him to be, too. And while the success of the first two editions would seem to make a third a no-brainer, time (and the former 20th Century Fox’s current ownership by Disney) will tell if a “Deadpool 3” happens.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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