Deadpool 2

Deadpool 23

You may come for the action, I’m in for the decidedly punchy jokes and, now don’t freak out, the surprisingly pungent emotion. Yup. This superhero spoof is laugh out loud funny, blows a whole lot of stuff up and is full of heart. Go figure.

Ryan Reynolds returns as the irreverent mercenary, out not just to revenge the, never mind, I’m not going to tell you, but it’s the kind of stuff that gets a guy out for, well, revenge. He and a maybe formidable team take on the mysterious super-brutal Cable, played by Josh Brolin, who’s having the happiest onscreen summer playing bad guys. And, in so doing, Wade/Deadpool not only saves the world, but he makes friends and finds his own reason for living.

The original film introduced us to the guy whose arch sense of humor almost balanced out his tragic mutant transition and supernatural strengths. He was fun to hang out with. Now, even more fleshed out by writers Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Reynolds himself, this comic book hero feels even more real and even more relatable. Maybe not all of us can battle Ninjas, but who doesn’t want to sabre slash with our irresistible wit? Most of the humor here works, there’s even a few standout, truly dandy bits. But the soul, don’t worry, it’s contained, makes this superhero spin just as alive as any of the trademark sass.

Yes, the action does sag a bit, but the cast is game and winning. It’s especially nice to see Atlanta’s Zazie Beetz take the rather standard role of Domino and bring an honest star quality to it. Even when you aren’t supposed to be watching her, you do. To stand out in this very crowded field is no easy feat: Beetz does it, seemingly not even breaking a sweat. How cool is that?