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Front Page - Friday, May 25, 2018

Critic's Corner: Go ahead, dive into the deep end of ‘Deadpool 2’

Having seen “Deadpool 2,” I can confirm that it is indeed a thing. I can also inform you that you can buy a ticket to see it. Beyond that, I’m at a loss as to what to write about it.

Maybe that “Deadpool 2” is a superhero film based on Marvel Comics’ Deadpool character, a mercenary turned antihero with accelerated healing and enhanced physical strength and agility. (See “Deadpool” for why. It’s complicated.)

Deadpool also has what seems to be a superhuman ability to crack long strings of irreverent and crude jokes while he’s violently and very bloodily sending his enemies to the hereafter. He also likes to break the fourth wall.

Actually, in “Deadpool 2,” he cracks a lot of crude and irreverent jokes while showering the screen with gore and shatters the fourth wall time and time again. And darned if I didn’t laugh nearly every time.

There’s another side to the “Deadpool” films, though, including the second one. In addition to being cheeky, these movies have a heart. It’s buried deeper than the one in a Hallmark movie and it takes more work to find, but it’s there.

In the first film, the heart was found in Deadpool’s struggle with loss and his efforts to reach out to his girlfriend after he’s disfigured. In the sequel, it’s his determination to save a confused, disillusioned young mutant who’s destined to become a psychopathic killer.

We know this because a tough guy named Cable (played with heaping spoonfuls of grit by James Brolin) comes from the future to kill the kid before he turns evil. His reasons for doing this are personal. Cable and Deadpool lock horns over the boy and will stop at nothing to stop each other.

At a certain point, though, Cable and Deadpool team up, even though their goals don’t change. One of the things about “Deadpool 2” that sets it apart from every other superhero film is that there aren’t any clearly defined villains or heroes.

The point, I think, is that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, but what you do now and what you become.

That’s a lot of schmaltz for an R-rated adult action pic, and if I said it within earshot of Deadpool, he’d smack it down and insult me to boot, but I’m right.

I also believe that “Deadpool 2” contains a very human message about inclusiveness and embracing our differences.

The kid, known as Firefist, has suffered a history of abuse because of his mutation, and he feels like a freak. All this fuels his emerging dark side. Deadpool, though, who truly is an oddity, hopes to connect with the kid and save him from himself.

Yes, I can hear the slurs Deadpool would sling in my direction for saying these things, but see the movie and then tell me I’m wrong.

One thing I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with is that “Deadpool 2” offers some wild, over-the-top but brilliantly choreographed action.

Although the film’s CGI is a bit dodgy and even looks cheap in places, I had a lot of fun watching Domino, a superhero whose ability is luck, team up with Deadpool to rescue Firefist from a prison convoy.

Director Tim Miller saves the best for last, though, in a scene in which Deadpool and Cable team up to get to the kid. The ways in which they dispatch one bad guy after another earned a lot of cheers from the audience in the packed screening I attended.

Despite all of that, the film’s biggest pleasure is Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. Somehow, his personality and sense of humor rise through the prosthetics and the mask to make him one of Marvel’s more fun and engaging characters.

OK, Deadpool might let that bit of effusive praise slide. So, while I’m in his good graces, I will say that if you didn’t like the first “Deadpool,” or if you avoided it because it didn’t sound like your cup of tea, you’re probably going to have the same reaction to the sequel.

But if you don’t mind watching a movie that’s gleefully self-aware and ridiculous in every sense of the word, but also thoughtful and sincere, check it out.