E for effort: 'Deadpool 2' avoids sequel-itis

Ryan Reynolds stars as Deadpool in Twentieth Century Fox’s "DEADPOOL 2." (Twentieth Century Fox)

"Deadpool 2"
3.5 out of 5 Stars
David Leitch
Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds, Rob Liefeld (characters), Fabian Nicieza (characters)
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin
Genre: Action, comedy
Rated: R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual references and brief drug material

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) - Synopsis: When a soldier from the future travels back in time to kill the mutant responsible for the death of his family, Deadpool discovers his maternal instinct and vows to protect the young man come hell or high water.

Review: Once upon a time, Twentieth Century Fox didn't think much of Deadpool. It completely botched the character in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and was more than a little reluctant to give the wisecracking mutant a film of his own. Were it not for the persistence of Ryan Reynolds and the support of Deadpool's fans, Fox would have never made 2016's "Deadpool." It also wouldn't have made $783 million at the worldwide box office.

Considering the success of the original film, "Deadpool 2" was inevitable. Whereas the first film had something to prove, the sequel loses the chip from its shoulder and substitutes it with a more jovial approach. It's still vulgar, violent and an oddity when compared to the majority of other comic book films, but like "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" it suffers from a sense of familiarity. I wouldn't go as far as to say that "Deadpool 2" is formulaic, but it does feel more predictable.

Julian Dennison, who impressed in Taika Waititi's "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" stars as Russell, the teen who is targeted by Cable (Josh Brolin), a time-traveling soldier who comes to the past to protect his family in the future.

To save the boy, Deadpool recruits a team of oddballs and outcasts including Domino (Zazie Beetz), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard), Bedlam (Terry Crews) and Peter (Rob Delaney). Beetz's performance is nothing short of fantastic as Domino gives the film a certain swagger and manages to out-sass Deadpool. We also see the return of Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and cabdriver Dopinder (Karan Soni). Colossus and Dopinder get plenty of scenes, but Negasonic Teenage Warhead feels underutilized.

The film feels somewhat confined as it relies on, rather that rallies against, genre tropes. There are a few surprises, particularly when it comes to a few cameos, and enough laughs to keep most audiences distracted, but it just doesn't feel as reckless as I had hoped it would be.

"Deadpool 2" is a good, but not revolutionary film. The jokes just aren't as sharp the second time around. Fans will still eat it up like it's Taco Tuesday, but I don't see the movie being the massive cultural touchstone that the original was.