• by Wes Singleton

Deadpool 2, B

Rated R, 120 minutes

The most unconventional of Marvel superheroes, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), returns raunchier and bloodier than ever in the vastly entertaining, swift "Deadpool 2." The uneven story has a few rough patches and overall it's not as delightful as the first one, but its charm will ultimately win you over.

Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool (Reynolds) joins forces with some new faces, including Domino (the wonderful Zazie Beetz from "Atlanta") -- to protect a young boy named Russell with dangerous powers ("Hunt for the Wilderpeople's" Julian Dennison) from the all-powerful Cable (Josh Brolin, doing double duty here with this and the recent "Infinity War").

The bloody, crowd-pleasing "Deadpool 2" is just as you might expect: loads of violence, profanity as well enough entertainment pop-culture references to keep the makers of Trivial Pursuit happy (my favorite: the "Say Anything" reference, even if most younger folks won't get it). Like the first, "Deadpool 2" is a hard-rated R and isn't for the kiddoes, and would likely make IronMan and Professor X blush, but it's also a lot of fun.

This "Deadpool" outing won't be remembered most for its story, but for some nice additions to help with the entertainment factor. Brolin, having a terrific year with this, Avengers and the upcoming "Sicario" sequel, is suitably gruff as Cable, though the best new additions belong to Beetz, who makes a terrific Domino, the mutant whose power is altering luck, and Dennison, as the insecure young Russell, who's unsure of himself and his powers.

Reynolds' Deadpool quips fly faster and with such energy, you're likely to miss them, which is probably purposeful to promote multiple viewings, though many of them aren't repeatable here (my favorite: "pump the hate brakes, Fox & Friends"). On that note, the story tends to chase a lot of rabbits, and it would help if director David Leitch ("John Wick") would help quietly reign in some of the quips and focus on building a more coherent narrative, which tends to be all over the place at times. Reynolds, along with original "Deadpool" writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese write the script, which amp ups the raunch and sarcasm to considerable levels here.

Even with an uneven story, "Deadpool 2" delivers on charm and action, which doesn't disappoint here. Speaking of pop-culture references, there's a slower, wistful version of A-ha's '80s hit "Take on Me," used here near the end to good effect.

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