Deadpool 2

It's funny: I remember enjoying the first Deadpool, but I can only really remember its "essence", if you catch my drift. I recall the raunchy humor, the over-the-top fight scenes, the meta commentary, and Ryan Reynolds being his snarky self. But I completely forgot its story. As a result, I went into Deadpool 2 not particularly excited. Yet I walked out satisfied.

Basically, the Deadpool movies are like well-made junk food. Ultimately insubstantial, but tasty while you're enjoying them, and you don't feel too bad afterward for having indulged.

This time out, most of the supporting characters in the first Deadpool are shunted off to the side as a number of new characters are introduced, clearly with an eye towards future installments. The plot concerns an angry young mutant boy (talented New Zealand actor Julian Dennison, known mostly for the indie hit Hunt for the Wilderpeople) who wants to get revenge on those who abused him at a home for wayward mutants run by an anti-mutant crusader (the ever-capable Eddie Marsan, underused as usual). Meanwhile, a time-traveling badass named Cable (Josh Brolin, undisputed movie king of May 2018) beams back to the present to kill the kid, in a plot lifted wholesale from The Terminator or, more precisely, from Looper. Lots of fighting ensues.

Does Reynolds teasingly call Brolin "Thanos" at some point? You know he does.

I did like how the movie worked in some of the larger X-Men mythos about how the world would function with mutants in it – aside from the kids' boarding school, there's also an extended sequence set inside a mutant jail, where inmates' powers are neutralized by hi-tech collars. You see, along with most everything else from the previous film, I'd even forgotten than Deadpool was a mutant.

In any event, if you liked the first Deadpool, you'll find more of the same here: flashy ultraviolence, lewd jokes, a dash of heart, and Ryan Reynolds plying his shtick. If you didn't like the first Deadpool, you've already vowed to skip this film. Would that all moviegoing choices were this easy.