(On Cable TV, February 2019) One of my reactions to the first Deadpool film was a vague foreboding that this was the kind of movie you could only do once—that the joke would quickly overplay itself in a sequel. Now that Deadpool 2 is here, well, it does manage to avoid most of the problems that it could have had. It doesn’t take things easy—although with a bigger budget to play with, the bigger scope shouldn’t come as a surprise. Obviously, it does acknowledge its own status as a sequel and visibly tries to do what it can to avoid common sequels pitfalls. There’s a real emotional scaffolding built to support the crass jokes, and it does lead to a surprisingly involving conclusion that plays both with emotions and laughs. Surprisingly enough, the result does not overstay its welcome. The commentary on a few more years’ worth of superhero movies is something only a Deadpool film could get away with, and the script once again finds a sweet spot between parody and doing its own thing. Thanks to director David Leitch, of John Wick fame, the film has some spectacular action/CGI sequences—perhaps the best being a mad truck sequence through a city. Ryan Reynolds is up to his usual mix of charm and good-natured profanity, and he gets two good assists from the fantastic Zazie Beetz and a growling Josh Brolin—who manages to create as a credible antagonist in a comedy film. While I’m still not entirely comfortable with the amount of gore and language in Deadpool 2, it’s true that Deadpool would not be Deadpool without them. Considering the results, I’m surprisingly more upbeat than I thought I’d be at the prospect of an inevitable Deadpool 3.