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Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) has found something that works for him: fighting bad guys whenever possible, joking as he does so and returning home to his sexy and sexually adventurous partner Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). In fact, he’s become so comfortable in this scarred skin that he’s even considering the idea of being a father.

But Deadpool’s plans to settle into some form of domesticity hit the back burner when he’s confronted with a personal crisis — and subsequently finds himself enrolled in an X-Men trainee program under the watchful eyes of Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). It’s not long before they encounter a troubled, fireball-hurling young mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison) who could easily be an ally — or an enemy.

Cable (Josh Brolin), a formidable soldier from the future, has killing Russell at the top of his to-do list. That puts Deadpool in the unusual position of taking on the role of Russell’s protector. But stopping Cable will be a challenge.

Enlisting the help of additional would-be heroes including the self-assured Domino (Zazie Beetz), whose superpower is as surprising as it is effective, Deadpool prepares for battle — and more opportunities to strike poses and crack wise.

“Deadpool 2” was bound to be a letdown — there’s no way it could equal the freshness and irreverence of the 2016 original. Fortunately, the sequel comes off as much more than a cash grab.

Working from a screenplay by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Reynolds, director David Leitch (“Atomic Blonde”) seems well aware of the film’s absurdity and willing to give his all to its superhero-flick-meets-“Looney Tunes” scenario. With so much going on, there’s little time to consider than none of it makes much sense.

But the film’s greatest asset is Reynolds, who in Deadpool finally found the role of his dreams. Reynolds totally sells the character’s blend of reckless self-absorption and reluctant heroics.

Another sequel really isn’t necessary, but it’s in the works anyway.

What “Deadpool 2” • Three stars out of four • Run time 1:59 • Rating R • Content Violence, language, sexual references and drug material

Calvin Wilson is theater critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.