Welcome back, Wade.
In 2016, Deadpool proved to be the rarest of things – a major comic book movie that was openly allowed to revel in the darkest corners of pitch black humour and gratuitous violence.
But as deserved box office success soon followed, so too did a huge question mark over the film’s sequel.
For all the whip-smart brilliance of the original, there soon emerged a very real fear that the allure of Wade Wilson’s ultra-violent antics could wear thin for a second time.
The fears only grew stronger when original director Tim Miller left in the early stages of production, citing serious creative differences as the reason for his departure.
Thankfully, there’s no need to worry – Deadpool 2 is a sequel that takes the appeal of the original and effortlessly transports it to the next level.
The scant details are these: our foulmouthed red-suited hero is forced back into action once more when Josh Brolin’s Cable arrives on the scene – a one-eyed time travelling soldier who is hellbent on hunting a gifted young mutant.
Without giving too much away, this is Deadpool on steroids -with David Leitch creating the perfect action packed chapter in Wade Wilson’s story.
It’s also surprisingly emotional too, we’re allowed to see a surprising yet understandable vulnerability to Wade Wilson for the first time, and it stops the character’s cocksureness from becoming a tired joke.
But by no means is this Deadpool going serious – original writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have once more crafted a story that is packed to the brim with razor-sharp zingers and one that allows the introduction of some brilliant new background players.
The greatest moment of the entire film, for instance, comes after Deadpool has assembled his X-Force team of newcomers to battle Cable.
A less than successful attempting at parachuting soon follows, and it’s enough to put you off flying for life.
From the newcomers though, it’s Hunt For The Wilderpeople star Julian Dennison who almost threatens to still the ‘Pool’s thunder – brilliantly portraying the character’s inability to effectively deal with his newfound powers, along with some comic timing that is almost on par with the main star.
However, it’s still not a film without its faults – the sheer abundance of pop culture gags becomes slightly overwhelming at times, and we’re given little time to appreciate a single gag before another is rammed straight in our face.
All considered though, Deadpool 2 is the near perfect package, creating a second chapter that maintains the anarchic spirit of the original while offering some surprisingly successful lamentations on the nature of love, loss and vulnerability.
A third installment, you sense, makes perfect sense.