The original Deadpool movie was an irreverent fourth wall breaking super-violent Marvel movie produced by 20th Century Fox and thus sitting outside of the MCU. The release date of the succinctly titled sequel fast on the heels of Avengers: Infinity War is perhaps no surprise to anyone as while they’re happy to keep the franchise rolling outside MCU they’re also happy to entice some of the older Avengers fans who might want a change of style and some less wholesome action.

In the sequel, directed by David Leitch (John Wick) Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) finds himself in a tale of redemption protecting a mutant teenage firestarter from the robot-armed cyborg time-traveller Cable (Josh Brolin – yes he was Thanos in the Avengers film but you soon forget about that). The storyline has parallels with the Terminator franchise and so as you’d expect there is a quick reference to John Connor among all the other movie referencing quippery.

In a move that feels a lot more in line with current superhero movies (for instance DC’s Justice League, but probably more akin to Suicide Squad) Deadpool recruits a bunch of superheroes he calls the X-Force in a nod to the X-Men who, while being owned by 20th Century Fox,  are mainly absent from the movie. This is again the subject of a few nice gags and of course there’s a reference to the death of Wolverine (the butt of many jokes in the original film) in the film Logan.

X-Force, which plunders the Marvel comics for members but also includes a normal guy called Peter (Rob Delaney) much to taxi driver Dopinder’s (Karan Soni) chagrin, don’t last very long apart from Domino (Zazie Beetz) whose super-power is being lucky. Doesn’t sound like much of a power, but it does make for some nice moments when the action kicks off. Having said that the X-Men aren’t in it we do get Colossus and Megasonic Teenage Warhead again, plus her chain wielding girlfriend Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna) and some quick cameos from Brad Pitt, Alan Tudyk (who voiced K-2SO in Rogue One) and Matt Damon (yes really, blink and you’ll miss them).

There’s some great music choices to accompany the violent action and the appearance of a Marvel villain who didn’t get a fair outing last time he was portrayed on the silver screen. Nice to see this sequel do for that character what it did for Deadpool after X-Men Origins: Wolverine presented him with his mouth sewed up. There’s an end credit scene where Deadpool rights a few wrongs including that woeful outing and Ryan Reynolds reading the script for the another ill-fated hero movie. I’m trying to avoid spoilers here but I think you know which one I mean eh?

Deadpool 2 had a hard act to follow after the bad-ass fun of the first film and I think they did a good job. It’s no better than the first but it’s certainly no worse. The humour is about the same, the fight sequences and effects look like they’ve had more money spent on them, and I enjoyed Josh Brolin as Cable with his big gun complete with power dial, which yes, goes up to 11.

I love movies that make fun of other movies (including Basic Instinct, Frozen and Star Wars) and especially one that doesn’t shy away from taking the piss out of the superhero genre in general, the fact that this film also delivers on an emotional level came as somewhat of a surprise to me and it’s down to another fine balancing act between suspension of disbelief and fourth-wall breaking on the part of the writers (although they are accused of lazy writing at least twice by the titular character in the movie) and the actors. I was interested to see that Ryan Reynolds gets credited as a co-writer, alongside original writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

If you liked the first movie, you will not be disappointed by this sequel. If you didn’t like the first movie, stay away. Do some knitting or something.