(Cert 18, 108 mins)****

LOLLIPOP-sucking sex bomb Jen (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) joins her married lover Richard (Kevin Janssens) at a secluded retreat, located miles from prying neighbours who might interrupt their furious coupling.

The air of wanton debauchery is soured by the unexpected arrival of Richard's lascivious hunting buddies, Stan (Vincent Colombe) and Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchede).

Jen dances provocatively with the men during a boozy late-night drinking session.

The following morning, Stan forces himself upon her and refuses to take no for an answer.

When Richard returns to the house, Jen issues a tearful ultimatum: "Call the helicopter or I will call your wife and tell her everything!"

Terrified the young woman will carry through her threat, Richard, Stan and Dimitri plot to silence Jen and leave her lifeless body in the desert.

Revenge is not for the faint of heart, gleefully spilling blood at every woozy juncture as Jen proves, through gritted teeth, that the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Lutz delivers a fearless central performance, embodying beauty and beast in sweet harmony.

First-time French writer-director Coralie Fargeat seizes the exploitation horror subgenre by its privates and refuses to let go as she puts a feminist slant on the bloodthirsty battle of the sexes to echo the fiery indignation of the Me Too and Time's Up movements.

The film wears its 18 certificate as a badge of honour, spattering the camera lens with bodily fluids, occasionally for comic effect like a climactic scene of two characters slip-sliding uncontrollably down tiled corridors coated in glistening crimson.

Deadpool 2

(Cert 15, 117 mins)****

FORMER Special Forces operative Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), receives a swift kick to the nether portions from Lady Luck as he continues to romance sex club worker Vanessa (Morena Baccarin).

Plunged into a fiery pit of despair, Wade is rescued by X-Men buddies Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), who now has an electrified girlfriend (Shioli Kutsuna).

The noble mutants enrol Deadpool as a trainee and for his first assignment, the wise-cracking rogue attempts to subdue a misunderstood teenager called Russell (Julian Dennison), who is being hunted by futuristic soldier Cable (Josh Brolin).

To defeat a powerful adversary like Cable, Wade forms a "forward-thinking, gender-neutral" band of misfits called X-Force comprising Bedlam (Terry Crews), Domino (Zazie Beetz), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard) and lovable everyman Peter (Rob Delaney).

Directed by "one of the guys who killed the dog in John Wick", Deadpool 2 is a rollicking, gleefully irreverent and potty-mouthed sequel, which proves you can have too much of a good thing.

Screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick chase bigger laughs and outlandish thrills.

These rumbustious two hours are crammed to bursting with pop culture references, droll one-liners and machine-gun profanities that try a smidgen too hard to push an envelope that had already been licked to absurdity.

A couple of uncredited cameos are delightful surprises and Beetz has a blast exploiting her acrobatic heroine's superpower: endless good fortune.

New Zealand rising star Dennison, who was a pint-sized hoot in Hunt For The Wilderpeople, is short-changed by the script but doesn't get lost in the blitzkrieg of digital effects.

On Chesil Beach

(Cert 15, 110 mins)****

GIFTED violinist Florence Ponting (Saoirse Ronan) and history graduate Edward Mayhew (Billy Howle) prepare to spend their first night together as husband and wife in a hotel located close to Chesil Beach.

As afternoon bleeds into evening, a mosaic of flashbacks illuminates the couple's radically different backgrounds.

While the bride is at the mercy of strict moral codes of the era, upheld by her mother Violet (Emily Watson) and father Geoffrey (Samuel West), the groom draws on his relationship with his "brain-damaged" mother Marjorie (Anne-Marie Duff) to embrace his passions.

Tension in the room builds gradually to the moment Florence and Edward must consummate their marriage.

"Tell me about the last time you got into a fight," she asks by way of a temporary reprieve from his seduction. "I need to know your worst side."

On Chesil Beach is an artfully composed character study of youthful naivete and small, telling gestures such as Florence's flinch when one particular hand touches her shoulder.

Author Ian McEwan has skilfully adapted his Booker Prize-nominated novella and Dominic Cooke's film comes impressively close to capturing the quiet, body-shuddering intensity that transfers from the page into the tear-filled mind's eye.

Three-time Oscar nominee Ronan and Howle are impeccably cast as trembling virginal newlyweds, who are ill-equipped to navigate the minefields of each other's insecurities.

There is a tragic inevitability to the trajectory of the couple's fragile relationship, and a quiet devastation shared by us and the characters as awkwardness, shame and incomprehension press a self-destruct button, inflicting deep wounds that will never heal.