The year of superhero flicks starts early with Deadpool. This movie has been a long time coming, being in some form of development for 10 years. The character was first seen on film in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. That movie co-starred Ryan Reynolds as a wise-cracking mercenary who is experimented on to became the equivalent of Baraka from Mortal Kombat.
Even though the movie was hardly Reynolds’ fault, it was considered strike one. There was little interest, both of the audience and the studios, to see a stand-alone Deadpool movie. Reynolds then moved onto an adaptation of DC Comics’ greatest heroes with Green Lantern. The less said about that movie, the better. Strike two. Two short years after Green Lantern, Reynolds headed another graphic novel adaptation in R.I.P.D. Did you forget that movie existed? You can’t be blamed. Sorry to say it Ryan, but that’s strike three. You’re out of the comic book game for good.
However, in the past five years, the popularity of Deadpool has only strengthened. This rise was boosted when Reynolds released some animated Deadpool test footage. The internet decided that a Deadpool movie with Reynolds is what it wanted and the movie went into production at Fox.
After that entirely too long background, this movie better be worth reading monotonous paragraphs right? Right?
In short. Yeah, it’s worth it.
Deadpool starts with some of the best opening credits I’ve seen in years. Everything is meta and no joke cuts corners. The movie shows a small number of action scenes with Deadpool’s origin spliced in. The origin manages to slow down the fun, but the story keeps bringing us back to the present to help with the pacing.
Essentially, this is Wade Wilson/Deadpool’s vendetta against Ajax/Francis (Ed Skrein), the man who completely ruined his life and face, to boot. Along the way, Deadpool is halted by the arrival of X-Man Colossus and his apprentice, Negasonic Teenage Warhead. It’s nice to have a simple story of bloody revenge rather that the typical superhero flick where the end of the world is being caused by 2nd rate villains with magic stones.
Deadpool is at its best when he breaks the 4th wall. Nothing is sacred, whether it be the standard formulas of other comic book movies, or even the notable mistakes in Ryan Reynolds’ career. Add that to the excessive amount of blood, guts and profanity and this is one fun and funny movie.
Fun is one way to describe Deadpool. Yet, the other word that comes to mind is – Fleeting. I had a smile on my face during the movie. Yet, as soon as I walked out of the movie, I tried to recall my favorite part or any dynamic scenes that stuck out. I couldn’t recall one. This movie follows in the fun footsteps of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kick-Ass, but each of those movies had unforgettable scenes that stood out. Kick-Ass had Hit Girl’s siege in the hallway. Kingsman had the church scene and the exploding heads. Deadpool has funny lines. I’m not saying the action in Deadpool isn’t fun. It’s basically rated R Looney Tunes, but the action disappears from memory as fast as it hits.
Even though the character is selfish and works best alone, the movie is boosted because of its supporting cast. TJ Miller plays Weasel, the snarky bartender, who generally has Deadpool’s back. Morena Baccarin plays Vanessa, the prostitute who wins Wade Wilson’s heart. Ed Skrein and Gina Carino are the baddies, you don’t need to know much else about them beyond that.
I enjoyed the side characters, but this is nearly a one-man play. It is the Ryan Reynolds show all the way. If you hate his brand of humor, you probably aren’t reading this review anymore. If you’re a fan, the movie doesn’t overwhelm you, even when it beats you over the head with snark.
Deadpool is definitely R-rated. It’s goes over the top in every way. The shock value is worth a laugh, but it’s the riffs on superhero cliches that’ll last on repeat viewings. As an experiment that was revived from fan hype, Deadpool pays off. I look forward to a sequel that can have relentless fun without focusing on an origin. B+