(Scored out of 10; below 5 = not worth seeing, 6 = OK, 7 = good, 8 = great, 9 = fantastic, 10 = next to perfect)
Deadpool is a classic superhero origin story wrapped inside of a grueling revenge plot, tied with a fancy romantic comedy bow and addressed to WTF (that stands for “what the fuck”). That is to say, Deadpool may very well be the most original thing to ever grace the comic book movie genre since its inception. Plus boobs, dicks, guns and other fun bits!
Living a modest life working as a gun for hire, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is pretty laidback. Good turns to gooder when he meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), a foxy prostitute, at his buddy’s bar (Weasel played by T.J. Miller). They immediately hit it off, have copious amounts of sex and fall in love (if that isn’t true romance, I don’t know what is). But, as Satan once (probably) said, “Fuck you and your happiness, here’s some cancer” and Wade is suddenly stricken with the terminal disease. Unable to put the love of his life through the torture that would be watching him slowly die, Wade abandons Vanessa to enroll in experimental… experiments that will not only cure him of his cancer, but gift him with super powers (because why not).
After years of nothing but torture at the hands of the nefarious Francis (hehe), played by Ed Skrein, Wilson is left mutilated beyond identification. Vowing vengeance upon the man that made him ugly, the newly christened Deadpool murders goon after goon in the hopes that one of them can lead him to his ultimate goal.
And then a whole bunch of awesome shit happens.
The past few months have seen one of the best marketing campaigns in the history of film, and with such hype surrounding a project, you can’t help but wonder if the movie can possibly live up to the overwhelming expectation. Well, slap my ass and call more and me Sally, Deadpool is everything the marketing promised and then some. After seeing the film I have the sneaking suspicion that Rob Liefeld (creator of Deadpool) genetically manufactured Ryan Reynolds so that he could one day bring his comic creation to life, because he is literally perfect for the role. The phrase “only (insert actor name here) is the only one who can play (insert character name here)” gets thrown around all the time. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine or even Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne (I’m fucking with you, no one has ever said that). To me, that’s all been hyperbole, but when it comes to Deadpool, there is not another actor working today that could match the speed and intensity that Reynolds brings to the role.
With opening credits that read “Hot Chick”, “Asshat Producers” and “an overpaid tool”, you know that Deadpool is something special. Than the film actually gets underway and things get even stranger; the action in the movie is everything you would expect out of a superhero film: kinetic, loud and visceral. But when you combine it with Reynolds lightning fast comedy chops, you get some of the funniest and engaging sequences to ever grace a comic book film. Whether it be Deadpool counting down his ammunition, futilely attempting to hurt Colossus or Colossus stopping mid-punch to warn Gina Carano that her boob popped out of her top, you will not stop laughing.
Juxtaposing the over the top, funny or die, approach to Deadpool is the surprisingly emotional journey of Wade Wilson. For all of the fun that comes out of Wade and Vanessa’s relationship, there is just as much depth and gravity. His reasons for leaving are entirely selfless and the romance blossoming between these two oddball characters feels genuine. When he first learns of how serious his illness is, he doesn’t play it off as a joke, he instead looks to Vanessa so he can soak in every detail before it’s too late.
This unexpectedly sincere undertone carries on into Wade’s transformation. Under the mask he is all confidence and bravado, but when it comes to confronting Vanessa after his prolonged absence, he is overcome by insecurities. Will she still like me after leaving her? After losing my inhuman good looks? These are real world problems (maybe not the inhuman good looks part) that normal people face everyday. To see a comic book hero cope with these mundane issues isn’t a regular occurrence and to see it handled with such respect is even more impressive.
The only things keeping me from granting Deadpool a perfect score were the lacklustre villains. Ed Skrein and Gina Carano cut an imposing figure, but the constant undercutting of their menace by Deadpool makes them feel lesser than they are (though they more than make up for it with how badass they are in the final battle). But what really keeps them from being memorable baddies is their lack of development. As they are described in the opening credits, Ed Skrein’s Francis is nothing more than “a British bad guy” and Gina Carano’s Angel Dust is just “the muscle” (that may have been referring to Colossus, but it fits). Even the organization they work for is shrouded in mystery without so much as a hint to who they are or what specifically they’re doing. Once again using a line from the film, “maybe it will further the plot.”
The villains of the piece are one-dimensional that serve only to move things forward and provide something for Deadpool to shoot (or punch/slice) at. As a comic fan, I knew that the program was a spin-off of Weapon X (the program responsible for giving Wolverine his powers), but without any explanation, casual fans will be left in the dark.
That being said, the sheer entertainment value provided by Deadpool is more than enough reason to get your ass into the theatre. Ryan Reynolds has never been better. Morena Baccarin is unbelievably sexy (she’s also great) and T.J. Miller is at the top of his improv game. The plethora of Easter Eggs to be found in the film are bound to make even the most hardcore of fans pass out during their attempts at finding them all and the funny never stops.
Deadpool is the most unique film to come out of the superhero genre in quite some time and doesn’t do so at the expense of its quality. Romantic comedy, revenge story, buddy cop film and super hero actioner, Deadpool is all of these things and more. Go see it yesterday!
Overall, Deadpool gets a 9.5/10.
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