As I sit alone in my room writing these words, I think to myself: ‘They’ve done it. They’ve f@#$$%^ done it’. To fans all around the world, Deadpool has become a reality. Its not for kids. Its meta. And sweet mary mother of Cable, its good.
Arbitrary fourth wall break now aside, Deadpool (2016) is superhero action/comedy directed by Tim Miller (in his feature film debut, solid effort) and starring Ryan Reynolds as mercenary Wade Wilson. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer Wade turns to a mysterious government organisation for a cure, but instead of being cured, he becomes the regenerate degenerate, the Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool.
This is equal parts an origin story as it is an apology from Fox for the huge f@#$ up they concocted in X-Men: Origins. It is almost a miracle itself that this film got made – test footage was leaked, everyone loved it, and Fox greenlit the movie within 48 hours. And now they’ve even greenlit a sequel even before the movie has hit theatres. What a beautiful, beautiful world we live in.
So we’ve finally gotten the origin story. Unfortunately by its sheer nature of being an origin story, the plot itself isn’t incredibly original or interesting. After so many saturated years of comic-book origins, Deadpool doesn’t bring much more to the table plot-wise. Average guy, who through trauma gets superpowers and uses them to get revenge on the bloke who wronged him. That’s basically the first half an hour of Spiderman (just with less ugly crying).
But the plot isn’t the reason Deadpool is such a success. This is a Deadpool movie in every sense of the word – its crude, its meta, its violent and its so funny. The screenwriters (i.e. the real heroes here) understand the character perfectly and have done an incredible job dragging Deadpool kicking and masturbating straight out of the comics. The comedy is consistently fast, hilarious and pokes fun at everything from Hugh Jackman to the studio itself in a twisted fourth-wall breaking way. This is the movie every Deadpool fan was hoping for.
The action is equally perfect for Deadpool as well. Not content to sit back and suffer through the tame bloodless action of every other comic movie of the last 5 years, Deadpool is drenched with slow-mo, severed limbs and gallons of blood. Not only that but the film has ridiculous fun in these violent sequences, having Deadpool do everything from making a guy swallow a cigarette lighter to using a severed head as a soccer ball. It does often get very indulgent but that’s the point of the character – its ridiculous and over-the-top in the best way possible.
Speaking of the character, Ryan Reynolds was born for this role. Not only has he been a fan of the character for years, played him once before, and lobbied for this movie to be made, but he also understands Deadpool just as well as the screenwriters. With the mask on, you don’t see ‘God’s most beautiful idiot’ – you see f@#$%^& Deadpool.
Morena Baccarin also appears as Wilson’s love interest Vanessa and while there isn’t much to her character, she plays off Reynold’s witty banter well, and injects a surprising level of heart into the bloody proceedings. As funny as Deadpool is, her character helps balance Wade Wilson out with a human side and ensures that the jokes never outstay their welcome. While these tender sequences are nowhere near as funny as any of the ones involving red spandex, they’re important to give the movie some balance, and do their job.
The only other major cast member that’s worth mentioning is Ed Skrein as the British villain Ajax. While he’s fine and the hatred between him and Deadpool is perfectly understandable, he’s a tad underwritten. Keeping up the tradition of the Marvel movies, the villain is given very little of the spotlight, to instead focus it solely on Wade Wilson. While that makes for a better Deadpool movie, it doesn’t make for a better villain.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a huge Deadpool fan. And if you are too, you will love this movie. To the standard crowd it definitely has problems – the plot and villain are unfortunately underdeveloped – but if you’re a fan it doesn’t even matter. In the current world of DC and Marvel movies, Deadpool is the baking soda in the cupcake, the fly in the punch, The annoying little cousin who makes fun of everyone behind their back. If Guardians of the Galaxy was a superhero Star Wars, Deadpool is a superhero American Pie. Its loud, vulgar, crass and hilarious.
Deadpool has arrived and its f@#$%^& here to stay.
True Believers (Deadpool): Must See
True Believers (Marvel): Highly Recommended
General Audiences: Highly Recommended
Film Buffs: Recommended
Winner of the 2016 Batsie Award for Joyride.