Director: Tim Miller
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Ed Skrein, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand
Fans have been clamoring for a proper Deadpool movie for years after Ryan Reynolds first played a version of the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. That movie has finally come, and according to the audience I saw it with, they loved it. Ryan Reynolds stars as Wade Wilson who was just your standard guy who met a girl (Baccarin) and fell in love. Part of that was due to with his work as a mercenary protecting women from stalkers. If I remember correctly, this may be one of the few, if only, superhero films that has a romance at its core and catalyst. He saw his life take a turn for the worst when he is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
He is approached by a mysterious gentleman offering him the opportunity to undergo an experimental surgery that would cure his cancer and turn him into a “superhero.” It should be noted that this all happens in the back corner of Wade’s favorite bar, so clearly the guy should be trusted. Nope. The surgery goes horribly awry when Wade is subjected to multiple rounds of torture at the hands of Ajax (Skrein) to see if the mutation is working. This would give him super healing powers as a way to rid him of the cancer. He is able to break free but is left horribly disfigured and scarred. He feels ashamed of his body and feels like he can no longer go back to his girlfriend, Vanessa. On Christmas Day he sets out to get revenge on Ajax for forever changing his life.
It’s easy to lump these Marvel films all together and get a little confused about the overall universe at hand. The character of Deadpool belongs in the X-Men family of Marvel storylines, not the Avengers. This also means that it’s Fox that owns the rights versus Disney who’s been cranking out the Avengers films. There’s no way Disney would have released this sort of film in their canon. Right off the bat, it’s not like your other Marvel movies. The opening credits make it very apparent that this is a very self-aware/meta film. The credits tease things like “gratuitous cameos” and “British villain”. You get the idea. Throughout the film, there are copious references to other Marvel movies, Ryan Reynolds’ career and image, as well as the character breaking the fourth wall and talking to the camera. That may get old quickly for people that don’t like that sort of storytelling device. I didn’t mind as these movies shouldn’t take themselves too seriously in the first place.
I moaned in my review of Marvel’s Ant-Man that I was getting sick of origin stories especially when they feel like carbon copies of other ones. Naturally, this is an origins type of story as we’re really getting to know Deadpool for the first time. Don’t worry as it’s done well. There’s no getting around that whole concept of mutations/experiments gone wrong in the lab plot, but he’s not the kind of character that loves his powers at first. After the mutation, he has the ability to regenerate and heal any body part. He can take a bullet or cut off his own hand and it will grow back. He isn’t afraid to test out that concept and makes good use of the two swords he’s chosen as his weapon of choice. His anger is what propels the revenge plot that follows. You also have X-Men members Colossus (Kapicic) and Nagasonic Teenage Warhead (Hildebrand) along for the ride to aid in Deadpool’s plan and try to recruit him into becoming one of the X-Men.
Be warned this is the first R-rated Marvel film. He’s the “anti-superhero” who is an extremely violent, profanity laced character. Frankly, I think they could have taken the violence even further with the blood splatter and limb dismemberment. It is by no means appropriate for kids, unlike your standard X-Men or Avengers movies. There’s also some sex and nudity thrown in as Ryan Reynolds isn’t afraid to bare all and stick to the heart of this character. It’s a great vehicle to rejuvenate his career. He feels right at home with the character and knows all the right buttons to push with Deadpool’s loud mouth. He’s joined by T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley, How to Train Your Dragon) in the best friend role and Morena Baccarin (Gotham) plays his girlfriend, Vanessa. Ed Skrein recently starred as the lead in The Transporter Refueled and takes on the role of the “British villain” and plays him as such as described by the many others that have come before him.
I was pretty unfamiliar with the character of Deadpool before seeing the film, but I grew to really enjoy him even if I didn’t catch on to every little insider gag left along the way. This is director Tim Miller’s first full length film, and it’s an impressive one given the legacy of the character and obsession from the fan base. Marvel legend Stan Lee makes his best cameo to date in a bit that may make your jaw drop. The studio has already greenlit a sequel and that happened before it has even opened. Like many of these superhero films, the second one will likely be even better now that the origin aspect is out of the way.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Slick, stylish, and loads of fun
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS