Movie Review: Deadpool (2016): "Time to be a F@#%^# Superhero"
Director: Tim Miller
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefield
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J Miller, Gina Carano,
MPAA rating: Rated--R for adult language, nudity, graphic violence, sexual content
Synopsis: A mercenary becomes the anti-hero Deadpool after volunteering for a dangerous scientific experiment that grants him enhanced reflexes and the ability to heal at an accelerated rate.
There are usually two main components to every superhero movie: An altruistic hero who wants to save the world and make a difference. And a zero to hero storyline, where the protagonist spends a great deal of time training, honing his skills and taking out small time bad guys until he's ready to defeat the main antagonist. Hollywood benefited from this formula for decades. Studios and actors make millions and everyone's happy.
But Deadpool, strives to be different, setting a new precedent for a generation of adult oriented superhero films--complete with graphic violence, foul language and graphic sex scenes. At times Deadpool feels like a parody of the superhero genre.
You know a movie doesn't take itself too seriously, when the film spends a significant amount of time making fun of its leading actor. In the opening scene, we see a copy Ryan Reynolds' People magazine cover and a reminder of his portrayal of Green Lantern in the 2011 movie.
Critics basically get the middle finger in the opening scene where the movie lists all the clichés that the critics will talk about: Hot Chick (Morena Baccarin), Evil English Bastard (Ed Skrein), Comic relief (T.J Miller), Cameo (Stan Lee).
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) isn't your typical hero, in fact, he's not a hero at all. Early on, the title character makes it clear that he's a bad guy who takes out other bad guys who are probably worse than he is. The fourth wall breaking anti-hero, is a former military man who became a gun for hire after being dishonorably discharged.
The hedonistic mercenary's only pursuits are making money, getting drunk and getting laid all while maintaining his sense of humor. He soon meets his sardonic better half in a prostitute, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). And their romance plays out over a lengthy montage with raunchy sex scenes. But Wade's world comes crashing down when he finds out he has cancer. Desperate to cure his illness, he subjects himself to a dangerous scientific experiment at the behest of a shady government agency.
He learns from our clichéd Evil English Bastard, Ajax (Ed Skrein) that the experiment is meant to activate any latent mutant DNA and that he is not gonna be a hero but rather a puppet of this rogue organization. The sadistic Ajax (yes Wade wasted no time berating him for being nicknamed after a household cleaning product), subjected Wade to physical and psychological torture.
The procedure leaves Wade facially deformed but grants him powers akin to Wolverine--accelerated healing, increased strength, enhanced reflexes--minus the adamantium claws.
Wade vows revenge on our Evil English Bastard and he goes on a mission to track the guy down so to reverse his facial deformity, so he can continue his coital exploits with his "future baby mama."
Voila a Deadpool is born.
Our next cliché, Weasel (T.J Miler) is the comedic relief and owner of the bar where all the Mercenaries and criminals congregate. Miller delivers a joke every 60 seconds with a Chelsea Handler like delivery. Miller and Reynolds seem to have great comedic chemistry.
Ryan Reynolds basically plays himself in this movie. But in this movie it actually works! Reynolds was made to play Deadpool just as Robert Downey Jr. was made for Tony Stark/Iron Man. The thirty nine year old actor has literally brought the comic book character to life on the big screen. He has managed to capture a lot of the mannerisms of Deadpool and most importantly the voice of the anti-hero. Being a regular comic reader, you never get to hear the voice of a character. But a reader can imagine what that character's voice sound like based on traits. The next time I read a comic featuring Deadpool, I will probably hear Reynolds' voice.
Joining Deadpool in his mission are Colossus(Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). Colossus acts as Deadpool's conscience trying to guide him on being a hero. In earlier X-Men movies, Colossus was smaller and he spoke with an American accent. But when it comes to Fox, continuity doesn't seem to matter. I guess the filmmakers were trying to go for Colossus' comic book appearance. Negasonic Teenage Warhead was your stereotypical teen--moody and just in her own world. She was simply tagging along. These two X-Men don't serve any purpose except to remind the audience that the movie is a 20th Century Fox production and not an MCU project.
Scenes in the movie are basically limited between Vanessa's apartment, the crack house where Deadpool is residing, Weasel's bar, the highway and Ajax's lab. It would have been nice to see some flashback scenes of Wade as the mercenary. Instead, we see Wade roughing up a pizza boy who was stalking a spoiled rich teen.
The movie was filled with awesome action scenes. The fight scenes were acrobatic and fluid. While Deadpool faced adversaries who were better armed than he was, his healing made up for it. When you go up against an indestructible Deadpool, you can empty your assault rifle's magazine on him, stab him, slice his throat. He's gonna heal from it and impale you on his Katana!
Deadpool may not be the first hero willing to use lethal force to stop a bad guy but he actually enjoys the killing. And he does it effortlessly with a comedic quip and a Joker-like glee. Of course, lots of blood.
Many of the jokes were too vulgar and offensive for my tastes. Some were downright disturbing, especially the joke Deadpool made about having sex with Ajax's skull. Jokes relating to the male genitalia were a bit excessive; I felt like I was watching a Seth Rogen movie.
The trailer basically revealed the entire movie. You aren't gonna see much more in the movie than you've seen in the trailer.
There were several continuity issues in Deadpool. Fans in my Facebook group have said that the Fox/X-Men universe was rebooted due to the events in Days of Future's past. I'd like to believe that, but there have been continuity errors before.
I'm not saying Deadpool is a bad movie, but it isn't on my list of favorite comic book movies either. In my opinion, this is the kind of movie you wait to be released on DVD or to download.