By: Andrew Haas
It’s been about seven years since 20th Century Fox botched the inclusion of Marvel’s cult favorite Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. For years it seemed that the fourth wall-breaking merc with the mouth would never have a proper big screen portrayal outside of Ryan Reynolds with his mouth sewed shut. Then test footage of Reynolds playing a more faithful version of the character leaked online, gaining such a positive reaction that Fox decided to green light an official movie. With a brilliant marketing campaign and promising R-rating, what could possibly go wrong? Nothing, nothing at all.
In this meta origin story, Wade Wilson, played again by Reynolds, is a wise cracking mercenary who has been diagnosed with cancer. Afraid to die before his newfound love Vanessa, played by Morena Baccarin, he takes an offer to be experimented on to gain healing powers. Unfortunately, he is ends up tortured and deformed by Ajax, played by Ed Skrein. Now Wade takes on the identity of Deadpool and hunts down the man who ruined his life. And hijinks ensue.
Where do I begin when talking about how much I love this movie? First of all, the script is great. I mean the plot is a standard origin story, but they have fun with it. One of my biggest concerns going in was that Deadpool’s immature meta schtick would get old very fast. Luckily, the film manages a good balance between the insanity and the actual serious moments. But, yeah, this film was still hilarious. Just from the opening credits, I was already laughing like crazy. This film does a great job poking fun at all the conventions of the endless superhero films coming out. On top of that, the film takes full advantage of its R-rating with blood, cursing, and sex galore. There is nothing family friendly in this movie whatsoever.
Even though it doesn’t have the budget that other superhero movies have, I’m still very impressed with the way the film was put together. The action is well shot and choreographed, with the blood adding more grit than most people are used to in these films. Much of it is done in camera, which is always a plus for me. There is still CGI, but even when it’s obvious I don’t mind it at all. I especially love the way they made Deadpool’s eyes so expressive. Sure, it’s unrealistic, but the film clearly couldn’t care less as it works for the kind of world they’ve set up. If this is the first film for director Tim Miller, he’s off to a great start.
Ryan Reynolds could not have been a more perfect choice to play Deadpool. I haven’t read the comics, but I know enough to say that this is one of the most accurate film portrayals of a comic book character I have ever seen. He fully captures the violent and cartoonish persona we’ve come to expect. But he’s not the only great character. One of the driving forces of the plot is a love story between Wade and Vanessa, who have perfect chemistry. Their relationship is what gives the film a lot of heart. There’s also two X-Men, Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, who are perfect for playing opposite to Deadpool’s madness. As for the villains, they are serviceable with Skrein clearly having fun with his part. They’re not the most memorable part, but that in no way detracts from the film’s quality.
Deadpool is the breath of fresh air we needed in the world of comic book movies. I have not had this much fun at a superhero film since probably The Avengers. In fact, this is one of the best non-MCU Marvel films I’ve ever seen. The characters are great, the action is wild fun, the humor was spot on, and it’s just the movie that it needed to be. The fans are going to love this film and even newcomers might get a kick out of this as well. I highly recommend this film, but please leave the kids at home.