Deadpool is a love story, a violent, foul-mouthed and very dirty love story told through a superhero’s origin story, a superhero that’s more super and a lot less hero.
Deadpool is also an uncompromising hard R-rated 4th wall-breaking superhero comedy unlike anything you’ve ever seen from a Marvel character. Besides being one of the most original features to come out of this genre in the last decade (one might even call it a more than welcomed breath of fresh air, ok maybe not fresh, more like a well timed fart, but there’s air in that too), Deadpool might also be one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen on the big screen. Obviously the humor is not for everyone and definitely don’t bring your kids (or yourself if you’re easily offended), unless they’re above a certain age, let’s say 13-15 (your mileage may vary). On the other hand at that point they’ll probably sneak into Deadpool themselves and definitely wouldn’t want to see it with you. But I digress, let’s get back on topic and talk about what works (a lot) and what doesn’t in Deadpool.
First up don’t go into Deadpool expecting some grand adventure, this guy is not in it to save the world. The movie as a whole is actually pretty small scale and the story is very simple, guy meets girl, they fall in love, guy gets terminal cancer, guy leaves girl to undergo an experimental procedure that will save his life and give him superpowers, something bad happens because of a bad guy, now guy tries to take revenge on bad guy, bad guy kidnaps girl and obviously guy must now save her. That’s really it, you’ve seen it a thousand times before but what Deadpool nails is the execution, the way it presents that story. You might think, “oh, it’s another origin story, I bet they spend most of the movie explaining how he turned into Deadpool instead of showing Deadpool in action”, and you’re partially right, they totally sort of do that, but it still works. I mean there are only really two action sequences in the movie where you see Deadpool chopping heads, but one of them is not told in chronological order, and that’s just one trick the movie employs to maintain a strong pace throughout.
With the smaller scale comes one of Deadpool‘s greatest strengths, focus. Nothing is lost on this movie, you can tell from the get-go that these guys have had a lot of time to plan everything out down to the last detail (and a lot less money than other superhero movies). All the jokes hit (and they’re almost non-stop) and Deadpool really is firing on all cylinders, so much so that the movie will seem a lot shorter than it actually is (although at 107 minutes it’s still shorter than I wished it was). On the other hand some might take issue with the fact that we only ever see two X-Men in the movie, and don’t worry, Deadpool addresses that too. I honestly didn’t mind, sometimes less is more. Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) was incredible, the best live-action rendition of the character so far, and I definitely want to see more of Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) in the future.
Every good superhero movie needs a villain, right? Honestly that’s not always the case but I can tell you that Ed Skrein’s Ajax/Francis does not disappoint. I think I’m now ready to take back everything bad I’ve ever said about this actor. But you can’t have a good villain without a proper right hand, and in Deadpool that’s Gina Carano’s Angel Dust. She doesn’t say much, mostly grunts but absolutely delivers where it counts, which in her case is combat.
There’s not a lot of T.J. Miller in Deadpool but the screentime he does get is not wasted and I’m sure we’ll get a lot more Weasel in the sequel. Another standout is Blind Al, played by Leslie Uggams, and without spoiling anything, let’s just say she is like Robin to Deadpool‘s Batman (or so he thinks). When Deadpool needs to go from A to B he has Karan Soni’s Dupinder, a cab driver who has his own hilarious little story arch throughout the movie.
And lastly there’s the damsel in distress, a woman who once called Serenity home, the one and only Morena Baccarin. You need a special kind of crazy to match Ryan Reynolds/Wade Wilson’s crazy and she absolutely lives up to the task. Not just that but she even gets a few over him, and that’s saying something.
Noticed I few seconds ago I wrote “lastly”, which implies that we’ve come to the end, well I lied. Let’s talk Ryan Reynolds. See, there’s a reason I put Ryan Reynolds/Wade Wilson up there instead of Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson or something similar. He is Wade Wilson, Deadpool, there’s just no other way to say it. You hear stuff like X actor was born to play that part, and sometimes it’s kind of truth, but here it’s so much more. He really is Deadpool, without Ryan Reynolds this movie would not exist. And yes, I know Nolan North did a terrific job in the video game released a few years back, but there was a lot more acting there (and let’s just say he doesn’t have the body for the job, not anymore). Ryan Reynolds on the other hand doesn’t need to do a whole lot to step into Deadpool‘s shoes.
Can’t really end this without acknowledging the amazing work done by director Tim Miller and the writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, as well as everyone else who was involved in the making of Deadpool, one way or another. Thanks for what is probably the most authentic live-action rendition of a comic book superhero to date. Also thanks to everyone who already saw Deadpool in theaters and helped turn this into a bigger hit than anyone could have imagined. Thanks to all of you we’re now getting a Deadpool 2.
So to recap, go watch Deadpool if you haven’t already (unless you don’t like fun or you really hate superhero movies, or you’re 10, definitely don’t see this if you’re 10). I give Deadpool 4 out of 4 (or was it out of 5?) baby hands.