They did it! They pulled it off! And with flying funny colors, no less! A comics and character-accurate Deadpool movie seemed like it had about as much chance of happening as that Lobo movie DC is always talking about. Like a pipe dream clogged with used toilet paper. But don’t that beat all, actor Ryan Reynolds and director Tim Miller apparently wield a golden plunger.
Deadpool is a hilarious, action-packed thrill ride, bathed in that sticky, zany funk that makes Deadpool so special in the first place.
Movie Rating: 9/10 – Great
The Deadpool film is everything someone could want from a Deadpool film. This movie is so character accurate that it almost defies logic. Considering the character’s extreme misuse in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (which gets mocked in this movie), it was nigh impossible to believe anyone at FOX Studios would make this new film happen. It was hard to believe anyone at FOX Studios even knew what Deadpool was about. But after Reynolds championed the character and the movie for so long, and after some footage was ‘leaked’ a year or two ago, someone got the wheels turning and we’ve now got a great movie.
Deadpool is a ton of fun. It’s got the exciting, hard-hitting action of recent blockbusters, as well as the snappy wit we’ve come to expect from superhero movies, but all of it is just so ‘Deadpool’ that this film stands in a league all its own. The action is just short of slapstick, with attention paid to both badass asskickery and wacky shenanigans. The humor is that special mix of raunch, snark and Fourth Wall-breaking that has come to define the character.
The Deadpool movie may not have the emotional depth or importance of all the great Marvel blockbusters, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t an entertaining jaunt in the world of comics come to life.
Join me after the jump for my full review and some SPOILERS!
I’ve never been a particularly big Deadpool fan in the comics. I don’t like his current series and their particular brand of humor, but I do get a chuckle out of classic Deadpool, from the Joe Kelly and Gail Simone eras, though I never really read much Deadpool back then either. But one can’t swing a dead cat around Marvel Comics in the past decade without at least knowing who Deadpool is, so I was definitely on board with seeing this flick.
And I’m not disappointed, not in the least. I can’t stress enough how this movie absolutely nails the character and the humor, how perfectly it embodies everything fans could want from a live action Deadpool movie. There are no obvious signs of studio interference. No Marvel-esque attempts to set up other X-Men movies. And there are no holds barred when it comes to mocking everything from X-Men Origins: Wolverine to Green Lantern to to Ryan Reynolds to Rob Liefeld. The filmmakers pushed for the R-rating, and they use it to great effect, from cussing to naked boobies to glorious violence.
They even make great use of Deadpool’s classic Fourth Wall-breaking demeanor. He talks to the audience, acknowledges all sorts of behind-the-scenes antics, and it all comes out smoothly and effortlessly. I don’t think I suffered a single awkward wince or an eye-roll in the entire film. This is pure Deadpool, and it’s so much fun.
The story is a pretty simple origin tale, and is close enough to the comics that hardcore fans won’t need to worry. Wade Wilson is a wise-talking tough guy-for-hire who falls in love with a beautiful woman, only to get diagnosed with cancer. That’s actually one of the neatest scenes in the movie. Here we have this never-ending raunchfest between these two wild characters, but then all of a sudden, Wade and Vanessa are sitting in a doctor’s office like normal people, getting the sort of diagnosis you might expect from a more serious movie.
Wade is then duped into joining an evil organization who claim they can cure his cancer, but really they want to turn him into a super soldier by unlocking his mutant powers. The ‘treatment’ pock marks his skin so that he looks like a burn victim from head-to-toe, but also gives him a healing factor like Wolverine. Deadpool then sets out to get revenge on the bastards who did this to him, with a little help from (some of) the X-Men.
The plot is perfectly fine, and told in an entertaining, non-linear way. But you don’t watch a Deadpool movie for the story.
A lot of the praise falls on the capable shoulders of Ryan Reynolds. He nailed the character the first time around, and he does an even better job here. He’s passionate about the role, he fought for it tooth and nail, and he revels in the job. He’s hilarious both as Deadpool and as Wade Wilson, but he’s also loyal, romantic and heroic. Plus, unlike other superheroes, he gladly wears his mask for most of the film. So we’re don’t even suffer from that ‘get the famous actor’s face on the screen’ syndrome. Reynolds embodies the character and the unique humor, and he’s never been funnier, sexier or cooler.
The supporting cast is equally superb. Morena Baccarin is great as Vanessa the love interest/damsel in distress. She more than holds her own against Wade’s witty one-liners during their romantic scenes. But I wish she was less of a damsel in the end, and played a bigger part in her rescue. T.J. Miller is great as Weasel, the sidekick who can be just as funny as Reynolds, and who isn’t the butt of the joke. Both really help to bring out the best in Wade.
Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead play the only two X-Men in the film, and both are really good. They fit the movie and provide a really solid connection to the rest of the X-Men franchise. FOX could have made this movie completely separate, but I actually rather like the connection. It gives Deadpool some entertaining allies, as well as more people to bounce against.
And yeah, this version of Negasonic Teenage Warhead is much cooler than her very obscure comic book version. The writers really only took her cool name and nothing else. They put that name to good use.
My only real complaint is in the villains. Ed Skrein plays Ajax, the warrior scientist who tortured Deadpool to activate his mutant powers, and Gina Carano is Angel Dust, his enforcer. Both of them are duds. Ajax apparently has the mutant power of not feeling any pain and increased reflexes, which really only exist so that he can go toe-to-toe with Deadpool. But Skrein just doesn’t have any sort of presence, especially not as a leading villain. Maybe he’d make a better henchman. He doesn’t come across as a legitimate scientist, his asshole villainy doesn’t have any flare, and when up against the red-suited, wise-cracking Deadpool, he’s not even boring, he’s practically nonexistent. He only really works as someone whom Deadpool can entertainingly mock.
Carano’s Angel Dust, likewise, is just a vehicle for Deadpool to make more jokes. And she provides a reason for bringing Colossus out to play, so that he has someone to knock around. These villains don’t even get entertaining costumes or subplots. They serve the story in the most basic ways possible, and I suppose that’s enough.
You don’t watch a Deadpool movie for the villains.
You watch it for Deadpool. And Deadpool has all the Deadpool you could ever possibly want to Deadpool. At least until the sequel, which will, presumably, feature more Deadpool.
What did you think of the movie? Was it funny enough for you? Was it too funny? Let me know in the comments!