Grab some Chimichangas, because it’s time to review Deadpool. Also known as the funniest superhero movie ever made. By a landslide. Oh, I wasn’t supposed to show my cards so early into this review? Oops. Well, onto the lovefest…
Deadpool is the first ever solo movie for the “Merc with a Mouth”, a wise-cracking, fast-talking antihero from the X-Men Comics. He was created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld, and made his first appearance in issue #98 of The New Mutants back in February of 1991. It isn’t technically his first appearance on the big screen, nor is it Ryan Reynolds’ first time playing this character, but let’s not go further there.
The story follows Wade Wilson (Reynolds). He’s a mercenary in New York City, he’s got a girl (Morena Baccarin), and he’s got terminal cancer. One night at a bar, Wade is approached by a mysterious man who offers him an experimental cure for his cancer. Wade says “(screw) it” and agrees, only to find out that the man in charge of operating his procedure, Ajax (Ed Skrein) has plans to transform Wade into a superhuman – and give him a hideous new mug. Angered by the probability of his fiancee now finding him horrifying, Wade sets out to get revenge on Ajax. On his quest for vengeance, he takes advantage of his newfound accelerated healing powers, but getting by with a little help from other mutants in Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Colossus doesn’t hurt. Or maybe it does.
Deadpool isn’t your pastor’s favorite superhero movie. Oh no. This is rated R, and it certainly earns that rating. It’s a violent, profanity-filled, crude-as-hell superhero movie. And it’s a riot from start to finish. What’s so great about it is it doesn’t give two (craps) about pandering to the usual tweens-and-up superhero movie audience, it just sets out to be as raunchy as possible. Just from the hilarious “as written by Deadpool” opening credits alone, you can tell the writers (the real heroes here) are throwing the typical PG-13 X-Men film out the window. Often times, Deadpool breaks the fourth wall. He’s aware he’s starring in a movie, which just adds to the infinite amount of fun I could only imagine the writers must’ve had putting this script together.
Ryan Reynolds was born to play Deadpool. If you follow him on Twitter, you’ll know he’s got a similar sense of humor to the Merc with a Mouth. And he’s very much to thank for the outstanding marketing campaigns for this Deadpool film, as well as the upcoming Deadpool 2. And he isn’t afraid to make fun of his “Sexiest Man Alive” days either. I can’t possibly imagine anyone else playing this character. Let alone so perfectly. Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool, Deadpool is Ryan Reynolds. Morena Baccarin is good as Vanessa, Wade’s squeeze. It was good to see Ed Skrein redeem himself after that dreadful Transporter reboot he starred in. Ajax (ahem, Francis) is a brooding villain. Not one of the greatest comic book movie villains, but he’s a worthy foe for Mr. Pool. Brianna Hildebrand is great as the moody, but badass Negasonic Teenage Warhead (can’t wait to see more of her in the sequel), while Stefan Kapicic kills it as the voice of the Russian-accented Colossus. And Karan Soni, who plays a NYC taxi driver, almost steals the scenes he’s in from Reynolds. Almost.
I know several people that consider Deadpool to be a lazily-written movie (which is cheekily referenced in this Deadpool 2 trailer). I also know several people that think Deadpool (especially this particular interpretation of the character) is nothing more than a “meme character”. To some, he’s as annoying of a protagonist as you can find. And I think part of that is by design. The writers have described Deadpool as a character that is “fun to hang out with… in short doses”. Wade gets a kick out of distracting the enemy by yacking his head off, which gets under their skin. Then he can proceed to get his dirty work done. In a way, that’s a superpower in and of itself if you really think about it. The fact that he’s irritating to some audience members as well only makes sense. And maybe he really is just a “meme character”, but I’d argue that’s what makes him stand out. Name another superhero that breaks the fourth-wall, and acknowledges (and pokes fun at) itself, the history of comics, and the superhero movie genre, all the while being in a superhero movie? I’ll wait.
And because of the success that came with Deadpool being gloriously rated R (most audiences couldn’t get enough of this movie when it came out), Fox has been able to greenlight riskier projects like Logan and The New Mutants. Sure, an argument could be made that Deadpool doesn’t need to be such an envelope-pushing character here. He wasn’t nearly as raunchy in the comics, he was more along the lines of (a fourth-wall breaking) Peter Parker. But I love this movie for how fresh it feels. The closest superhero movie to it would probably be Kick-Ass, but the comparisons between the two only go as far as their ultraviolence and foul language. Deadpool spins the genre on its head and can be thanked for potentially opening the gateway to more creativity in the genre in the future (so far, so good). Wherever this genre winds up going though, you can bet Deadpool himself will be waiting for some more juicy material.