If you haven’t heard about Deadpool this weekend, you must have been living under a rock. The most successful R-rated film was on everyone’s lips as couples opted out of the usual romancy schmancy movie date and traded it with an extremely violent superhero film where Ryan Reynolds looks like “Freddy Krueger face fucked a topographical map of Utah.”
I went into Deadpool expecting to laugh, I had seen the trailers, I know the character, but the film even exceeded my expectations. I expected to laugh, but I didn’t expect to be thrilled, to be nervous, to feel sadness, throughout the time that the film ran I went through so many emotions that it felt like being on a rollercoaster.
The most positive thing about Deadpool, in my opinion, is that it’s utterly unique. We’ve spoken about the superhero fatigue in our Marvel Review of 2015 but while series such as Daredevil and Jessica Jones put a new spin on the trope by making it more dramatic and grounded it in real world issues, Deadpool went the other direction and drenched the film in comedy, and especially not taking itself too seriously. Also this is not a film about a hero, but we’ll get to that later.
The plot basically centers around Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), a former ex-Special Forces operative, now mercenary who meets and falls in love with prostitute, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin from Gotham, Homeland). They live in a sort of crazy bliss, where they are both broken and disturbed by they get each other (like two jagged pieces that fit together in a puzzle). Things take a turn for the worst when Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Wanting to be cured so that he could return to Vanessa, Wade agrees to undergo experimental treatment that is supposed to cure his disease and turn him into a superhero. Led by a man named Ajax (Ed Skein from Game of Thrones) the treatment requires Wade to be tortured in various ways in order for his mutant genes to come alive, in the process though Wade is disfigured beyond recognition.
The film reads like a well written comic book. Instead of the origin story going in a linear fashion from the beginning of Wade’s story to the end, we start in the middle, and flashbacked to how he became the man in the mask and the two timelines run concurrent to one another, as Reynold’s quirky commentary takes up between each timeline in order to get a more concise idea of how he got to where he was and what his intentions are now.
Deadpool goes even further than other comedic superhero films like Ant Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man, in that it laughs at itself and the genre. Deadpool often breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience, similar to what the character does in the comics, he pokes fun at the terrible portrayal of him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and makes jokes about Hugh Jackman and Wolverine often. Then there’s my favorite line when Colossus drags Deadpool away telling him they are going to meet with Professor X and Deadpool asks which one, ‘McAvoy or Stewart?’ referring to the confusing timeline currently happening in the X-Men films.
The R-rating is definitely deserved. From the graphic sex montage where Vanessa and Wade try almost everything, to the seeing heads being blown up onscreen and bodies impaled on swords, to the unapologetic dirty mouth that Deadpool has, this is not a film for kids, or sensitive adults.
Deadpool is a shining vehicle for Ryan Reynolds, who failed at his earlier attempts at superhero films – from Green Lantern to Blade: Trinity to even Wolverine – Reynolds truly found the role he was born to play with Deadpool. Perhaps the disfigurement of his extremely pretty face helped to prove the fact that Reynolds is an extremely good comedic actor, better than Van Wilder.
He can truly made us care about and root for a character that is ruthless, a killer, and ultimately an asshole, and as he reiterates often throughout the film ‘not a hero’ but we don’t care, and that’s the beauty of Deadpool – this isn’t your typical superhero film and it doesn’t try to be.
The opening credits of the film does a great job at pointing out the genre’s stereotypical casting, as instead of listing the characters names substituting it for phrases such as ‘the hot chick’ and ‘the comic relief’ or ‘the British villain’.
The supporting cast did a great job from the beautiful Morena Baccarin as enigmatic Vanessa to the sadistic villain Ajax and his epicly strong henchperson Angel Dust, as well as the ‘comic relief’ Weasel. The two members of the X-Men team that rounded up the cast and kept on trying to get Deadpool to join them (like Nick Fury and Phil Coulson in the Iron Man films) were Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, the latter of which was excellent in her portrayal of an unimpressed rebellious teenage superhero. But the best part about the supporting cast was that they did not take away or outshine the protagonist. Ryan Reynolds worked hard on getting this character to the big screen and perfecting the character, and this really was his rodeo and the other characters served to give him support.
Should I watch Daredevil?
Firstly if you are not a fan of graphic violence – steer clear. Also if you don’t like potty humor or get offended easily, join the others at the exit.
However fans of the superhero genre, this is a must see, also if you like a good comedy or want to see an interesting 3D character brought across onscreen. There is action, drama, comedy and romance, a little something something for everyone.
Another reminder, please don’t take kids to go and see this film, unless you want to be answering some very interesting questions at dinnertime.
There were a few parts of the film I was a bit iffy about, such as how the ‘save the girl’ storyline was a bit cliche, but Deadpool’s commentary and quirks helped to renew the tired trope and made it a little less bearable. The action onscreen was the secondary part of the film, the character of Deadpool was the primary.
Deadpool is currently showing at cinemas nationwide.