Film Review – Deadpool
How does one come to trust the opinion of Ryan Reynolds‘ labor of foul-mouthed love, Deadpool, from a reviewer (strong, I know) who not only knows nothing of the character’s origins but is genuinely befuddled by the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole? Especially one so fond of inane run-on sentences? You don’t have to and, frankly, I’d be skeptical too. But I’ll be damned if director Tim Miller hasn’t gotten me chomping at the bit for more with this consistently entertaining feature film debut.
From its winking opening credits sequence (examples: “A Hot Chick,” “A Gratuitous Cameo”) to its gleeful tearing down of fourth walls (sometimes within a fourth wall break!), Deadpool makes its intentions clear. This isn’t your grandma’s superhero movie. Unless your grandma is real into blood and boobies.
Reynolds reprises his role as the titular Deadpool after an apparently groan-worthy cameo appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but we’re introduced to him here as Wade Wilson. Wade is a NYC mercenary who gets his jollies performing such heroics as threatening the livelihood of the stalker of a teenage girl. Then in walks Meet Cute, aka Vanessa Carlysle (Homeland‘s Morena Baccarin), bucking no conventions as the hooker with a traumatized heart of gold. After about a year of raucous love-making and wise-cracking, things come to a screeching halt when Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer. In a misplaced show of chivalrousness, Wade opts to leave Vanessa, hoping to spare her from all that pesky depression and deterioration.
Desperate to overcome the odds, Wade agrees to undergo an experimental procedure in hopes of a cure. Unfortunately for him, this is all a ruse put upon by Francis Freeman (but please, call him Ajax) and he is instead injected with some questionable something or other while being relentless tortured for days. The good news is, despite the unruly bedside manner of his nemesis, Wade’s cancer is cured! The bad news is it jacked up his face real bad. You’d probably be pissed too.
With the egging on of his bartending buddy Weasel (an always welcome T.J. Miller), Wade decides to go the vigilante route and we find ourselves immersed in a familiar montage of diligent training and costume progression. Now Deadpool, Wade would be the first to stare into the camera and acknowledge how hackneyed such a montage is. It doesn’t make it any less fun, though. He plots quick revenge on Ajax for the disfigurement and kidnapping of his lady friend.
Some early reviewers have quibbled that Deadpool purports itself to be above all of the other current superhero fare by cozying itself in as self-referential and abrasive, when in actuality, hidden in the slimy glitz and glammer is the same old formula. This is a solid observation and yet, for this admitted newbie to the world, it’s more of a plus than a negative. Maybe I’d have even seen the newest Iron Man if the dick joke quotient was ramped up in its marketing. But then again, what do I know?