Deadpool

Posted: February 27, 2016 in Film reviews
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Directed by Tim Miller. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin and Ed Skrein.

deadpool-nervous

When former Special Forces solder, turned low rent mercenary, Wade Wilson (Reynolds) meets with Vanessa Carlysle (Baccarin) he thinks he’s found his soulmate. After a year together he proposes, and Vanessa quickly accepts. Everything is going great…until Wade is diagnosed with very aggressive, very terminal cancer. Desperate for any chance of survival he accepts the invitation of a mysterious recruiter (Galaxy Quest’s Jed Rees) offering him the possibility of a cure, all he has to do is sign up to a secret program designed to create super soldiers.

Leaving Vanessa in the middle of the night Wade is taken to a secret hospital where he’s injected with a serum designed to activate any mutant genes he may have. In order to prompt his body into mutating Wade is then tortured by previous test subject Ajax (Skrein) and his henchwoman Angel Dust (former mixed martial artist Gina Carano).

Despite days of agony Wade continues to bait Ajax. In response Ajax straps him into an airtight chamber and removes all the oxygen. Wade’s body finally responds, his mutant genes kick in and he gains super healing powers. He’s also horribly disfigured.

Realising he can’t go back to Vanessa in his current condition his only hope is to find Ajax, who claimed he could reverse the disfigurement, and in order to hide his hideous visage he dons a red costume and names himself Deadpool. He has no intention of becoming a superhero of course, which doesn’t stop the X-Men taking an interest…

Can Deadpool find Ajax, will he win back Vanessa, and more importantly will he ever stop making dick jokes?

 

Ryan Reynolds can’t, unfortunately, lay claim to being the first man to play two different superheroes (Deadpool and The Green Lantern) because Chris Evans (Captain America and The Human Torch) beat him to the punch, but he might well be the first to play two very different incarnations of the same superhero, given he was also Deadpool in the extremely disappointing 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

In that film Reynolds’ wise ass mercenary had his lips sewn shut when he became Deadpool, which kinda missed the point. Thankfully in this second outing, a total reboot really, Wade retains his potty mouth, even after the experiment turns him into a super strong mutant with healing powers that, ironically, can’t heal his mangled face.

How you react to Deadpool might well come down to whether you go with the joke, or find his snarky asides and constant fourth wall breaking annoying. As always, gentle reader, I can only give you my thoughts…

And I absolutely loved it! Sure the plot is wafer thin (though some temporal jiggery-pokery with flashbacks helps by dropping Deadpool into the action from the start) and maybe it is just your basic origin story, but frankly when a film is this funny and this enjoyable who cares!

Reynolds isn’t the greatest actor in the world, but he plays smart asses really well, and that’s what Wade Wilson is, a man who can’t stop running his mouth, even when he knows it’s just going to cause him pain. By all accounts Reynolds’ determination was one of the factors that saw this film make it to the screen, but this is no vanity project by any stretch of the imagination (and it would be a pretty strange vanity project) and this might turn out to be Reynolds career defining role because his snark and wit are perfect for the Merc with the Mouth, as Deadpool is affectionately known, but he also brings an innate likeability to the role, one of those rare actors who can play a dick, but make him a dick you want to root for.

Within a lean cast the other standout is Morena Baccarin, who’s mainly been known for her TV roles (Firefly, Stargate, V and Gotham to name but a few) but she proves here that she can more than handle herself on the big screen. Yes she’s quite obviously the hot chick she’s credited as in the titles (in the interests of equality Reynolds gets namechecked as Hollywood’s Perfect Idiot) but she has genuine screen presence and can act, instantly putting her ahead of most of the generic blondes in Hollywood. Yes the role is pretty thin, and yes she is mainly the damsel in distress, yet she puts so much heft into the role you at least imagine she has more agency than she actually does.

As Ajax Skrein is ok, even if his sub Statham Schick can’t quite keep up with Deadpool’s wit. Carano’s acting is still pretty poor but she makes up for it by being a forceful screen presence and you can really imagine Angel Dust holding her own against Colossus (a wholly CGI creation) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (seriously that’s her name) the two X-Men who feature.

Deadpool is the complete antithesis of recent superhero movies; irreverent, foul mouthed, sexy, sarcastic and utterly childish. This is a film that knows how preposterous the idea of mutants and superheroes is and isn’t afraid to share that with you. A film where the lead character nods and winks to the audience with gay abandon, even going so far as to question why we only see two X-Men—“It’s almost like we couldn’t afford any others?”—and, as I’ve said, this might annoy the hell out of you, but if you sit back and enjoy the ride, if you’re in on the joke, then this is a hugely enjoyable film.

It might have benefited from better bad guys, and perhaps the plot could have been less simplistic, it would have been nice to see more of the relationship between Deadpool and the elderly blind woman he lives with, and maybe the film is a little baggy in places but to hell with any of that, sure it’s only February but still, best film of the year so far and I can’t wait to see Deadpool and his potty mouth return.

It’s not big, it’s not clever, but boy is it funny.

 

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Comments
  1. I hadn’t twigged this was a Marvel one – now I’m much more interested. I’ve been hoovering up the superhero stuff lately, dunno why. Agents of Shield is now on my must-watch list. (The DC TV programmes don’t grab me, Gotham aside.)

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