It seems like there is a tentpole superhero movie being released every month or so in this new age of Universe-building and event films. Marvel has perfected the craft, but almost to a fault. Their movies are beginning to feel very similar. Most of them share similar criticisms. Lack of character development, choppy action, too much CG and uninspired villains. We will see if Warner Bros. can avoid these same criticisms in March with Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. FOX has their own stable of mutant talent and now that Jackmen is ready to retire as Wolverine they’re tapping into their roster to see what sticks. Deadpool is a comic book character created in 1991, who started as a villain, but soon morphed into an anti-hero. He gained popularity as a funny character who broke the fourth wall and spoke directly to readers. He was first introduced on screen played by Ryan Reynolds in the horrendous X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but that movies existence has basically been erased from X-Men movie cannon. After years of campaigning to the studio, a Deadpool movie was finally greenlit with a modest budget and an R-Rating. The result is a hilarious break from the cookie cutter superhero story we’re so used to now.
The best part of this movie is Ryan Reynolds. He was born to play this role and his delivery and demeanor is perfect for this psychotic character. The suit is straight from the comic book and details like eye movement are small but add personality. Wade Wilson is a Gun-For-Hire, who falls in love and is suddenly diagnosed with cancer. In an attempt to heal himself he agrees to experimental treatment that ultimately turns him into a hideous immortal. This is a revenge story at its core. It is also an origin story, a romantic comedy and an aggressive poke at Superhero movies. It works well as an origin story as it delivers flashback to tell the story of Deadpool. Within this format, it breaks up the pace and action in the film perfectly. The romance at the center of the movie is fun, despite how one sided it is. Morena Baccarin has palpable chemistry with Reynolds on-screen and does what she can with an underdeveloped character. She’s simply a vessel to move the plot forward and give Deadpool pathos. The rest of the supporting cast is great. T.J Miller does a fine job as Weasel and has a smaller role than marketing would lead you to believe. He has great banter with Reynolds and delivers funny one-liners constantly. This depiction of Colossus, as a straight man, works well alongside Negasonic Teenage Warhead (played by Brianna Hildebrand) and Deadpool.
I laughed a lot watching this movie. Deadpool is full of vulgar jokes and gags that land more than they miss. Deadpool makes reference to the two Charles Xaviers that exist in the movie universe, he makes masturbation jokes and he even pokes fun at Hugh Jackmen. It mostly works. This movie has a small budget compared to other superhero movies and you can feel the financial constraints in a lot of the action. The final set piece feels like it wants to be bigger, but is kept small to avoid too much CG. My only other issue with the film is that no action scene really stands out. Because of its low budget, I excepted close, intimate fight scenes. Aside from the great car chase at the beginning, nothing else really stuck out. The scenes of him being tortured are a bit much and last far too long, but I enjoyed my time overall.
Deadpool is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in months and a solid superhero origin story in its own right. I’m happy it has done so well in theaters and I look forward to watching the sequel.