Deadpool can be unmercifully funny but does it live up to the hype created by ingenious advertising and trailers?
by Josh Withey
We can happily confirm that director Tim Miller, Ryan Reynolds and Fox have achieved what many thought would be impossible – Deadpool works. It’s fantastic and you should go and see it as soon as superhumanly possible.
From the start of the rather ingenious advertising campaign, which only the fourth wall breaking Deadpool could take part in, everyone had high hopes for the anti-hero and his first solo outing. But the question remained, could you release a movie that was faithful to the hyper violence, sarcastic wit and meta-humour of its comic book source material and still make it profitable? Well, it almost feels as if everyone involved took a shot of tequila and said: ‘Screw making it profitable, we’re just going to make a Deadpool movie.’
But let’s get the basic stuff out of the way first, for all you Deadpool newbies. Wade Wilson [Ryan Reynolds] is a slightly mentally unhinged, sword swinging, gun toting merc with a mouth, who meets the love of his life, discovers he has cancer and then goes to extreme lengths to be cured. Of course this all goes badly wrong, Deadpool becomes practically immortal and has to carve a bloody mess though the bad guy’s henchmen to make things right.
Ryan Reynolds was of course born to play Deadpool, – this one, not the other one – his delivery, mannerisms and general attitude feel like they’ve been plucked from the comics themselves. Deadpool needs people to bounce off though, he can only chat to the audience for so long, and so he’s surrounded by a pretty strong contingent of backups, sidekicks and bad guys. Ed Skrein [Ajax] plays the British villain fairly competently, he’s got the look and the swagger, but he’s not going to go down in the history books as a Marvel big bad. TJ Miller [Weasel] most definitely deserves praise as the comic support, because how on earth can you stand out as comic support next to a wise cracking guy in a red suit? And Morena Baccarin [Vanessa] is portrayed pretty darn well as opposite side of Wade Wilson’s crazy coin. It’s impressive that a movie which specialises in shooting a guy in the butt hole for comic effect can actually generate some touching moments without feeling conceited or transparent.
Back in November director Tim Miller declared: “Pansexual! I want that quoted. Pansexual Deadpool.” And it left us all scratching our heads a little. Of course, Deadpool has never been portrayed as 100% straight in the comics, but were Miller and Renyolds really going to be able to explore a characters sexuality, in addition to squeezing in fourth wall breaking humour and super violence? Well they certainly give it a go. From full on flirting with women and men, to heavily implied jokes about hooking up with a particularly hairy X-Man, Deadpool is… Well, pansexual. It’s by no means his defining trait – he has many of those – but it is there and recognised in the movie. It’s a shame that the first Marvel character on the big screen who represents anything other than rigid heterosexuality or asexuality is considered by many to be the ‘comic relief’ of the super hero world, but hey, we’ll take it.
But what about the humour? Sure those lines you’ve seen in the trailers are pretty funny, but those are the trailers, and surely the best dialogue has been condensed down into 30 second sound bites of brilliance? Well, Deadpool can be unmercifully funny. On more than one occasion you will find yourself missing dialogue, fights or even entire conversations because you and the entire theatre are laughing so hard. Despite this, not every line lands perfectly, but the speed and method in which they’re delivered won’t give you time to register them.
Many will criticise the rather basic origin story. Super hero meets the love of his life, gets something taken away from him, seeks revenge and must overcome insurmountable odds. But this might be yet another one in the eye for super hero movies in general. From references by Deadpool to how the film studio couldn’t afford any more X-Men, to TJ Miller actually telling Ryan Reynolds to talk to a guy in the bar “because it might move the plot along,” it’s almost as if Deadpool is going through the motions of a basic origin story just to screw with origin stories in general.
Deadpool is correct, this is no super hero movie. It’s a two hour trip down crazy lane, with just the right level of jokes, violence, quips and nods to the core fan base. We’re fairly certain you’re not going to be disappointed with Deadpool. It’s hugely re-watchable, immensely enjoyable and most definitely lives up to the hype.
This movie review was originally published here.