Starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Leslie Uggams, Brianna Hildebrand, Karan Soni, Jed Rees, Stefan Kapicic, Randal Reeder, Isaac C. Singleton Jr. and Stan Lee.
Screenplay by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
Directed by Tim Miller.
Distributed by 20th Century Fox. 107 minutes. Rated R.
Turn your snark and violence meter up to 11, here comes Deadpool.
Based on a cult-favorite Marvel comic book series, but only tangentially connected to the series of Marvel Universe films being released by Disney – Deadpool‘s rights are owned by Fox along with The X-Men films and Fantastic Four – this film exists to try to subvert everything we have ever learned about superhero films.
Deadpool is actually considered an anti-hero in the Marvel universe. (“I’m super, but I’m no hero!” he insists.) Ryan Reynolds – who is quite used to playing superheroes from the barely seen Green Lantern and Paper Man – had actually played the role of Wade Wilson/Deadpool once before in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However, in this reboot origin story, which is an infinitely better film than Origins, he nails the role in a way that makes it feel tailor made for him.
Wade Wilson is a handsome, smart-assed, jaded criminal who has come up with a rather unique spot in the underworld, he rents himself out to beat up people who are even worse than him. He’s constantly making topical wisecracks – about everything from Wham! to the Taken movies to Sinead O’Connor to Yakov Smirnov. He has one sorta friend, a bartender named Weasel (TJ Miller) at his local tough bar, but mostly he has always been a loner.
He has finally, after a lifetime of romantic cynicism, met his perfect woman (which in his case means a stripper and sometime escort who is just as jaded and wounded by life as he is, as well as being sexually ravenous). Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) sees him as another lost soul, and in a series of holiday-sex quick shots of the couple we watch them falling more and more in love.
However, true to his life belief, he can’t be happy for any long period of time, so soon after he asks Vanessa to marry him, he finds out that he has terminal cancer. Determined not to hurt Vanessa, he disappears and eventually agrees to a shady potential option to save his life. A strange man (Jed Rees) offers him the opportunity to join a study which will hopefully turn him into a mutated hero and save his life.
Wade shows up at the warehouse where the study is being held, where an evil scientist named Ajax (Ed Skrein) puts him through all sorts of torture until the change finally takes – he has become immortal, his body automatically healing any injury he receives. However, it has an unexpected side effect, he loses his good looks, his skin covered with bumpy, discolored scar tissue.
No longer sick, he is still unable to go back to Vanessa for fear she will reject him due to his new scary looks. He creates a red costume (better to hide bloodstains), gets a bunch of blades and firearms and sets out to avenge himself on all the people who did this to him – as well as cohorts and dozens of innocent bystanders. He is kept in line, somewhat, by two fellow X-Men, a huge metal behemoth named Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), and sullen goth girl Ellie Phimister, aka Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), who can create huge fireballs, when she’s not too busy texting.
Keep in mind before taking the young kids, figuring it is just another Marvel film with a guy in a funny costume, that there is a reason why this is the first Marvel movie to have an R-rating. The movie has some extreme violence (even for a Marvel film), very explicit language and even a bit of sex and nudity.
The script is funny and smart (if occasionally a hair too clever for its own good), the action is wild and bloody and the love story is refreshingly anti-romantic. Deadpool may be a bit of a tough sell to people who don’t care about comics, but the fan-boys will be salivating.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2016 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: February 12, 2016.