Movie Review: Deadpool
Comic book fan favourite Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) arrives in his own star vehicle – after the debacle that befell the character in his first cinematic appearance in 2009’s woeful Wolverine solo outing – complete with all the blood, guts, swearing and violence the Marvel anti-hero has become synonymous with.
Riddled with various cancers, mercenary Wade Wilson leaves his loving fiancé and undergoes treatment from some shady types to cure himself but in the process gains the superhuman ability to heal from any wound. With this new found power Wade dons the iconic red costume, tools up, and goes about finding those responsible for ruining his life and turning him into a freak.
If all this sounds a bit heavy, near fear! It couldn’t be less serious if it tried. Deadpool takes the character from the comic panel and more or less puts him right up there on the screen. Kudos to the studio, writers and to star Reynolds for not watering the character down in any way which shows that the studio has learned their lesson and listened to what the fans want, at least with this character. Reynolds has a ball as the merc with a mouth, spitting out hilariously filthy one liners and slicing, dicing and shooting anything in his path in a way only an R rated comic movie can. It’s refreshing in this day and age of overly sanitised 12A rated comic book blockbusters to have a film so unashamedly grown up. Well, if you can consider impressively inventive swearing and someone get shot up the bum “grown up.”
It’s not going to be a film to everyone’s taste but you’ll know right from the inspired opening credits the tone that the film is going for. It doesn’t so much break the fourth wall as smash right through it, flipping you the bird while it does. In a genre where this Ferris Bueller approach could have so easily failed, it succeeds wonderfully creating a comic book movie the type of which we’ve not seen before. Deadpool knows he’s in a movie and it never feels out of place. However, for all its toilet humour and gratuitous violence – and there’s a lot of both – there’s a surprisingly sweet romantic subplot that drives the film. Wade’s relationship with Vanessa (Morena Baccarrin, great) feels genuine and you’ll root for them despite their groan worthy my-childhood-was-worse-than-yours beginnings. A montage of their romance is both heartfelt and in keeping with the kind of film Deadpool is. And there are some rather horrific moments too that might catch you off guard.
First time director Tim Miller also takes a Tarantino-like approach to the story interspersing flashbacks of Deadpool’s origin with the present day which means we don’t have to wait an hour before the titular hero finally arrives on screen. It also really helps the pace of the film, as without the narrative being so fractured we’d have gotten real bored of being on that stretch of freeway for ages. Which incidentally leads me to one of the film main problems, the story itself is very slight and as much as it tries to shake up the origin story format with endless gags and irreverence it’s still basically your standard ‘(sorta)good guy is wronged, swears vengeance on generic British bad guy’ plot.
With a solid supporting cast of various heroes including X-Man Collosus, and student Negasonic Teenage Warhead as well as a script that isn’t afraid to poke fun at the type of movie it is, it’s an enjoyable, admittedly slight, riot. Not all of the jokes land (however if you’re knowledgeable on recent comic book movies all the meta ones kill, and I won’t spoilt them for you) and it’s isn’t nearly as action packed as you might think but we could do with more subversive superhero movies like this.
Oh, and stay after the credits.
Dumb and childish but undeniably fun if light on plot. It’ll be your 14 year old little brother’s favourite movie. It might be yours too.
Get your tickets to see Deadpool at Odyssey Cinemas here. Go VIP and get FREE parking!