Are you suffering from superhero movie burnout? The common symptoms are homogenized violence, a few dirty words commonly heard on basic cable, and the word “Disney” popping up in the opening credits.
If you or anyone you know has any of those symptoms, the somewhat unreliable team of Fox and Marvel has your cure. It is called “Deadpool” and it is a complete 180 degree turn from the Disney-Marvel movie world. “Deadpool” seems to take great pride in its R-rating, reveling in the blood, sex, and exceptionally naughty language prevalent in all 108 minutes of it.
“Deadpool” is essentially the baby of star and producer Ryan Reynolds, who hasn’t shied away from slamming his initial performance of this very same character in the awful “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” That movie turned Deadpool, a cult character favorite, into a PG-13 embarrassment. In fact, it was so poorly received that Fox essentially locked the character up in a basement, never giving another thought to putting him back on screen again.
“Deadpool” is an origin story told in non-linear fashion via narration and flashbacks by Wade Wilson (Reynolds), a mercenary that never shuts up, is overly violent, and has a soft spot for innocents in need. While hanging out at a mercenary bar run by Weasel (TJ Miller, wonderfully witty as usual), Wade meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), a prostitute that is just as mentally screwed up as he is.
These two “romantics” hit it off and their “love story” is then explained via a montage that is as hilarious as it is risqué. As far as movie montages go, this may be the most original, yet insane one in movie history.
Their life gets turned on its ear when Wade learns that he has terminal cancer. With nowhere to turn, he agrees to be part of an experiment that brings out the mutant gene that every human being possesses with a promise it will cure his cancer. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that once the man in charge of this experiment, Ajax (Ed Skrein, going all in on the villainous evil British accent), that things are not going to end well for Wade.
The experiments leave Wade disfigured, but with the ability to heal in seconds. Thus, Deadpool is born and his new life goal is to find Ajax and his main thug, Angel Dust (Gina Carano), and exact revenge.
There are a few wonderful tie ins to the X-Men franchise in “Deadpool.” Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), a huge Russian man made of metal, and his trainee Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand and yes you read that name correctly) decide to help Deadpool on his revenge quest while trying to get him to see the error of his murderous ways.
Those murderous ways are on full display in “Deadpool.” The death in this movie is gruesome. However, horrific violence hasn’t been this hilarious since “Pulp Fiction.” Deadpool’s childlike glee helps make it a blast to watch him behead and skewer people left and right, even though you may hate yourself for laughing at how disgusting it is.
This is Tim Miller’s first time directing and “Deadpool” couldn’t have a better person to convey this to screen. Miller takes a relatively small budget of $50 million and creates two well done, practical action sequences that bookend the movie. The script by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese is almost an afterthought as it seems like Miller simply said “action” then let Reynolds and cast riff away.
Speaking of riffing, Ryan Reynolds has proved that he has mastered the art. Not every one liner sticks, but the ones that do are so fantastic and brilliant that theater laughter drowns out the next one. “Deadpool” literally has a crass insult, politically incorrect slur, or childish genital joke every minute and there can’t possibly be an actor that could pull this off like Reynolds does.
“Deadpool” will not please everyone. This is vulgarity at its highest and will likely repulse many people. However, this is the movie that fans of this cult hero have wanted and will only have them begging for more. Even if “Deadpool” fails monetarily (which is a long shot), it is a risky triumph that could have been a disaster. That alone makes it worth seeing.
Also, don’t be taken aback when Reynolds’ Deadpool looks into the camera and shatters the fourth wall. Embrace the fact that “Deadpool” is not a cookie cutter bore and soak up the sheer zaniness of the entire thing. But be sure to stick around for an after-credits scene that wraps “Deadpool” up with a perfect, self aware bow.