Reviewed by John Hussey.
Deadpool. One of Marvel’s most beloved characters due to his obscure behaviour, his extreme violence, his strong sense of humour and frequent fourth-wall breaking. He’s a contradiction to most characters within the Marvel universe due to being an anti-hero. He doesn’t even pretend to be a hero; he is his own entity and does what he wants.
Now finally, we get to see him on the big screen. What’s surprising is how long it has took for this character to star in his own film. The project has been in limbo since 2000. That’s about seventeen years in the making. The question of course is “was the wait worth it?”
Yes. Yes, yes, yes! There’s no denying how much heart and soul went into making this film a reality. Ryan Reynolds, Mr. Pool himself, portrays the character perfectly. I haven’t read any of the comics but I know enough to know this imagining of the character is completely faithful. It helps that Reynolds has been on-board with the idea for many years now and waited patiently to star in the role.
We all know of course that Deadpool was close to receiving his spotlight in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but sadly missed out because of poor writing with a major change to the character. Reynolds was obviously picked for the role back then because of his enthusiasm in getting the character off the ground, but was disappointed when the character was written so unfaithfully. His alter-ego, Wade Wilson, was close enough, but we only got to see him for about five minutes. Upon his return, after much build-up, Deadpool was born and looked, nor acted, anything like he was supposed to.
Luckily, Reynolds got a second shot at playing the character here; something that rarely happens in showbiz. As stated above, this version of Deadpool was faithful to the source material, allowing the character to have an origins story and development. The events of X-Men Origins: Wolverine is completely brushed over and made non-canon.
Deadpool is given plenty of good material throughout. Reynolds delivers everything with a unique charm that instantly makes you fall in love with the character. He’s simply one of those actors born for a certain role and Deadpool is his. The comedy in this movie is where it shines, especially since it takes pride in breaking the four-wall constantly by having Deadpool make fun of different things, mostly consisting of Reynold’s previous work which flopped; notably his first Deadpool appearance and his role as Green Lantern.
There are also jokes made towards the X-Men universe, with one in particular referencing the different actors that now portray Professor Xavier, (Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy respectively). One joke even made fun of the Taken trilogy, calling out Liam Neeson’ infamous character for being a bad parent. This kind of banter and humour was plastered all over the movie and it just made it feel fresh and unique.
I suppose the film is made more impressive by actually integrating itself within the X-Men universe through the appearance of Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. This was made fun by Colossus showcasing the lowered tone of the other X-Men movies compared to the violence and profanity in Deadpool. Plus it was hilarious seeing Deadpool interact with them, especially when he tries to justify the aftermath of his bridge fight when claiming one of his victims, who falls from a motorway sign, was already there prior to his arrival.
It was interesting to see the bar raised when concerning censorship. Up until this point we hadn’t seen an official Marvel collaborated project be rated any higher than a 12 rating. Deadpool went all out to declare itself as an adult movie through showing plenty of nudity, sex scenes, profanity, extreme violence and inappropriate jokes. In fact, this was the first time I truly laughed at a sex scene just because it was played out for laughs, and showcased how far this movie wanted to go.
The characters are all well-rounded, with some given some comedic moments or lines. Blind Al, Deadpool’s roommate, added some great scenes and a strange chemistry for Deadpool to play with. Also some of the lines Deadpool spoke around her were just priceless. Then there was Deadpool’s best friend, Weasel, who was simply the friend you never want. His attitude throughout was completely careless and very rarely helped out Deadpool, even going as far as betting his friend would die. He even broke the clichéd moment of declining going to the final fight, which would normally have the side-character say something along the lines of “I’m too weak” or “afraid to go”. In this instance he simply said “I’m not joining you because I don’t want to”. Some friend he was.
It was great to see Deadpool tackle its narrative seriously. It wasn’t just a comedy or a spoof, it was a full-on action film with story-arcs involving romance and heroism. The scenes in which depict Deadpool’s transformation were amongst the darkest and most torturous. They could be quite painful to watch simply because Deadpool suffers a lot to gain his powers. It wasn’t a nice transition and ultimately costs him his sanity and good lucks.
This created a vengeance narrative that had him go after the villain, Ajax, in order to get pay-back for his gruesome transformation. But, say, the film does have a lot of fun along the way with Deadpool’s outrageous sense of humour and wall-breaking. The comedy is constant and never tires. It all works in with the action and the drama to make a great movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously but certainly enough to tell a good narrative for the audience to both laugh at and be emotionally invested in.
I don’t know whether Deadpool can be considered the best movie ever, or the best superhero movie ever, or simply whether it deserves top marks,bBut when you can see a film that has had so much effort and passion put into it you can’t help but be amazed by the final product. Plus it is an experimental film. Nothing has been done like this before. Deadpool is a unique character and seeing him for the first time on the big screen just shows it’s where he belongs.
Reynolds plays the role perfectly and the story, though not the most imaginative, told a story that suited the type of movie Deadpool was trying to tell. The humour was all there, the drama was all there and the action was great to see; spliced together with enough thrills, fun and violence to make me want to watch it again and again. Even my girlfriend walked away loving the movie, with us both sitting back awaiting the after-credits scene (which is worth the wait).
Also it’s worth noting that this film has the best Stan Lee cameo. It’s hilarious. All I can say is this film is definitely worth a watch and will have you hooked and laughing from start to finish. It’s everything we hoped for Deadpool and more.