We’ve all seen the trailers and TV spots by now that are attempting to showcase a wild & wacky superhero action comedy. Lord knows both Fox and star Ryan Reynolds haven’t been shy when it comes to promoting this film. Even when I’d occasionally groan about another bit of promotional material that needed to be published on this site, at the the back of my mind, I hoped that the collective enthusiasm behind the making of this film would make it onto the screen. I had faith that it would and I’m oh so happy to be proven right.
Deadpool is a violent, vulgar, and hysterical actioner slapped in superhero duds and enthusiastically ejaculated onto the silver screen by a wonderful creative team. It’s also a surprisingly sweet film filled with endearing characters. Yes, Wade Wilson is a foul-mouthed, talkative assassin who constantly says incredibly mean and hysterically offensive things. He also has a heart as big as his sense of humor, even if he doesn’t like to admit it.
I think that’s what makes this film work more than anything. More than the violent gags, the pop culture references, and the off color dialogue, it’s the heart that Ryan Reynolds brings to the film that makes it infectiously entertaining. That heart carries over not only into Deadpool himself, but every other character in the film as well.
Let’s look at our two X-Men characters, for example. In any other film, Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) would be a cutesy reference and have no characterization. Not so here. Colossus’ ever-optimistic attitude brings a smile to my face and his prudish nature is absolutely adorable. Negasonic is more of a typical cynical teenager, but even she has a soft spot that rears its head. You can see why she belongs with the X-Men and how she makes the perfect tag-along for Colossus.
As for the supporting characters, they all love Deadpool and Deadpool loves them. Beneath the mile-a-minute insults and jokes, there’s a real connection between Wade Wilson and the other people in his life, from his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) to his pal Weasel (T.J. Miller) to his roommate Blind Al (Leslie Uggams). They all really and truly care about one another and it shows.
If the film has a weak spot, it’s the villains. Neither Ajax (Ed Skrein) nor Angel Dust (Gina Carano) are terrible villains, but they aren’t memorable characters either. You know what though? That’s fine. While a more striking pair of villains might have elevated the film a bit more, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t need it. All these two need to do is stand there and take what Reynolds dishes out at them. On that level, they work. That said, if there’s room for improvement in the now-inevitable sequel, writing some better baddies is where it’s at.
I could spend all day listing my favorite sight gags, insults, and references, but I’ll leave those for you to discover for yourself. I’m honestly greatly anticipating revisiting the film, as I’m pretty sure I missed at least a fourth of the jokes due to audience laughter. This film played like gangbusters with my crowd and not a moment went by where people weren’t busting a gut. Some have been wondering if this one’s success might be frontloaded, but I have a feeling it’s going to be playing for awhile due to word of mouth alone.
Congratulations are in order for all involved. Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese crafted an excellent script that was expertly brought to life by first-time feature filmmaker Tim Miller. The former two are already on board for the sequel and, god willing, Miller will be too. Kudos are owed to producers Lauren Shuler-Donner and Simon Kinberg as well. Both went to bat to not only get this film made, but to make sure that it was exactly the film it needed to be.
Most of all, I want to congratulate Ryan Reynolds. Ever the underdog and, for the longest time, stuck with extremely bad luck when it came to comic book adaptations, Reynolds persevered. That undeniable optimism and refusal to give up has finally paid off. It appears that the fifth time was the charm and after seven years of tooting the horn for a Deadpool film, he has delivered in spades.
Not only is it a win for the creative team, but it’s a win for Fox as well. Things looked extremely dour for the X-franchise after the one-two groin punch of X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (which is absolutely recalled here a few times). Ever since 2011’s X-Men: First Class, however, the mutant ship has been righted. Deadpool marks the fourth X-film in a row that has been a winner (at least in my eyes) and we may soon have a fifth (X-Men: Apocalypse). Keep up the good work, Fox! You keep handing us fun films like these and I’ll never get tired of them.
Is Deadpool perfect? Is it a game-changer? The greatest thing since peanut butter? Of course not. There’s a lot of hyperbole flying hard and fast when it comes to this film. That’s par for the course when it comes to good comic book movies, however. So what is Deadpool? Simply put, it’s a great time at the movies and a wonderful choice for couples looking to hit cinemas this weekend.
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