As of late Deadpool has hit something of a boom period with countless comics, a video game, and now a movie. The quality has been anything but consistent through these various ventures but hopes were high for the film to deliver in a big way, could it ever live up to the hype?
Oh yes it could.
From the opening credits it was clear that this was not going to be your typical superhero flick. Not to say that Marvel and DC’s usual offerings aren’t good, they largely are, but they all follow a very familiar format with little deviation. Deadpool dared to buck the trend and injected its unique brand of humour from the off with the aforementioned opening credits being the funniest in recent film history and setting the tone for the rest of this wickedly funny, fourth wall breaking, blood splattered triumph.
Despite being an origins story Deadpool managed to avoid the various pitfalls that most of these types of movies have stumbled into countless times. The tendency is to go from point A to point B in a very linear fashion that leaves vast swathes of the story feeling bland and overly time consuming whilst you wait for the hero to finally suit up and get down to business. That isn’t so in this picture as it begins with an already established character in a death defying freeway chase full of creative violence and laugh a minute dialogue and visuals. From there the tale of how Wade Wilson became the titular anti-hero is made clear whilst this co-story that has already been set up is dropped back into from time to time until the two narratives meet up in natural manner.
The actual origin portion of this film is handled pretty much perfectly. Wade is every bit the loud mouthed but oddly endearing figure that he needs to be. This is where Ryan Reynolds’ boyish charm comes in handy as he portrays the Merc with a little edge whilst retaining that cheeky smile that makes it so hard to hold anything against him, even the odd murder or two.
The dynamic between Wade and Vanessa (brilliantly brought to life by Morena Baccarin) makes for some of the best romance scenes to be found in this type of movie. The chemistry between the pair is unmistakable and the blossoming love they share is portrayed via a light hearted trip through all the holidays where they engage in various seasonally themed sexual exploits. It isn’t all sex though as the relationship is shown to move from lust to love with tender moments that bring out a side in Wade that hadn’t been glimpsed before in the film, the bravado was gone if only for a moment.
Of course there can be no great story without tragedy which meant Wade had to develop a horrendously aggressive cancer, sealing his imminent demise. The revelation of his condition was treated in a shockingly sincere manner an d provided a welcome though eye wetting break from the otherwise action packed film. From here is where the story kicked into high gear as a mysterious organisation approached Wade and offered him not just a cure but the ticket to become a superhero.
The rest of the story centres around the consequences of his decision to take them up on that offer and his quest to return some normalcy to his life… and face.
The action from there on out is intense when it needs to be intense and hilarious when it needs to be hilarious. It seems the film’s writers, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, had studied the world of ‘Pool in great detail before devoting themselves to this project as he is a perfect representation of the classic comic book loudmouth. The decision to only have Deadpool break the forth wall and not regular Wade Wilson turned out to be tremendously effective as it served to differentiate the two personalities and allow for some more appropriate nods and winks to the audience, which made up some of the funniest scenes in the entire movie.
One slight grievance is that the villain of the movie, Ajax (of Francis, if you’d prefer) is not as well rounded or memorable as those from other Marvel movies. Loki, Ultron, and The Winter Soldier are all better developed, their actions all have more reasoning and explanation behind them which leads to the audience taking to them in a way that hasn’t been achieved with this particular rogue. If it weren’t for the jokes about his name, he wouldn’t have gotten the internet notoriety that is developing around him nor would he be on anyone’s mind after more than a day of having watched the movie. Sure he is nasty and nefarious but that alone is not enough to make a memorable bad guy, and it’s not like Marvel are short on villains to place in their films.
The good guys are a lot better written though as Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (yes, really) both bring something vastly different to the film and leave it a better place for having been there. These are another two characters who are not only hilarious but have an actual purpose and motivations, something that is often missing in side characters. That’s not to say that the movie wouldn’t have been as good without them, it probably would have, but it definitely didn’t hurt to have them in there.
Again though there is a problem with the writing of one of the characters you are supposed to be routing for and that is Vanessa. In the beginning she is shown to be a strong woman who doesn’t need rescuing and isn’t afraid to stand up for herself but by the end she is just another damsel in distress, incapable of fighting for herself. Yes, the script called for something to be hanging in the balance during the final act but it just made for such a weird shift that it was off putting. Add to this the fact that Angel Dust is simply a henchwoman for Ajax and as such offers nothing unique to the story and it does make you wonder what went wrong in the crafting of these female characters. They deserved to be treated with more consistency and given more to do.
Despite those few flaws this still manages to be one of the best superhero movies of the bunch. It will have a lot of competition this year from the likes of Suicide Squad and X-Men Apocalypse but you shouldn’t be surprised to see Deadpool reign supreme when all is said and done. With a sequel already in the works the mind can’t help but turn to what is next for this off the wall anti-hero. Here’s hoping it involves plenty of Chimichangas and maybe an appearance from Madcap.
Score: 8.9 out of 10.
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