“With great power comes great irresponsibility”
Directed by Tim Miller
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrien, TJ Miller, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić, and Leslie Uggams
Deadpool (Reynolds) is killing a lot of people, then we flash back to him on the way to kill those people, and at the end of the fight do a proper flashback to see how mercenary Wade Wilson met the love of his life, Vanessa (Baccarin), then learned he had advanced cancer. Offered treatment that would also make him into a superhero, he falls into the hands of sadistic Ajax (Skrien) and his super-strong henchwoman Angel (Carano), and while he gains the ability to heal any harm, is rendered hideous by the process.
Back in the now, Deadpool lives with a crotchety blind lady named Al (Uggams) and hangs out in a merc bar tended by best friend Weasel (Miller) while he tracks down Ajax hoping to get fixed, while X-Men Colossus (Kapičić) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Hildebrand) seek to contain the Merc with the Mouth’s rampage of revenge. Things get personaler when Ajax kidnaps Vanessa to draw Wilson out, setting the scene for a battle royale.
What’s wrong with it?
Deadpool’s signatures are breaking the fourth wall, extreme violence and striking poor taste. These are all present and correct in almost gratuitous degree, and this means that there are occasions when the film tips over the line. Where that happens and how often is going to vary from person to person, and it’s clearly intentional, but it’s there.
The film is incredibly crude; it’s like everyone in it is played by a version of Ryan Reynolds from another universe, except for Deadpool, who is played by the ur-Reynolds of the Prime Universe; the platonic ideal of Ryan Reynolds, if such a thing could be said to be ideal.
Soo much splatter.
What’s right with it?
It’s very funny. If you like over the top, none-too-delicate humour and aren’t offended by splatter.
The fourth-wall breaking is really well done. Not too intrusive.
This… Okay, so this is apparently what Ryan Reynolds is for. I always wondered.
Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Just… damn. That really is one hell of a name.
How bad is it really?
Okay, so… are you bothered by profanity? Or splatter? Or crude humour? If you are, you are not going to like this. If you’re okay with that, maybe this will float your boat. Honestly, it’s a crap shoot. Aside from a few bits where it felt like it went too far, I certainly enjoyed it, but your mileage may vary, and I mean vary a lot. I really mean it about the humour. It’s not Cards Against Humanity, but there’s a lot of potential to offend.
Best bit (if such there is)?
The opening credits play out as the camera pans through a freeze frame of Deadpool midway through murdering a car full of goons, announcing that the film stars ‘God’s own idiot’, ‘a hot chick’ and ‘a CGI character’, among others. It really sets the tone.
My favourite fourth wall break comes when Colossus threatens to take Wilson to speak to the Professor, and Wilson asks: “MacAvoy or Stewart?”
What’s up with…?
- Stan Lee as a strip club DJ? I mean… I know they gotta get him in there somewhere, but damn.
- Ajax? Okay, so he has enhanced reflexes, which is how he can go toe to toe with Deadpool, and he feels no pain, but… just mechanically his body should surely have given up the ghost at some point.
Production values – The splatter is… beautiful, almost balletic. It occasionally shows its digits; ironically more when Deadpool goes CG than for the all mo-capped Colossus. 7
Dialogue and performances – The humour is a decidedly mixed bag, sometimes going too far (I don’t care how you play it, even imaginary child abuse isn’t funny) and the rest is workmanlike rather than anything mush to write home about, but the performances are perfectly gauged to the material. 8
Plot and execution – It’s a simple enough revenge plot, and the fourth wall busting flashback conceit is an entertaining twist. 5
Randomness – This is a tough call. There’s a lot that could be considered random, but it’s all… purposeful. 3
Waste of potential – Well, its raison d’etre is to be better than the last attempt at Deadpool (in Origins: Wolverine), and it manages that nicely. 2