Directed by Tim Miller
Released February 12, 2016
If you had told me that a superhero movie would get nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical, I would have digested it with a fair degree of doubt. If Robert Downey Jr. couldn’t net an award for his portrayal of Tony Stark in the “Iron Man” films, I’m not sure what could. Yet I didn’t know what was coming with “Deadpool,” a seriously R-rated superhero in a seriously R-rated film that doesn’t take itself too seriously at all. Instead, it proves to be the most creative superhero movie in a long time in a sea of countless releases from Marvel and DC in theaters and on television, a refreshingly vile and very funny look at a super-powered guy who doesn’t quite qualify as a hero.
“Deadpool” opens in the middle of the action with the masked protagonist riding in a cab to an epic battle that finds him gleefully excited for the destruction he wreaks and slightly unprepared for everything that he’s facing. The opening credits immediately convey a different attitude than what Marvel fans have come to expect, with mockery of nearly every cast member and comic book convention substituted in for legitimate and normal title cards. Several minutes in, we meet Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), the mercenary who will become Deadpool thanks to a brutal experiment designed to force his body into having powers, prompting him to search endlessly for its maker, who disfigured Wilson’s body and face. Once he dons that red suit, however, Deadpool is a force to be reckoned with, whose abilities are matched only by his fast-talking foul mouth.
There is a great deal of excess at play here, but it’s all done very purposely. Deadpool repeatedly admits that he might not be your typical superhero since much of what he does could well constitute murder, and he has no qualms about taking out the trash permanently rather than simply wounding his enemies and acting in self-defense like his colleague Colossus of the X-Men does. The gore isn’t all – Deadpool also hurls insults at anyone who comes his way that are often more grotesque than the physical violence he exacts on them. In addition, Deadpool frequently addresses the audience and makes numerous comments that reference the real Reynolds and other comic book movies whose character should and do exist in his same universe.
This reviewer is far from familiar with the character of Deadpool, but some quick research indicates that this adaptation is relatively faithful to the kind of person he is in the comic books. Moreover, this is a fantastically entertaining and engaging experience, one guided by Reynolds, who is having the time of his life playing the sarcastic antihero. While it is prone to irreverent tangents, this film starts off strong and finishes just as strongly, with plenty of fun along the way. While this might be officially grouped into the X-Men film series, it’s really a movie all its own, and I’m sure that its sequel and a likely third or fourth film will be just as much of a blast.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017