I honestly cannot remember a time when I was as pumped up for a film the same way I was for Deadpool. Now, I am not a crazy Deadpool fanboy– honestly I know little about the character other than the fact that he is a sort of more popular Death Stroke knock-off that, rather than taking himself too seriously, cracks tons of jokes and continuously breaks the fourth wall. A few other things I knew going into this movie were: This was Ryan Reynold’s baby, he has been trying to get it greenlit for years and has tons of passion for the role. Additionally, the ‘R’ rating isn’t something you see a lot with superhero movies, so I knew I would be in for something special! Lastly, the ad-campaign is probably one of the best campaigns I have seen in…well… forever– they seemed to have given Ryan Reynolds the Deadpool costume and went “Hey, advertise however you want!”… and he did… and it was epic. We got to see some lovely poses of Deadpool wishing all a happy Thanksgiving or a poster where he states that he just “touched himself for cancer'” And that is not to mention all the mini clips and videos we were all treated to that gave us a taste of what Ryan Reynolds would bring to the character. He seemed a perfect casting for the ‘Merc with a mouth’ and everything I saw for the film just helped me get more and more hyped up for the movies February debut.
But does it live up the hype or does Ryan Reynolds disappoint in yet another superhero movie? Technically, before the release of this film, he was already 0 for 2 when it came to super-powered films. Although I would argue that neither of those film’s failures were due to his performance. He played a solid Green Lantern overall, but the directing of the film was bad and it led to a less than compelling villain. And…well.. Wolverine is a whole other topic… But I am glad to announce that, if you were worried like me as to whether or not this film would deliver, you may breath a sigh of relief… because this movie friggin’ rocked. And I do not mean ‘parts’ of the movie rocked or that it was ‘mostly’ a good film… I mean that it was epic as hell!
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing down when the evil Ajax (Ed Skrein) tortures, disfigures and transforms him into Deadpool. The rogue experiment leaves Deadpool with accelerated healing powers and a twisted sense of humor. With help from mutant allies Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), Deadpool uses his new skills to hunt down the man who nearly destroyed his life
I think what makes this movie great is just how unique it is. It is undeniable that the ‘superhero’ genre is getting a bit oversaturated in the market today. This films sets itself apart by taking a unique character and letting him show what makes him different. And the movie doesn’t just subtly point this out or let the crowd infer it, it throws it in your face the entire movie! Deadpool breaks the fourth wall consistently– but does so perfectly. This was one of the things that had me worried about the film… the character is known for breaking that wall and talking to his audience (us), but would that work well in a movie? Would you be able to take a character like that seriously? The answer to both of those questions is ‘yes’. In fact, his dialogue with the audience gives the movie a more personal feel that most movies don’t have. He isn’t just a hero saving the day, he is Wade Wilson talking to YOU– and that draws you in. And none of the other characters really pay any mind to him talking to the audience and you’re left to wonder whether not those characters also know about ‘us’ and are pretending not to notice or if they just with Deadpool is batshit crazy.
One of the tough things about making a movie is utilizing the time that you have on-screen effectively. Many movies make the mistake of cutting out vital parts of the film that would improve the story or give the audience a better understanding. And other films do the opposite– they add in scenes that are there just to fill in more runtime. Such scenes add little to the story and make the film, as a whole, suffer. In thinking back to this film, however, I really cannot thing of any wasted scenes. Every scene, generally, had some important to the story over all. Either that or every scene just worked so well together that I didn’t notice when a fluff scene was added. Every bit of it’s hour and forty minute runtime was used perfectly to either (1) further the story or (2) develop the characters within. And did you see that runtime? Only an hour and forty minutes? They packed a lot into that time frame and made you feel INVESTED with the characters! It took Titanic like… 3 hours to accomplish that and I still didn’t care too much… just sayin’
Honestly, anything I say about Reynold’s performance as Deadpool wouldn’t do his portrayal justice in the slightest. He was PERFECT as Deadpool and it was as if he was brought into the world to play the character. That is all I can tell you– he was amazing. So instead, Let’s focus on some of the other characters. Do you remember Ed Skrein? From the newest Transporter: Refueled movie? Probably not– no one saw the film after all. And neither did I, so I cannot judge his acting in that film… but as this films lead villain he actually did a remarkable job. He plays the doctor who had experimented on Wade to awaken his latent “mutant abilities”, which basically means he locked him up and tortured him within an inch of his life until powers emerged. He is the object of Wade’s hatred and Deadpool is actively hunting him so that the doctor can fix what went wrong with his skin (cause he is extremely hideous!). But he has a certain charm and showmanship as a villain. He is cocky, funny and pretty badass when you see him in a few fight scenes and paired with Ryan Reynolds pretty well in the film. Their back-and-forth banter revealed a lot about their character motivations as well. So, Skrein… maybe you get a pass for Transporter?
TJ Miller, I feel, should have been in the movie a little bit more? The few times I did get to see the character, I loved him so…yeah. Also in my limited experience with the Deadpool character I was led to believe that TJ Miller’s character would be treated a bit more poorly than he was. But hey, no skin of my back– his character was funny and smart when he needed to be and paired nicely with Deadpool’s blind old roommate in the movie as well. Like, both characters give Wade Wilson a fair amount of sarcasm and scorn back and it gives a solid balance to the whole cast who might have otherwise just rolled over and let Deadpool do or say what he wanted to them.
The ‘love story’ in the film was also one that wasn’t shoved down your through like other films. Neither characters are inherently good or bad– they’re human, and heavily flawed ones at that. Which I think goes a long way in making you feel invested in their characters. Their love is not a perfect one, just perfect to them– so when Wade Wilson decides to fight for that love, you cannot help but want to support him. Morena Baccarin, Wade’s love interest in the film, is not a helpless damsel in distress, nor is she just eye-candy for you to ogle at while the film progresses. She has a certain fire and tenacity about her that makes her equipped to deal with Wade’s constant stream of shit.
Seriously, though… Deadpool is probably the best superhero film I have seen in a long time. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and was hilarious from end to end. The casting for the entire film was flat out perfect and I just hope we get to see future installments of the character. Wade Wilson is a refreshing change from the usually cookie-cutter superhero films out there. He is crass, vulgar and doesn’t give a damn about what anyone thinks about him. And, because of that, the film is friggin’ golden. Ryan Reynolds has never been better in any role he has every played, I think even he will admit to that.