GENRE: Superhero, love story, comedy, action-adventure
DIRECTOR: Tim Miller
WRITERS:Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick (script), Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefield (character)
STARS: Ryan Reynolds, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, Karan Soni, Gina Carano.
PLOT: Wise-cracking ex-special forces operative and mercenary Wade Wilson embarks on a crusade against the man who gave him special regenerative powers – yet disfigured him horribly in the process.
There’s a moment in Deadpool when the lead character (played with insouciant ease by Ryan Reynolds), suddenly realising his imminent torture of an enemy is likely to upset some viewers, physically pans the camera to the left as bones crack and screaming begins. It’s the ultimate ironic moment in this superhero movie-with-a-difference – considering what the audience has already seen, a few knackered fingers is nothing.
Deadpool is the story of Wade Wilson, a mercenary-with-a-heart for hire who discovers soulmate Vanessa (Morena Baccarin, in a role that begins agreeably before descending into standard love-interest-in-peril) just before discovering he has terminal cancer. Determined to ensure he has a positive future, Wilson enrols in a shady government scheme that promises to cure his disease, in addition to gaining unspecified superhero powers. Things naturally don’t work out, and under his new persona of Deadpool, Wilson is soon battling a whole battalion of black leather-bound henchman in order to locate the man who disfigured him – and can change him back.
Deadpool is certainly not your average superhero movie. For starters, it has a 15 rating here in the UK, which means pretty much anything goes. The violence is incessant and bloody, the tone childish in places, yet the content of much of the dialogue strictly for adults only. Christ, it’s even got Stan Lee presiding over a bevy of babes as a strip club DJ – there are clearly no buttons it won’t press. However, the movie’s adult theme is not the main reason Deadpool veers away from the superhero norm. Captain America, The Avengers and X-Men all wallow in their importance and self-professed duty to save mankind or their own species; Deadpool, with a complete lack of this narcissistic nobility, attacks on two fronts. Firstly, hardly anything is taken seriously, from the refreshingly honest opening credits, to Wilson’s incessant taunting of lead villain Ajax, even when about to endure painful torture. And secondly, you have the much-discussed breaking of the fourth wall, another concept kept over from the original source comic. It’s a shame both of these elements are side-lined as Deadpool’s final third resorts to the standard rescue-damsel and destroy-bad-guy-in-a-spectacular way ending, familiar to practically every superhero film ever.
That’s essentially the one problem that runs throughout Deadpool. While the film’s level of violence and Wade’s constant witticisms and knowing winks separate it from its peers, the storyline is of a Wolverine: Origins level, and the action strictly by the numbers by the time it reaches its latter stages. Thankfully, scenes such as Deadpool’s endearing relationships with taxi driver Dopinder (Karan Soni) and Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) remain throughout, a solid beating and regenerating heart among the tsunami of penis jokes and ultra-violence.
Review by Graeme Mason
While the action is well choreographed and shot, the story takes us nowhere we haven’t been before. So it is the likeability of Reynolds in the lead role and the level by which you take to the humour that Deadpool will live or die on. Thankfully I found the jokes to be suitably puerile and self effacing to keep my interest throughout.
I do hope that Marvel resist the temptation to add Mr. Pool to their other franchise however. Toning down the humour and/or violence would neuter the character and raising the 4th wall barrier would all but kill him.
for now though it is hats off to a Marvel superhero who dislikes Marvel superheroes almost as much as I do.
Second Opinion by Gordon Sinclair.