Director: Tim Miller
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller & Morena Baccarin
Synopsis: A former special forces officer turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopting the alter ego Deadpool.
Rating: 15 Duration: 108 minutes Release date: 10 February (UK)
It’s been seven years since Ryan Reynolds last played Deadpool/Wade Wilson on screen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in what was a largely forgettable film. Since then, the fate of any future Deadpool films have hung in the balance and fans of the “merc with a mouth” have wondered if they would ever see their favourite character on the big screen again. Fortunately, due to the persistence of Reynolds and director Tim Miller, this is, at the very least, the best Deadpool film they could wish for.
Deadpool, whether in the comics or on the screen is the cousin no one likes, the creepy Uncle no one wants to go near and the step-dad who acts like a bit of a pervert around everyone. In short, he’s the guy none of the other superheroes like and who’s only real friend is a blind woman (Leslie Uggams) and a bartender (T.J. Miller) best friend who bet Wade would be the first of a crew of mercenary’s to die. The film should have been a hard sell, but with a marketing team that have knocked it out of the park, Deadpool is the most subversive superhero films to date.
Deadpool desperately wants to be funny, and more often than not it is, but some of the best gags, especially the R-rated ones have been seen in the red band trailers. Yet it still has an attitude all its own with a humour that would never likely fit into any other superhero film. The action and violence is similar to Kick-Ass and can be just as OTT and is not at all shy with its level of bloodshed.
It all feels like a middle finger to the superhero genre, a huge statement from director and star declaring we know what we are and we’re not afraid to make fun of the fact. It’s as meta as a film can be and is completely aware of itself, which is where it has the most fun. It pokes fun at Reynolds as well as Hugh Jackman and even has some fun at the X-Men series and its somewhat convoluted time line. What Deadpool gets right, it really gets right and the audience will have a blast in the process, but it’s not a perfect film.
Some gags go amiss and not every beat hits its rhythm. The story is simply one of revenge, which is a nice change from the usual end of the world scenario we’ve gotten used to and some of the better moments have been seen in the films many trailers and TV spots. Despite this, Deadpool is never less than huge amounts of fun with some great one-liners, some super fourth wall breaking (16 walls) and a raring performance from Reynolds.
Its Reynolds that keeps the film heading in the right direction and his complete willingness to do whatever the role asks of him. His natural charm and comedic timing are a fit here and his exuberance for the role really shines and without him, it’s likely that Deadpool would never have been made. And like it or not, Deadpool is a good thing in that it helps to keep things fresh and can hopefully persuade more studios to take risks with their properties. If not, be happy that we got even one Deadpool film with all the dick and shit jokes you can handle.