Movie Review: Deadpool

Birthed from the minds of both overpaid idiots and nerdy geniuses, 20th Century Fox's Deadpool blasted into theaters to not only great reviews and tons of cash, but also a wave of gracious pleasure from comic book fans everywhere. Ultimately the studio's second attempt at the unhinged character, first in the unspeakable X-Men Origins: Wolverine back in 2009, director Tim Miller's brilliant take on the famous anti-hero kicks ass and isn't afraid to drop the F-bomb more than once. What could be one of the most unlikely superhero hits of the year, Deadpool was everything I'd hoped it be. 


Expert at being both a dirty scumbag and sharp-witted mercenary, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) strolls through life without an ounce of fear on his back. Whether he's punching in the faces of peeping pizza guys or picking up the usual prostitutes from the bar, Wilson feels as alive as he'll ever feel...or so he thinks. Suddenly stricken with terminal cancer, right after meeting the girl of his scumbag dreams, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), Wade is given a choice: die in the arms of his girl, or trust a smirky recruiter offering to cure him. After entrusting in said smirky recruiter, Wade is suddenly subject to a multitude of violent tests, administered by a sinister mutant known as Ajax (Ed Skrein). After escaping from the facility, Wade is left more than a changed man. Given the ability to heal nearly any wound or tackle any ailment, but left horribly scarred in the process, Wade soon realizes that the only way to find a cure is to find the man who did this to him. To do that, however, he must first become something he never saw in himself before. That something, to his surprise, was to become a f***ing superhero. 

What was once thought to be highly unlikely, and a bit unnecessary, to become a feature film, the unexpected redux of Deadpool brought both hilarious surprises and a hopeful outlook from the cautious studio of 20th Century Fox. The studio behind the somewhat acclaimed, somewhat confusing X-Men franchise -- as well as the abysmal outings of Origins and last year's Fantastic Four -- Fox took one mighty leap with Deadpool, hoping that the reliable and reluctant cult favorite might be able to get them back in the game. What resulted from this blind leap was something out of dream. Offering up a cut-throat, no-holds-barred tale ripped straight from the comics, Deadpool not only defied expectations, but also gave Fox another bankable superhero to rely on. 


And what makes a character such as Deadpool so bankable, you ask? Well, aside from his massive cult following as the famous ass-kicking, foul-mouthed antihero of Marvel Comics, he's also one of the most interesting comic-book characters out there. From his flamboyant meta-humor and 4th-wall-breaking to his exotic tongue of foul language and pure oddity, Deadpool has -- through years of comic-book antics --escalated from a cheesy rip-off to one of Marvel's craziest creations. That's exactly why he made for such an unlikely -- yet highly anticipated -- character to see appear in his own movie. Now, with the film relying on both the character's crude humor and ultra-violent tendencies to produce one awesome ride, Deadpool made for a unique superhero experience at the theater, as it looked and felt a lot different from your typical comic-book film.  

Delivering the perfect mix of humor and violence, as well as some fluid romance here and there, Deadpool had a lot more good things than bad in its final product, something that both did and did not surprise me. One of the most surprising positives of this film had to be its cast, beginning with Mr. Ryan Reynolds. In short, I have to say, Reynolds was born to play this character. Bringing his own sarcastic yet charming persona to the sardonic superhero, Reynolds played Wade Wilson/Deadpool like he was always meant to. Initially cast as the character back in 2009, the end result in Origins degrading the Merc with a Mouth to the Abomination with Arm Swords, Reynolds -- a great fan of the character -- returned of course to give him the justice he deserved. With that valiant return brought upon possibly one of the actor's finest roles. With a career flooded in sappy rom-coms and the occasional generic action-thriller, it was more than refreshing to see the actor in the role it seems he was always meant to play. 


Aside from a stellar lead performance from Reynolds, the supporting cast also made the film very unique. Consisting mostly of stick-in-the-mud characters when compared to Deadpool, the remaining cast each had their own special relationship when they interacted with the main scumbag. From a rebranded -- and entirely more hilarious -- Colossus to a substantial British villain in Transporter Refueled star Ed Skrein, the entire cast played well against the sarcastic lead, resulting in more than a few enjoyable scenes in the film. One of the more memorable characters would have to be Wade Wilson's central love interest, Vanessa, played by the beautiful Morena Baccarin. The actress, who just recently dived into the DC Comics universe on Fox's Gotham, entered the Marvel universe with a similar force as she took on the role of Vanessa Carlysle. While her character may not offer the mutant abilities she dons in the comics (for now at least), Baccarin does manage to play a convincing love interest to Reynold's scumbag merc, herself playing a scumbag prostitute in the film. While the love story isn't the main focus in the film, it does play a great part in establishing these two characters, and makes for a unique take on the rom-com genre from Reynolds and Baccarin. 

Breakout star Brianna Hildebrand's Negasonic Teenage Warhead
was also a highly enjoyable addition to this odd film, offering a
a minor peek inside the future of the X-Men
Another great element in the film was the fantastic meta-humor. Ultimately the thing that makes Deadpool Deadpool, the brilliant self-awareness of the character makes him all the more unique as comic-book antihero. Aware of both his presence in a superhero movie and of the audience that sits before him, the character was able to not only interact with all the idiots who paid to see this movie, but also take shots at nearly every film trope and cliché there is. From the character commenting on exactly what type of movie this really is (whether it be romance, horror, or otherwise) to him even roasting star Ryan Reynolds' rocky film career, the fact that Deadpool could "break the 4th wall" made the film feel even more like a true dedication to what makes the character so damn awesome. Whether he's poking fun at DC's trashy Green Lantern film (which also starred Reynolds) or simply sprinkling any other random reference people could pick up, you never really knew what was going to come out of the character's unhinged mouth.  

Overall, Deadpool was probably the most unconventional yet satisfying, unnecessarily vulgar yet completely necessary, and simple yet highly complex comic-book film out there. Delivering stellar performances for a film of this genre -- from its dirtbag lead to its humorously-generic supporting cast -- and enough action and thrills that it actually felt real -- minus the whole mutant powers thing, 20th Century Fox's second attempt at bringing this unlikely creation to the big screen ended in a vulgar triumph that almost any comic-book fan out there can enjoy.

"Cue the music."
I gave this film an 8 out of 10, for its plethora of positives among very few negatives, from its spot-on cast of stick-in-the-muds and scumbags alike to its fantastic array of brilliant meta-humor worthy of the psychotic comic-book cult favorite. Amounting to probably one of Fox's most risky plays -- and ultimately one of their most satisfying -- Deadpool relentlessly kicks ass and successfully pays homage to a character that was always meant to jump onto the silver screen. What ensues in the already-confirmed sequel may be up in the air for now, but what we can expect is even more of the raunchy randomness delivered in this surprising superhero hit.


Speaking of surprising superhero hits, the surprisingly less-spoiler-free final trailer for next month's highly-acclaimed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released just this past week. Showing us a bit more from the Caped Crusader and his alter ego, as well as some more of the brutal action to ensue, I knew I had to share my thoughts on the latest preview. Stay tuned this week for my review of the trailer, as well as my final predictions on how well this massive superhero kick-starter may end up doing.           

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