Deadpool is one of those comic book characters that just doesn’t seem to fit in the cinematic universe that Marvel has been building. He’s vulgar, hilarious, violent with the joy of a kitten playing with string, and he knows that he is a comic book character. If Marvel had tried to take Deadpool and make a movie with the same sort of tone it has used thus far, it would have been a catastrophic failure.
But lucky for us, the Deadpool movie is a completely different sort of chimichanga. Here is my review.
First, The Story
Let’s just get this out of the way right off the bat. If you go into Deadpool looking for a compelling story full of twists, turns, and an ending to rival
A Walk to Remember *ahem* The Dark Knight, you’re going to be disappointed.
On its most barebones level, the origin story of this incarnation of the merc with the mouth is nothing extraordinary. Take your generic superhero origin story, change up the names, and you have something fairly akin to what you receive here. But that doesn’t matter. I didn’t show up expecting Shakespeare, and if you’re at all familiar with the character, I doubt you did either.
Fourth Wall SMASH!
From the opening credits, you know what sort of movie you’re in for. Without going into any spoilers, let me just say that within thirty seconds, the filmmakers had set a tone that was strong, unapologetic, and undoubtedly in keeping with the history of Deadpool.
Not only do they break the fourth wall every few moments, there are moments when they do it with such alacrity and just pure joy that you can’t help but smile. There is one sequence in particular, you’ll know it when you see it, that they take the concept of breaking the fourth wall, smash it into bits, blow it up, stomp on it a few times, and then shoot it into space.
I may be exaggerating. But then, maybe I’m not.
What About The Characters?
When the first Wolverine movie hit the theatres, I remember people being excited when it was revealed that Ryan Reynolds would be playing Deadpool in that movie. The level of snark and I-don’t-care-I’m-just-going-to-say-what-I-want that we are used to from the comics seemed right in line with Ryan Reynolds’s comedic style.
But we all know how that turned out.
Just rest assured that this time, what we get matches up with those early expectations. Ryan Reynolds is pitch-perfect as Deadpool, and you could feel with every line just how much fun he was having. This is one of those cases when the actor seems to have been genetically-engineered to play a particular character. Like Robert Downey Jr with Tony Stark. Or Judi Dench with… everything.
Seriously, have you seen Judi Dench act? Amazing stuff. Too bad she’s not in this movie. That would have been amazing.
We also have Morena Baccarin as Vanessa, the love interest whose subplot drives much of the film. While we may be used to her playing elegant, dignified characters a la Inara from Firefly.
Hoo boy, does she not do that here.
Not that she doesn’t do a great job or portray a likeable character. Vanessa may be a ball of crazy, but she’s an adorable ball of crazy, and it’s obvious why our titular character loves her so much.
But what I like most about her performance is that she isn’t just the damsel in distress or the woman waiting at home for her man to come back to her. No, this is a character with some agency. And yes, while she may or may not get kidnapped at one point in the film, she is no wilting flower. This is a woman who knows what she wants and fights for it. I just wish more female characters in media could be portrayed in such a way.
I don’t have much to say about the villain. Sure, he was a bit generic, but the movie does a great job of making you hate him almost as soon as he appears on the screen. Nothing compelling, but plenty enough to give you something to root against.
And, of course, there are all manner of minor characters. Colossus, the straight man. Negasonic Teenage Warhead (cool name) as the moody teen. TJ Miller in what for him is actually a somewhat low-key performance, but still solid. Even Blind Al, Deadpool’s roommate. All these characters add to the whole in a way that keeps things interesting and provides plenty of opportunities for that classic Deadpool snark to show itself.
And The Spectacle
From start to finish, the Deadpool movie is a joy to behold, a symphony of vulgarity and violence such has never graced a comic book movie before.
Sure, there is quite a bit of CG, and some of that CG varies in terms of quality, but I think that’s part of the charm. You’re never meant to believe that what you are seeing is real. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but that separation seems appropriate for a movie about someone who knows that he’s in a movie.
Oh, And One More Thing
Whatever you do, make sure you stay until the end of the credits. There is a post-credits sequence that may be my single favorite in the history of movies.
Stay and watch it. You won’t be disappointed, especially if you’re in the demographic that the movie aims for.
And if you don’t get it, I’m sorry. You missed one hell of a reference.
Well, I guess that’s all I have to say about the Deadpool movie. I know this is a movie review, but I don’t think I’m going to give it a star rating. I enjoyed the beans out of it, and it made me forget for two hours just how sick I was at the time, but your mileage may vary.
But I would never even think to allow anyone under 18 to see this movie. No way.
If you are a fan of the character at all, if you like heaps of sarcasm served up with a mountain of comedy and drenched with extreme violence, or if you want to see the comic book movie formula blown up, you’re in for a great time.
So, have you seen the movie yet? If so, let me know what you thought about it in the comments below. If you haven’t, what is your favorite comic book movie and why?
That’s all from me. Full steam ahead!