Film review by Claire Durrant of one of Marvel’s most loved and unconventional superheroes, starring Ryan Reynolds.
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Director: Tim Miller. (108 mins). Marvel Enterprises, TSG Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. (15)
Cast and Credits
Producers: Simon Kinberg, Ryan Reynolds, Lauren Shuler Donner.
Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick.
Camera: Ken Seng.
Music: Junkie XL.
Sets: Sean Haworth.
Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapicic, Gina Carano.
After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, mercenary Wade Wilson (Reynolds) agrees to undergo a rogue treatment. There he is subjected to constant torture by Ajax (Skrein) until his mutant genes are forced to trigger. Not only is his cancer cured, but he is left with abilities to heal at an accelerated pace. With these new powers, he becomes Deadpool and begins his search to exact revenge on Ajax, all the while equipped with a dark sense of humour.
Yes! After all the waiting, I finally got to see the highly anticipated Deadpool. This has been a film I’ve been looking forward to from the moment the rough cut of a short scene was uploaded to Youtube. We can now forgive Mr Reynolds for that trainwreck portrayal of Deadpool from X-Men Origins – Wolverine (2009,) and finally see the vulgar antihero get his own film and yet still remain faithful to the comics.
Ah Deadpool. The wisecracking, chimichanga loving, forth wall breaking ‘superhero’. This is certainly not a Marvel film for the children. Iron Man will give you a one liner and then flash you an arrogant smirk, Deadpool will give you a one liner and then chop off your head. There is a reason why this film has a 15 certificate: it is violent, gory and insensitive. The jokes are not exactly “PG” either. The film is oozing with sex references. All in all, this film is awesomely stupid.
They say everyone was put on earth to do something. Ryan Reynolds purpose was to play Deadpool. The humour of the character is similar to his Van Wilder days. So think crude, and immature…but this time also warped. The breaking of the forth wall is also amusing to watch. What makes Deadpool a unique comic book character, is that he knows he is in a comic. In the film, the character engages with his audience. He continues to “break the rules” as it were, by references to other superhero films. When he is told that he is going to be taken to Professor X, Deadpool asks “McAvoy or Stewart?” It is that type of pop culture comedy that makes Deadpool such a charismatic character to watch.
Reynolds is simply perfect in this role. And after all his superhero setbacks (*cough* Green Lantern (2011),) he has fought greatly to earn a place in the Marvel cinematic universe. Finally Reynolds and ourselves get the Deadpool we wanted.
Two other characters that I thoroughly enjoyed were the additions of the X-Men characters. There is Colossus (Kapicic) who is depicted more comical and Russian than his previous X-Men appearances, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Hildebrand;) a trainee superhero who deserved way more screen time. The two of them fit easy within the attitude of the Deadpool world. Colossus trying and failing to convince Deadpool to join the X-Men, and Negasonic simply not reacting to or caring about Deadpool’s insults.
So Claire, you clearly loved the film, so why didn’t you give it five stars I hear you asking. Well, as much as it pains me to admit it, Deadpool isn’t without fault.
Firstly, the story is pretty basic. It’s your standard origin story turned revenge arc. What breaks the mould however, is its narrative structure. A large quantity of the film is centred on the opening action scene, in which we are weaving from past and present. So during times in which we are getting acquainted with pre-superpower Wade Wilson, we still get to return to the present to see Deadpool do what he does best. Although constantly engaging, it doesn’t hide that the plot is still weak.
On the one hand, I completely understand that there is a need to introduce this character to a newer audience, but at the same time, this is definitely a film for the fans, and they are already well informed of the much loved character. Either way, with Deadpool 2 announced, I’m sure the sequel will have a better opportunity for a more in depth script.
Secondly, Deadpool couldn’t escape the problem with most modern superhero flicks: the villain. Ajax, although wickedly sadistic, is due a place on the forgettable villain list. In the opening credits, he is called “A British Villain,” and if there is one thing us Brits are meant to do well, it is to play memorable bad guys. Skrein is obviously putting his all in to his character, but unfortunately he isn’t able to compete with the likes of Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Lee, and of course Alan Rickman.
But despite the film’s setbacks, fans of Deadpool are not going to be disappointed in this adaptation. With its clever marketing, faithful script, and Reynolds name and fame connected to it, Deadpool is sure to be a successful superhero film in its own right. I am completely satisfied with the end project, but hey, I too have a dark and immature sense of humour. You will also be glad to know that the film has a romantic subplot, so it makes for a perfect Valentines Day film. Forget red roses, go for Ryan Reynolds in a red costume instead.
See the official trailer on Youtube.