“Deadpool” yet another superhero from the Marvel toy box of comic book creations. However, this superhero gets picked last off the bench, only found at the very bottom of the box, in a very, very dark corner.
Inverting most superhero norms, “Deadpool” (Ryan Reynolds) is not a good guy, he swears, he kills baddies gratuitously with a bon mot or dick joke ready to hand, breaks the fourth wall by speaking to the audience and is generally a very, very bad boy.
Reynolds who had a previous disastrous relationship with a superhero role (Green Lantern) is clearly not going to make the same mistake again. The previous film is referenced and this could not be further away from that wholesome PG rated flop.
“Wade/Deadpool” is a special forces guy down on his luck, he enforces for money, threatening stalkers to stay away from their marks, killing as required, an urban mercenary for hire if you will.
The film is chronologically all mixed up, starting in the middle, backtracking in the films trademark self reverential style. “Did I leave the oven on?” quips Deadpool as baddies are eviscerated and cars flip in the background.
Tracking to the back story, “Wade” meets exotic dancer “Vanessa” (Morena Baccarin) and lets say they click fairly quickly. Not long after, a diagnosis leads Wade into the outer reaches of medical assistance looking for a cure, namely chief villain “Ajax” (Ed Skrein) and “Recruiter” Jed Rees.
Following some “minor cosmetic procedures” the previously very unwell Wade emerges with enhanced healing capacities but no longer the first choice for magazine covers. He decides to adopt an alter ego complete with a suitably carmine red and black costume. Much easier to get out those pesky bloodstains out.
Once his name is chosen for him, following an amusing list of what his new visage looks like, he gets to interact with a couple of characters from Xaviers school for gifted youngsters. Namely Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), clearly two expendable Marvel characters if the film tanked.
This is like no other superhero movie, talking direct to the camera, swearing, sexy, more gore than you can shake a bloody stump at. This is not a character your four year should go to kindergarten dressed as, you may well get some calls.
Is it fun, mostly yes in a Friday evening after an end of week beer and pizza type of way. Reynolds is clearly enjoying himself, taking pot shots at himself, the whole superhero genre, budgetary restrictions and anyone else he can think of. Director Tim Miller keeps the whole enterprise humming along before reaching a standard superhero movie cliché.
The denouement is a traditional action sequence with lots of destruction and indestructible beings doing super hero type stuff to save the damsel in distress. In case you are wondering, there are two end credit sequences and Stan Lee pops in for his usual cameo.
Technically this is impressive stuff and will be enjoyed by most, especially those wishing for a harder edge to their superhero. A combined box office of $782m would indicate that even with the necessary “R” rating (in the US), Reynolds will need to retrieve the costume from the laundry sometime soon.
A risky move from Marvel studio but one that has paid off handsomely. Add a further half star to the rating if you are under or 35 or been drinking, preferably both.
Guaranteed to spawn a sequel although quite how the character will play nice with the wider superhero ensemble remains to be seen.