WITH eight comic book inspired movies 2016 is officially the year of the superhero on the big screen. Starting off the list is Deadpool but the R-rated meta action comedy romp is unlike any other superhero movie you will see this year or have ever seen.
Deadpool is a beloved character among comic book fans but for those out of the loop here is the character in a nutshell. Deadpool, real name Wade Wilson, is a fictional anti-hero and mercenary with superhuman regeneration abilities who first appeared in Marvel comics in 1991. But what makes him really stand out is his wise cracking nature and his ability to break the fourth wall, talk directly to readers and make real world references.
He has been long associated with the X-Men franchise and the current movie is the eighth in that film series. Deadpool first appeared in the much maligned X-Men: Origins: Wolverine and was also played by Ryan Reynolds but it was merely a shell of the character and an appearance most fans would prefer to forget.
A word of caution: this movie is not for conservative audiences and definitely not for the kiddies. It features many, many f-bombs, quite a few crude sexual jokes and adult humor, and some nudity. Translation – keep the children at home. Let them watch Gullah Gullah Island or something.
But back to the movie. In the US the movie broke the Thursday preview record for an R-rated movie with a whopping $12.7 million and has an 84 per cent rating on movie website Rotten Tomatoes. So here is my non-spoilery review of the “merc with a mouth” film debut in three easy to digest pieces:
AN ORIGIN STORY WITH SURPRISING HEART
Mercenary with a heart of gold and a sharp wit Wade Wilson (Reynolds) falls for bar worker Vanessa (genre darling Morena Baccarin). But their romance is threatened when Wilson learns that he has cancer.
Without any other options he signs up for a medical procedure with a shady group which promises cure him and turn into a superhero. But things do not go as planned and, while his life is saved and he gains the ability to regenerate from injury, he is horribly scarred. Afraid that Vanessa will reject him he hunts down the man responsible for his condition – a mutant with enhanced strength nicknamed Ajax (Ed Skrein).
As part of Deadpool’s very original marketing campaign – which included poop emojis and a breast cancer examination guide – there was a poster showcasing the movie as a love story. While done for comedic effect Deadpool has a solid love story which plucks at the heart strings and Reynolds and Baccarin have beautiful chemistry. Mind you it is in between sex jokes and decapitations.
HUMOR FROM OPENING TO FINAL CREDITS
Superhero movies usually have a whole cake of action with humour sprinkles but in Deadpool the action/humour ratio is like a double scoop of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. And the humour literally starts from the opening credits in which the names of the actors are replaced with hilarious descriptions such as “moody chick” and “a British villain”. The end credits features an animated Deadpool doing shenanigans and then the post-credits scene which I will only say is worth the wait.
And Reynolds is supremely funny in the title role and spends the movie making fun of the other characters, Hugh Jackman, the other X-Men films, and even skewers other movies. He also regularly chats with audience and gives a running narration. Reynolds is ably supported by T.J. Miller as the character “Weasel” who nails one liners effortlessly.
GUNS, SWORDS, EXPLOSIONS, OH MY!
You like action? You like gore? You like swords? What about guns? Deadpool has got it all baby. Sweet, raw, bloody, crazy action. It is suh-weet!
We also get some awesome superhero fights courtesy Colossus – who is WAY better here than in his previous film appearances – and the angst-y, don’t give a crap Negasonic Teenage Warhead whose super cool name matches her super cool persona.
Deadpool shows what happens when you fully respect a property and let it be what it is. It’s raw, it’s crude, it’s irreverent but that’s just how Wade Wilson rolls suckas.
RATING: Deadpool gets 4 mango-flavoured chimichangas out of 4.