Film and comic fans alike never thought they’d see this day come, but from the sheer determination of Ryan Reynolds to get this project off the ground, “Deadpool” has smashed into the theatres with all the grace of an Eighteen-Wheeler smashing through the front doors. On fire. Has this labour of love and internal spite against the studio that did him wrong provided the story we wanted to see?
Well, it really did go through a conception as well as a baptism of fire, stuck on the studio shelf for years as well as “X MEN Origins: Wolverine” designing the character in the absolute worst way possible. For this though, we get the story in a mix of present time and flashbacks describing how Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) became the Merc with the Mouth. After acquiring a terminal form of cancer throughout his body, he takes part in an experimental programme led by Francis Freeman (Ed Skrein). He promised to Wade that not only can he cure the cancer, but awaken his dormant superpowers. But it all becomes a ploy, and Wade is left cured, but horribly disfigured by the process. Taking on the name of Deadpool, he sets out on a path of bloody revenge in his own fourth-wall breaking, crass, and violent style.
Looking at purely the story beats, it is a very simple design taken from a tried and tested recipe which we have seen from many an action movie. The list of characters is kept quite short, and the ultimate goal is made very clear right from the get-go. But you’ll know that going into this, and you won’t be here to delve on the plot details. No, you’ll be here for the laughs, the gory action, and the wit. And on that front, you are going to get served from the top tier.
The comedy which holds everything, EVERYTHING in this film together, and what it would succeed or die upon, is fucking amazing. A-MAZING. Right from the starting action sequence you can tell that both Ryan and the writers have completely nailed how Deadpool should act and react. He litters the pavement with as many puns as he does bullets. Any opportunity for a sexual innuendo is never missed. He is always aware there is an audience watching, and just does whatever the fuck his mind finds amusing at that particular moment. It is like those pieces of art that appear to be buckets of paint thrown at the canvas – there’s so apparent structure to them, and yet the resulting image is an explosion of colour and determination. Nothing about what Wade does has any order (except what he’s fighting for), and yet you can’t take your eyes off of the screen.
The set up and delivery of the jokes and humour hovers around brilliance, and sometimes tips on perfection. The audience I was with only took about oh… maybe ten minutes to warm up? And then they were nearly falling out of their seats just as I was. And anything that doesn’t quite work for you is followed very quickly by one that will. What surprised me the most was the sheer range of comedy that was on tap, it covers the whole spectrum from childish and witty, to foul and filthy. Calling it a “Black Comedy” would be doing it a disservice.
Character-wise, you will find no better person to don the red figure-hugging suit than Ryan Reynolds, he was just destined for this role. He clearly did his homeword on how he should act, talk and react because he never once feels out of place. It won’t go down as being a “career defining role” classically speaking, but it will definitely be one that he will remember fondly. Wade’s girlfriend played by Morena Baccarin is so great at carrying across the same kind of craziness that Wade is. This is one of the few action movies where the romance…. really works well! You totally get why they fell for each other, see their pains as cancer tries to destroys their lives, and Wade’s sacrifice for her. She never feels like a plot device, but rather a very core piece in the story dialogue. She performs this very well, and has a great comedic delivery too.
The main side characters of Colossus (Peter Rasputin) and Brianna Hildebrand with a character name too awesome for me to ever utter, both play small but very effective roles. Colossus is the perfect polar-oppositete to Deadpool, leading to the fun running arc of being a traditional superhero, compared to the don’t-give-a-fuck hero that Pool is. Brianna gets to play as a very fun character too, and honestly, her powers are pretty bas ass.
If you come into this expecting the $100 million-plus scale of a Marvel movie, then I don’t know what the hell you were thinking. But don’t fret, because even though this had just $30 million to fiddle around with, every penny was spent where it should have been. The action set pieces are spectacularly violent and well shot, with the cinematography lifting them from a potential clusterfuck into scenes you can properly follow and enjoy. The sets are designed very well and must be full to the brim with Easter Eggs for fans to go search out. Hell, they even had some change to fit in a totally fitting soundtrack to run with the film. The only place that looks kind of held back by the budget was the final scene, which at times looked a little too messy. But, the scene itself was really good, so I could let that one slide.
“Deadpool” is a magnificent success in bringing a character to the big screen that we never thought would make it. (or at least, without his fucking mouth being sealed shut) Like “23 Jump Street” and “What we do in the Shadows” the quantity and quality of comedy put into the script is the film’s defining point, what makes everything work so well together and cumulate into the money shot we have here. I mean shit, it is already blasting by the $100 million mark Stateside, and that from a rated 18’s movie is almost unheard of.
Ryan, I raise a glass to you, and the entire team for this one. Not only did you beat the studio into submission and green-light the project, but it turns out you pulled off an amazing job. It will be very hard for any other comedy this year to top Deadpool, Right now, I could not be any happier.
P.S. – Stay in your seat past the credits, you’ll get a nice little treat.
Thanks for reading!