Film Review by Kam Williams
Ryan Reynolds Absolutely ‘Marvel’-ous as Wisecracking Superhero
Technically, Deadpool is the 8th installment in the X-Men film franchise, although it’s different enough from the others to stand on its own. In fact, it’s not only the first R-rated offering in the Marvel Comics series, but the first humor-driven episode to boot.
The movie marks the daring directorial debut of Tim Miller who deserves nothing but praise for eschewing formulaic fare in favor of uncharted waters, when it would’ve been oh so easy to avoid taking any risks. In a bit of inspired casting, Tim tapped Ryan Reynolds for the title role, a proven master of both the comedy (Adventureland, The Proposal and Definitely, Maybe) and action hero genres (Green Lantern, Paper Man and Blade: Trinity).
Here, he plays Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, a Special Forces Agent disfigured by a medical experiment gone horribly wrong. In this origins tale, we learn that the accident left him with an uncanny ability to heal himself almost instantly (except for the skin), a trait likely to come in handy whenever he’s shot, stabbed or otherwise injured. And he also morphed him into a compulsively-wisecracking vigilante.
At the point of departure, we find Wade embarking on a whirlwind romance with Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin), the proverbial prostitute with a heart of gold. After a year of perfect bliss, their year-long euphoria comes to an abrupt end when he is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Out of desperation, Wade agrees to allow a mad scientist named Francis (Ed Skrein) perform the unorthodox procedure that turns him into a freak of nature. Inconsolable about the prospect of losing Vanessa, he becomes obsessed with exacting vengeance on the quack. Revenge proves easier said than done, since Francis just happens to be Ajax, an evil mutant with a formidable henchwoman (Gina Carano) as well as his own set of special powers.
But forget the plot, this iconoclastic adventure is meant to be relished for its generous supply of unforced belly laughs elicited from beginning clear through the end of the closing credits. For example, an exasperated Deadpool addresses the audience to complain about his underwhelming sidekicks, Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), saying “It’s like the studio couldn’t afford another X-Men.” On another occasion, he forces a red hot cigarette lighter into an adversary’s mouth with the warning “Don’t swallow!”
A relentlessly-hilarious cross of Kick-Ass (2013) and Watchmen (2009) that leaves your appetite whetted for a sequel.
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for sexuality, graphic nudity, graphic violence and pervasive profanity
Running time: 108 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox