Movie Name: Deadpool
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre(s): Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Comedy/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Release Date(s): February 8, 2016 (Premiere)/February 12, 2016 (US)
MPAA Rating: R
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is an asshat…and he’d gladly admit it. The only thing he has going for him is his girlfriend Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin). When Wade is diagnosed with an aggressive and terminal cancer, Wade takes the chance on an experimental cure. Unfortunately for Wade, the cure is also a curse and a life with Vanessa is forever ruined. Wade is now Deadpool, and Deadpool isn’t having any of it…Francis (Ed Skrein) will pay!
Directed by Tim Miller, Deadpool is the eighth film in the X-Men franchise and follows X-Men: Days of Future Past from 2014. Deadpool previously appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009 but much of that movie was reconned through Days of Future Past. The movie was met with critical acclaim and a massive box office return.
Deadpool’s review is tough for me. I don’t like the character and I’m not a fan of Ryan Reynolds. I am also having superhero fatigue…the combo was deadly for Deadpool. Despite this, the movie was rather enjoyable (but I did feel it had the “Deadpool problem”).
What works and hurts Deadpool is Deadpool. The film was smartly made R-Rated so there are no limits on language or violence (something that often makes comic book movies unrealistic). In general, the movie is almost an “F-U” to those who tout the Marvel Universe movies as anything great…that is what works (the opening credits show that). Deadpool is just an action comedy (though a decent one) and doesn’t have many allusions that it is anything more. In this sense, Deadpool’s writing is smart.
The bad part of Deadpool is why I don’t like the character. Deadpool is Family Guy. Family Guy puts about 100 jokes in 30 minutes and maybe 10 jokes stick…making the other jokes miserable flops that I imagine the writers yucking it up about in the writing room. This movie does a much better job editing down the jokes and getting working jokes, but there are still a lot of joke fails which the movie even points out (but pointing out bad jokes doesn’t make them necessarily good).
I will also concede that Ryan Reynolds’ talking Deadpool was one of the better parts of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The decision to rewrite this was smart. Reynolds pokes fun at himself multiple times which shows he can be a good sport, but I also feel that some of the better jokes are held by some of his costars like T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams, and the fun Negasonic Teenage Warhead played by Brianna Hildebrand. Daniel Cudmore (the portrayer of the previous Colossus) was replaced by a computer generated Colossus.
Visually, the movie looks quite good. They get the spandex right and I also love the throwback costume on Negasonic Teenage Warhead It is stylistically very different than most other superhero movies and that was necessary to fit the story. With it being a comedy, it probably is most comparable to Guardians of the Galaxy (which sequel could struggle due to the over-the-top nature of this movie). It also makes great use of music by making intentionally goofy choices.
Deadpool was surprisingly entertaining despite having a horrible trailer. I still argue that Deadpool and the Deadpool character are for people who say “I love comic books…I’ve seen all the movies” (and never read an actual comic book). The success of Deadpool means a sequel that promises to be bigger and better. Deadpool 2 is scheduled for 2017.