Directed by: Tim Miller
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T. J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand & Gina Carano
Running Time: 108 mins
Wonka: Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.
Charlie: What happened?
Wonka: He lived happily ever after.
Giving into fan service can be a dangerous thing. An idea on the internet is no guarantee that the finished product will be good (Snakes on a plane) or that audiences will show up (Pacific Rim, Dredd).
On the back of a test footage “leak” Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld’s creation was given a shot at its own movie and to hopefully wash away the taste of some inexplicable character changes in Wolverine: Origins. “Yeah the merc with the mouth… mmmm lets sew his mouth shut and give him swords for arms. More cocaine boys?”
Deadpool has been a beloved cult comic classic for years but is easy to forget his lack of mainstream awareness. Even comic bible Wizard had him ranked 182nd out of the top 200 comic characters and in his previous cinematic incarnation he never got to don his actual costume.
With a flawless marketing campaign that took in everything from A.C Slater to Wayne Rooney, Valentines themed trailers and emoji billboards, it couldn’t possibly be as good as it looks could it?
It’s not… it’s better.
With the never ending stream of comic movies having fallen into the same familiar arcs and themes, Deadpool is a breath of fresh air, refreshing a genre that has become somewhat stagnant, not in box office but in terms of creativity.
Deadpool is a classic story of boy meets girl/hooker, boy gets cancer, boy volunteers for superhero programme gets screwed over and swears bloody revenge. After so many false starts over the years you sense that those involved are all too aware that this could be the one shot they get at doing this character right and really hold nothing back. Everything from the opening credits – which features such gems as the cast list being credited as “British villain” “hot chick” and directed by “some overpaid douchebag” – is pushed to its zenith.
Solid support is provided by Morena Baccarin who seems to have tapped into some mutant powers of her own. Seriously, Firefly was 14 years ago (#neverforget) and the woman hasn’t aged a day! Colossus does his Colossus thing and the big bad, Ajax, played by Game of Thrones’ Ed Skrein, does a hell of a lot with the very little he is given. Silicon Valley’s TJ Miller continues his streak of almost walking off with every film he features in.
However, the film is almost stolen by the superbly monikered Negasonic Teenage Warhead whose deadpan demeanor plays wonderfully against Deadpool’s Looney tunes levels of mania.
This moment though belongs to Reynolds. Having fought tooth and nail to get this made, he seizes his moment. Having been to the comic book well several times, ranging from average (Blade Trinity) to worse (Green Lantern) to horrific (RIPD, Wolverine: Origins), he finally gets it spot on. The character is ripped straight from the pages and without any definitive Deadpool comic book arc (Gerry Duggan, Jordie Bellaire and Declan Shalvey’s run being my personal favourite) required to adapt. They are free to blaze their own trail, taking, picking and choosing the best from the character’s many incarnations and forging something that is very much their own. The wit, the humour and the breaking of the fourth (16th) wall of the comics are all present and correct.
The action sequences are adrenaline poundingly awesome and the tone is spot on. With one zinger about the identity of Professor X in particular bringing the house down. I hope this finds the audience it deserves as in a sea of comic book movies, Deadpool stands alone as a sick, twisted ballet of violence and adult humour that has been missing from the superhero genre since the first Kick-Ass movie.
See the movie, buy the comics, impale your enemies with swords (maybe not this one) because this can’t be the last we see on the merc with the mouth on screen.
It’s Chimichanga Time.
4 out of 5 nerds