Monday, May 9, 2016

Deadpool review

    Yes, yes, I know it's been out forever and everyone loved it. So why am I only reviewing it now? Well, I don't get to the movie theaters that often these days with only rare exceptions being made like with Superman v Batman. Deadpool was something I meant to go see but various events kept me from seeing the Merc with a Mouth.

    Deadpool and I have something of a mixed relationship comic book wise as I've always enjoyed him but never as a primary protagonist. Deadpool is awesome when he's paired up with Wolverine, Cable, or some other straight men but is tedious otherwise. I enjoyed Deadpool the video game (which you can read my review of here) but it was also something which highlighted the problems of the character: 1. Deadpool has no rogues gallery. 2. Deadpool doesn't really have much in the way of a supporting cast (Bob aside). 3. Deadpool is a character whose cartoonish looney-toons antics don't really allow much of an actual emotional core.

Colossus is awesome in this movie.
    Deadpool makes a good choice by choosing to dial back the crazy and actually provide our protagonist with an emotional core. At one point, the titular character refers to the movie as a love story and he's not wrong. The central core of the story is the relationship between Wade Wilson and Vanessa Carlysle (a.k.a Copycat in the book).

    The strange thing? This works extremely well. Deadpool gets some much badly needed depth with his relationship being possibly the most mature adult romantic relationship in comic book movies. Seriously, the only one which comes close is Tony and Pepper--which is just sad given the dozens of heroes currently onscreen.

It's disturbing Deadpool has the most mature romantic relationship in comic book movies.
    Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin have great chemistry with the two of them managing to be sexually appealing to the viewer while also entertaining. There's an extended "sex montage" which manages to be hilarious, build character, as well as show off two very pretty people enjoying themselves. Indeed, it's rare enough even in R-rated movies for sex to be seen as something protagonists have fun doing.

    The first thing I have to say to this is a lot of fans are calling this the first R-rated comic book movie and I'm like, "Have we forgotten Blade? Watchmen? Kick-Ass?" Deadpool really does a great job in establishing itself as an R-rated superhero movie, though. The violence, language, sex, and juvenile humor are what make Deadpool the character we love. Well, not the sex, that's actually a welcome addition to the story.

The Utah line cracks me up. It shouldn't, but it does.
    The premise of the film is Wade Wilson is a dishonorably discharged Special Forces soldier who has turned into a professional leg-breaker. Meeting a beautiful prostitute and stripper, they fall in love before he'd diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Approached by a mysterious organization, apparently not Weapon X, Wade is tortured by Ajax (Ed Skrein) and his assistant Angel (Gina Carano) to activate his mutant gene.

    Gaining a healing factor at the cost of his good looks as well as a large portion of his sanity, Wade takes the name Deadpool before after the group which abused him. Eventually, because that's how these movies go, Ajax kidnaps Wade's girlfriend which convinces Deadpool to a recruit a pair of X-men to help. The movie is actually much better than it sounds.

Gina Carano is awesome in this film. Just by being Gina Carano.
    Really, from the beginning where we have a massive gunfight on the highway with Deadpool in full costume to the extended flashback to the arrival of Colossus (Stefan Kapičić) and Negasonic Teenage Warhad (Brianna Hildebrand), I had one big stupid grin on my face. There were a few bumps between that period of the movie and the equally-excellent finale but not many.

    If I had to choose a favorite character it would Colossus because, my God, this is the big huggable Russian dork from the Eighties Chris Claremont comics. All of the movie heroes attempt to make their characters more "cool" when it's more fun to have a lovable dork talking about heroism. I also love how the movie isn't afraid to have Negasonic Teenage Warhead, a character who lasted a couple of issues, take the piss out of Wade whenever possible.

Kudos to Blind Al for also being....well, Blind Al.
    One flaw with the movie is also its strength which is the fact the film only has a 50 million dollar budget and it shows. There's a lot of low-key gunfights and small scenes between the big epic comic book ones from other films. It's a strength because this forces the movie to do those low key scenes rather than mindless background noise. For example, they might have used Cyclops instead of Colossus and that would be a shame. Deadpool works as a somewhat more low-key characters with guns instead of energy blasts and mercs as his opponents versus superhumans.

    I give credit to Ed Skrein and Gina Carano for their roles in the movie as both do an amazing job with characters few comic book fans would have heard of. Ed Skrein is creepily awesome as the sadistic emotionless Ajax while Gina Carano is the first female bruiser onscreen. The fact I consider her gorgeous and think she should be in many-many more movies helps matters tremendously. The big climax between them and our antiheroes feels earned both emotionally as well as storytelling wise.

    In conclusion, I really really enjoyed this film and recommend it to anyone who wants a fun R-rated comedic superhero film.

    And who wouldn't?



  1. I enjoyed the self-aware humor in Deadpool. Who woulda thought Ryan Reynolds would be starring in a big blockbuster in 2016?

    - Zach

    1. After decades of trying to become a comic book movie star, he's succeeded.

  2. I knew that Ryan would own the role of Deadpool, he was born to play it and it tailors to his strengths as an actor in all the right places.

    I also found myself surprised of how well the romance was done in this film, not just the chemistry as you say between the actors. But in how it builds their characters, it's connection to the plot and how it affects both characters.

    So few films these days seem to know how to do romances right, how to actually make it investing for the audience and not just make it feel shoehorned in or to add fluff. To find it in Deadpool and actually be it's strongest point is something I give full kudos to Ryan, Morena, Tim and all the other people who worked on the film.

    The film went for some of the obvious meta jokes, but I didn't mind since they pulled it off quite well. I have to say the whole Francis joke was the one I found the most hilarious simply due to the way Ryan and Ed played it.

    You could tell the film wad done by people who get the character, actors who wanted to be there and actually enjoyed their roles, something that sometimes I feel that sort of passion and love seems to be missing from a few superhero films these days, though I won't accuse which ones I feel are guilty of it.

    1. It's depressing really that with Tony and Pepper having broken up, that literally means Deadpool and Vanessa are the only functioning adult relationship in comic book movies.

      I didn't always enjoy the jokes as the Francis joke is a little too middle school in a movie which otherwise thrived on it.

      I 100%, though, Deadpool's chief appeal is it's just trying to be fun.

    2. Very true that.

      True the francis joke is quite stupid overall, but I thought it taiklored nicely to how childish ajax and Wade are overall.