In 2009, 20th Century Fox released X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a film considered to be one of the worst comic book movies of all time. One of the many sins this film has committed was Ryan Reynolds’ portrayal of the fan-favorite Deadpool. Basically, they adapted this character wrong with unnecessary changes like sewing his mouth shut, giving him retractable adamantium blades via Wolverine, and laser vision, resulting in this.
This pissed off a LOT of comic book fans because this is not the character that we wanted to see on the big screen. Because of this abomination and the horridness of the rest of the film, any plans to make a Deadpool movie were shelved indefinitely. That was until July of 2014 when this test footage leaked online.
After the overwhelmingly positive response from people, 20th Century Fox immediately greenlit the film for production. Ryan Reynolds was back to reprise the role as the titular character with Tim Miller as director. The filmmakers and Reynolds promised fans that this film will be a faithful adaptation of the character. Did we get that, plus, a good movie? Well, let’s find out. This is Deadpool.
Wade Wilson is a mercenary who’s stricken with life-threatening cancer all over his body. Desperate for a cure, he turns to a government experiment that gives him an accelerated healing factor, but at the price of mutilated scars all over his body. Now he’s on a mission to hunt down the man responsible for his disfigurement while rescuing the love of his life as Deadpool. This isn’t the strongest plot to ever be in a comic book movie, but it does what it needs to do. It’s a basic origin story that’s told in a nonlinear fashion ala Quentin Tarantino, it starts off with the highway sequence that’s shown in the leaked test footage and then goes into Wade’s origins before he became Deadpool. This is one of those movies that’s focused less on plot and more on characters. Speaking of…
Like I said, a film like this is built on the foundation of strong characters, which Deadpool has. Let’s start with the villain, Ajax or Francis. There’s not much to him, he’s a generic foil for Deadpool with unclear motives. T.J. Miller plays Wade’s best friend Weasel and he had a lot of funny lines, especially when he sees Wade’s disfigured face. There’s also Colossus, the X-Men mutant with indestructible metal skin who plays the role of the straight man reacting to Deadpool’s insanity and that’s always a blast. This Colossus is very different from the one in the previous X-Men movies and to tell you the truth, I like this Colossus more since he’s a more faithful adaptation of the character with the appearance and being Russian. Plus, he has personality. Assisting him is Negasonic Teenage Warhead, whose indifferent reaction to Deadpool and Colossus is always a delight. You know something funny? Deadpool was released around Valentine’s Day and some parts of the marketing advertised it as a romantic comedy. Strangely enough, the advertisement wasn’t that far off because outside of the humor, one of the best parts of the movie is the relationship between Wade Wilson and Vanessa (played by Morena Baccarin). Usually, romance in comic book movies and action movies suck hard, but I really like the romance in Deadpool. You have two truly fucked-up individuals whose love for each other is tougher than Wolverine’s claws. Wade’s love for Vanessa is what drives the plot the most as he tries to get rid of his cancer for her and when he’s disfigured, he tries his damnest to fix himself for her and when she’s captured, he assembles Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead to help save her.
Oh, right. The star of the show. Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds was born to play this character. He’s such a huge fan that he made sure that this movie portrayed him accurately and he pulled it off flawlessly. Vulgar, childish, badass, he has it all. Plus, he looks like the character when he’s disfigured AND when he’s wearing the red-and-black costume that comes with CG-eyes. Deadpool is one of those characters who you can throw in any situation and get a lot of funny material out of. Reynolds’ performance as Deadpool is another example of a perfect portrayal of a comic book character like Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.
The biggest appeal of Deadpool is his sense of humor: breaking the fourth wall, jokes that shouldn’t be told around the little ones, some pop culture references that are bound to be dated, etc. Think of him as like a twisted Bugs Bunny. All of this is in the movie, but with no filter thanks to the R-rating. This film has no shortage of laugh-out loud moments, starting with the opening sequence. Instead of showing the names of the actors, producers, director, etc, it showed the archetypes that the characters play, along with some self-deprecating jabs.
Fourth wall jokes and adult humor are all present and they work thanks to the character performances and good writing.
I give Deadpool a strong 8/10.
Let. Me. Explain. What prevents this film from getting a higher score is the formulatic plot and forgettable villain. Otherwise, this is an awesome movie that does a fantastic job at adapting the titular character and his nature to the big screen. Most of the characters are fun, the romance is engaging, the action kicks ten tons of ass, and the humor will have you laughing until your sides are sore. This is the Deadpool movie we’ve all been waiting for to wash out the memory of that… other movie. I can’t wait for the sequel, which is introducing new characters like Cable and Domino.
Next time, I’ll review either LEGO Batman or John Wick: Chapter 2. I’ll post up a poll on Twitter for you to decide which movie I get to see first. The movie with the most votes will be the one I’ll see and review first.