How the hell do you review a film like Deadpool? It’s almost in a category of its own.
Ryan Reynolds is no stranger to superhero pics: he played the disappointingly limp “Green Lantern” in 2011 and before that he played this character – Wade Wilson – in “Wolverine: Origins” with Hugh Jackman (who is the butt of one of the many in-jokes in this film). Reynolds, as heir to Bradley Cooper as the pretty boy of Hollywood, has never really found a break-out role but here, hiding behind a face that looks like “an avocado had sex with another, older, avocado”, he achieves true stardom: a franchise that looks like it could run and run. And he is very good in it too.
In this ‘origins’ story, told partially in flashback, Wade Wilson, a fairly unpleasant mercenary bad guy “who gets paid to f*** over worse guys”, has some bad news from his doctor. He tries to do the honorable thing by up and leaving tart-with-a-heart Morena Baccarin (Brody’s wife from the first series of “Homeland”) to go in search of a way forward. The superhero cure is offered by semi-super Ajax (Ed Skrein) but comes at a price (cue the guacamole) making it difficult for him to return to his lover. (Erm, so not a great morale boosting story for any burn-victims then?)
Let’s start with the script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick – two of the guys behind the highly entertaining and anarchic “Zombieland”. “Deadpool” sticks its tongue firmly in its cheek from the spectacular opening titles (the Director is described as an “overpaid tool”) and the script bounces from great comic line to great comic line almost without a pause. As an example, Ryan says he wants to live until 103 and then die… “just like Detroit”. LOL.
Stan Lee cameos aside, some of the Marvel films can be quite po-faced and serious but this one comes from the more comic “Ant-Man” end of the stables. In general the script is highly disrespectful of the Marvel world it inhabits, with shots being fired at various sacred lambs, particularly the X-Men. As such, I’m not quite sure how some of the true fan-boys, (those who wear spandex under their day clothes), might react to this. The film makers are pissing on their ‘reality’ – albeit with love – from a great height here!
In mood it is like the bastard child of a genetic experiment combining the genes of Spider-man, X-Men, Kick-Ass and Kingsman. As a viewing guide, if you really didn’t care for the anarchic and violence-laced humour of these last two films then in all probability you really won’t like Deadpool.
I personally thought it was great fun, and a blast from beginning to post-credit end. The movie breaks the fourth wall shamelessly – something I often hate in a film – but gets away with it and even has the kahunas to have Reynolds address the fourth wall by making a joke about breaking the fourth wall! Audacious!
However, my positive feelings are tinged with a feeling that we, as the audience, are all being ‘had’ to a degree. The whole thing is a bit overly smug. If Blackadder was writing this he’d describe it as being directed by Smug McSmuggerson, the king of Smugland. A recurring joke is the low budget afforded the movie, and we get hit over the head with that multiple times. It’s all a little bit too knowing. The director is actually Tim Miller, and this – extraordinarily – is his feature film debut. But the guy clearly has class – this is off the back of him winning an Oscar no less for his animated short film “Gopher Broke”.
In summary, with curious timing, a surprise summer blockbuster while there is still ice scraping of windscreens required.
Fad Rating: FFFF.
But What Did You Think? Do You Agree With My Rating And Comments? Please Let Me Know By Commenting Below!
(Note: Below is the Red Band trailer – viewer discretion advised).