Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T. J. Miller
Directed by: Tim Miller (feature film debut)
Synopsis: Comic Book anti-hero “Merc With a Mouth” gets his own R-rated feature film where he takes revenge on the people who double-crossed him and kidnapped his lady friend.*
*To be honest, I only saw the first and last third of the film due to me being drunk and extremely tired. Brian and I had tickets for a 10:00 PM show and decided to grab a few local brews before the show. This lead to me dosing off at various points of the movie, but mostly being asleep for the whole middle third. But from what I saw, I liked it.
- Ryan Reynolds played Deadpool a few years back in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and while his character before he became a soulless, mouthless, walking joke was spot-on in the few minutes of screen time he had, it was buried beneath the shit rubble that the rest of the film eventually became. Now, Reynolds has his own spin-off flick for his beloved character and plays him to the nines. Witty, sarcastic, clever are just some of the words that make up his personality and this movie plays more of a comedy than action-adventure comic book origin story. If you’re going in to see great special effects and action-packed stunts, (I’m assuming from my fuzzy drunken memory that you’ll get that but) I think you’ll find that this is not your run-of-the-mill comic book movie.
- The whole R-rated sleazy and comedy tone work perfectly. I was never a huge Deadpool fan (I read New Mutants and X-Force for a while but they were never my favorite) but from what I know of the character it was great that Marvel and 20th Century Fox went in the style and direction that they did. It was a huge gamble to exclude the younger viewers but as of this writing, Deadpool is a box-office smash with a sequel already in the works so kudos to them. Frankly, I don’t know if the R-rated tone will work best once they start getting into team-ups and cross-overs with the other X-Men movies as I’m sure Fox plans to but that’s for us to find out.
What doesn’t work:
- The villain is lame (from what I recall). I stopped reading comics in 1995 and I don’t even remember a villain named Ajax. But he was just a super-strength kind of dude with really nothing memorable (that I remember) that he said or did. Very bland (unless he did something mid-way that I missed…I can’t say).
- Colossus looks terrible. He looked way better in the older X-Men movies. Plus back then he didn’t speak in a terrible Russian accent even though comic book-historically he is actually Russian. But his cartoony look and his cartoony accent distract from the fan favorite X-Man.
- I hate to nitpick because the movie as a whole is great, but really every other super character is lame. I’m not even going to get into the particulars of each and every other side character but they weren’t really worth mentioning. In fact, Deadpool breaks the fourth wall in one scene where he complains that Colossus and the young female companion are all they could afford in the budget from the X-Men.
Overall: After a decade plus of comic book superhero movies and television it was a pleasant surprise to see a raunchy and tongue-in-cheek version of a beloved character. They tried a few times to make The Punisher R-rated and gritty but sadly the stories of both of those films lacked tremendously. At least with Deadpool they hammed it up big time with sarcasm and comedy and it worked best in that regard. Strip that tone away though and you would have one of the lamest superhero movies since Daredevil and Ghost-Rider. They have a lot to work with though, being that he’s apart of the X-Men universe and could take him in many different directions. Ryan Reynold’s seems very bonded with the character and seems to enjoy playing him which really shows in his performance. I would recommend Deadpool mostly for the comedy aspect and not so much for anything else.
Score: 7 Chimichangas (out of 10)