Dan's Review: "Deadpool" raunchy fun for adults only
Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool - © 2015 - Twentieth Century Fox
Deadpool (20th Century Fox)
(very) Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity.
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić (voice), Andre Tricoteux, Leslie Uggams, Jed Rees, Karan Soni.
Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
Directed by Tim Miller.
Disclaimer: Deadpool is rated R. It’s not one of those films that derives its rating from “that one scene” or because it meets a particular threshold for f-bombs. Deadpool gets its rating from graphic violence, irreverent humor and raunchy behavior throughout the entire film. Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of these kinds of movies out there, but none of them come with the Marvel name attached to them. So, if you have any delusions about taking your preteen comic book/superhero fan to see Deadpool, think again. It’s not a kids movie, even though it is part of the X-Men cinematic universe.
Ryan Reynolds plays Wade Wilson (reprising the role he played in X-Men Origins: Wolverine), a former special ops soldier who makes a living as a street mercenary. He meets the beautiful Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and falls in love (their affair is developed through a montage of sexual encounters). A year later, Wade discovers he has terminal cancer. A mysterious stranger approaches him, offering a chance to be cured. He leaves Vanessa and agrees to the suspect treatment, which is administered by an evil man named Francis “Ajax” Freeman. The process turns out to be a series of torture designed to awaken a mutation within the patient. Ajax plans to create mutant soldiers to bolster his ranks of bad-guys. Smart-mouthed Wade manages to make enemies of Ajax and his sidekick Angel Dust (Gina Carano), and becomes permanently disfigured in an explosion and left for dead. Wade’s mutant powers turn out to be the ability to regenerate cells quickly, making him practically invincible. He also posses super strength and quickness, making him a powerful killing machine. Rising from the ashes of the destroyed lab, Wade goes on a quest to find Ajax and force the evil villain to cure him. Along the way, Wade develops his super persona into Deadpool, knocking off people associated with Ajax, and delivering his own brand of justice.
Unable to face Vanessa in his disfigured form, Deadpool lives with a blind woman named Al (Leslie Uggams – remember her as “Kizzy” in the original Roots TV miniseries?) and associating with his old pal and bar owner Weasel (T.J. Miller). As Deadpool gains notoriety, he attracts the attention of the X-Men, who send Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapičić) and a mutant trainee named Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) to recruit him. Deadpool resists, but eventually asks the pair to assist when he discovers that Ajax has kidnapped Vanessa, leading to a huge final battle at a shipyard.
Despite its rough and vulgar nature, Deadpool is well-crafted and impressive comedy. The nonstop snarky dialogue is very funny if you can stand the saucy language. Ryan Reynolds’ delivery that breaks the “fourth wall” (speaking directly to the audience) works on many levels, while poking fun at himself and the entire Marvel/comic book universe. He even takes a jab at his own ill-fated turn as the Green Lantern. His greatest jokes have to do with Wolverine and specifically Hugh Jackman, The special effects are up to par with any other superhero film, despite being used to depict several scenes of graphic violence.
Since the spirit of any Deadpool movie is all about breaking rules, there are some minor problems with the movie, including a few unresolved plot holes and character justifications, but not enough to detract from the final product.
So, if you are an adult who likes to explore the dark side of comic book heroes (or, this case, and antihero), Deadpool is right up your (dark) alley.
Incidentally, you should stay through the end credits for one of those patented Marvel “added” scenes. It’s Deadpool’s homage to another “fourth wall” character from the 1980s.