HOLY F#*KING SH%T YOU GUYS. F#CK EVERY OTHER SUPERHERO MOVIE. I’m glad I wore my white pants to Deadpool.
Let’s face it. Today’s Marvel-dominated cinematic superheroes are becoming more familiar by the film, as over-loaded origin stories blur together in an orgy of tights, abs, and conflicted emotions. Netflix is raising the stakes between Daredevil and Jessica Jones, but Marvel’s squeaky-clean treatment of figures like Captain America is growing a tad stale. It’s become a constant parade of seeing how many side-characters a director can jam in their third sequel of whatever property is hot right now, as the focus shifts from serving a single story best, to caring how “X” hero can interact twenty films from now.
Thankfully, that’s not Deadpool.
Earth’s least sympathetic “hero” revels in taking a steamy piss on unfortunate shifts in studio norms. He’s foul-mouthed, gratuitously violent, and pleasures himself while wearing bright blue Crocs – in other words, he’s the hero we deserve right now. Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have crafted the most badass superhero movie of all time through Wade Wilson’s glorious introduction, and director Tim Miller gets points for demanding an R-rated universe for everyone’s new favorite mercenary to make a mockery of (sorry Marvel!). Deadpool is a rare movie that not only fights the mainstream system, but delivers EXACTLY as promised – a promise signed in blood, bile, and a little Chimichanga schemer.
Ryan Reynolds stars as Wade Wilson, or as his more famous alter-ego goes by, “The Merc With A Mouth” himself,
Captain Deadpool. He wasn’t always a superhuman assassin, though. Wade was once a simple thug-for-hire who loved his fiancée, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). But before the two could embrace in marital bliss, Wade was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the future suddenly didn’t look so bright.
This is where a shadowy figure introduces himself as a savior, promising Wade he’ll be fully cured if he enrolls in their experimental program. Seems too good to be true, right? It is. The program’s leader, Ajax (Ed Skrein), informs Wade that he’ll be turned into nothing but a superhuman slave. This doesn’t sit well with their new patient, and a fiery explosion ensues where all are assumed dead. Everyone except Deadpool, that is! Wade swears to make Ajax pay for his dastardly ways, right after solving his whole “my-face-looks-like-a-testicle” situation.
Fans of Deadpool respect his penchant for breaking the comic panel’s fourth wall, and as trailers already indicated, his cinematic equivalent is gleefully guilty of the same shenanigans. Reese and Wernick stay true to Deadpool’s immature and quick-witted nature, especially when dishing it out to other Marvel and DC properties. From his constant obsession with Hugh Jackman (the actor, AND Wolverine) to a healthy slew of disses directed towards Green Lantern, Mr. Pool points a healthy middle finger towards stagnating adaptation cultures.
Deadpool is funky, fresh, and ferocious, which is the shot in the ass that superhero movies need right now. His opening credits alone are enough to have audiences in stitches, as blurbs like “The British Villain” or “The Comic Relief” flash while a gossip rag showing Ryan Reynolds on the cover flies through the air. Self-aware doesn’t even begin to describe the levels of saccharine satire that skewers today’s barrage of spandex-wearing good guys, and it’s all done while achieving more entertaining levels of comic book fun than most of the film’s competitors.
This, in a huge way, is due to the only man MEANT to play Wade Wilson: Canada’s crown jewel, Ryan Reynolds. Deadpool is redemption for all the comic-y wrongs done to Reynolds thus far (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Green Lantern, Blade: Trinity), and thankfully, his mouth isn’t sewn shut this time.
Physically, Reynolds holds his own in acrobatic fight sequences that incorporate deadly-precise Gun Fu with dazzling hand-to-hand combat, but Deadpool’s mouth provides far more intrigue. Political correctness isn’t something Miller worries about, as updated jokes about Subway’s perverted ex-mascot find their way into a script that asks which Professor X (McAvoy or Stewart) Deadpool is being dragged to see. Granted, some might find this humor on par with middle-school restroom banter, but this is the essence of Deadpool – everything superheroes aren’t meant to be.
The supporting cast agreeably rolls with the punches, letting Deadpool truly shine. An equally hilarious Weasel (T.J. Miller) cares for Wade, but when called upon for help, he couldn’t be more useless. Weasel leaves the fighting to lesser-known X-Men like Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), who couldn’t differ from Deadpool more.
Colossus, a hulking metallic party-pooper, tries desperately to turn Deadpool into a pristine hero-type, while Negasonic represents today’s angsty, millennial scourge. The banter between these characters only makes Deadpool a funnier, more rambunctious hero, especially when the red-suited firecracker breaks every bone while trying to cock-punch Colossus’ shiny titanium bulge.
On the weaker side of things are Vanessa, the lover-pawn played against Deadpool, plus his two rivals, Ajax and Angel Dust (Gina Carano). As drop-dead-sexy and charismatic as Baccarin is, her inclusion falls into just another kidnapped damsel category as scenes press on (despite her claims). That said, the opening chemistry between herself and Reynolds is dynamite during their get-to-know-you phase, reaching a peak as they celebrate International Woman’s Day during their sexual montage – or their respectful Chinese New Year homage. Both are equally hilarious.
Marvel has always had a problem establishing villains, and sadly, both Ajax and Angel Dust fall into the same generic pattern. With so much focus put on Deadpool’s backstory, Ajax simply exists as a mean-spirited scientist who’s also an expert killer. Same goes for his sidekick Angel Dust, who we know little about except that she likes to chew matches and punch people really, REALLY hard. In the way of villainy, these are interchangeable figures – tactical soldiers who are rather undefined. Angel Dust especially gets relegated to a henchman level, even though she’s someone I desperately wanted to learn more about.
But f*ck the haters – Deadpool rocks AND rolls. The relatively unproved Tim Miller (without a feature credit) runs a tight ship, and connects all the right dots. It’s hard to blend ass-kicking action with riotous hilarity, but Deadpool’s gore-soaked adventure remains unmatched in the comic book movie world, with its only equal being James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. And much like Gunn, Miller makes use of an eclectic soundtrack including Salt-N-Pepa’s “Shoop,” DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya,” and TeamHeadKick’s spoofy “Deadpool Rap.” Nothing sets the mood like a high-pitched voice echoing “SEXY MUTHAFUCKAAAA” while Deadpool whips off some rapid-fire headshots. And that DMX entrance, oh man, absolute fanboy CHILLS…
Given what I’ve said, complaints about villains and dames are small potatoes here. Deadpool is a game-changing statement-maker, emphasized with a blood-dotted exclamation point. For no longer must we digest the same Marvel cookie-cuttings, as they force recycled archetypes down our throat featuring a new costume design worth marketing.
This is a cocky explosion of awesomeness that can only be described as holding two Colossus-sized balls for all the world to see, because not one person making this movie wanted to just throw their hat in the superhero ring – they wanted to redefine the comic book movie landscape. Superheroes can be inappropriate, cynical assholes while defeating evil, and you know what, with the onslaught of brooding super-dupers set to land sometime in 2016 (Batman Vs. Superman/Captain America: Civil War), Deadpool’s grand entrance couldn’t have come at a better time.
There’s a reason why Deadpool‘s climax plays out on a junked heli-carrier from Captain America: The Winter Soldier (or one of those movies), and that’s because there’s finally a changing of the guard. A new superhero icon is born, and he just tea-bagged us all.
Don’t lie, either – you loved it.
Deadpool is the ass-kicking, potty-mouthed savior that today's increasingly familiar comic book movie landscape deserves.