Action Adventure

'Deadpool' Film Review: Not your average superhero movie, not your average superhero

February 8, 2016Ben MK

Out of all the heroes and villains in Marvel Comics' pantheon of characters, perhaps none is as irreverent as Deadpool, the smart-mouthed anti-hero cooked up by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza over 20 years ago. Unfortunately, Deadpool's big screen debut in X-men Origins: Wolverine was what Deadpool himself would call "a career low," and star Ryan Reynolds has been championing for a proper Deadpool movie ever since.

And so we have Deadpool, a movie that doesn't waste a single R-rated minute letting audiences know that it's not your typical superhero adventure, with an opening credits sequence that substitutes phrases like "God's Perfect Idiot," "Asshats" and "An Overpaid Tool" in lieu of the names of its star, producers and director. All this while the camera weaves in and out of a static shot of Deadpool (Reynolds) putting his trademark brand of hurt on an SUV full of bad guys, as tongue-in-cheek sight gags like a People Magazine cover and a Green Lantern trading card (both featuring Reynolds' smiling mug) float into frame.

It sets a sly wink-and-a-nod tone for the picture, which first-time feature director director Tim Miller essentially comprises of two major action sequences, the first of which — the freeway battle sequence featured prominently in the film's marketing — is intercut with flashbacks detailing Deadpool's backstory, whereas the movie's final act sees Deadpool teaming up with X-man Colossus (a CG creation voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and X-men trainee Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrande) to confront his mutant nemesis Ajax (The Transporter Refueled's Ed Skrein) and Ajax's super-strong henchman Angel Dust (MMA-fighter-turned-actress Gina Carano).

As for the story itself, Zombieland and G.I. Joe: Retaliation screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick center it on Deadpool's mission of vengeance against Ajax, the sadistic madman who not only granted Deadpool his self-healing mutant powers, but who also disfigured him horribly in the process. Once a disgraced Special Forces soldier named Wade Wilson who volunteered for Ajax's mutant experiments as a potential cure for his terminal cancer, Deadpool's revenge scheme becomes a rescue mission after Ajax and Angel Dust kidnap the woman he loves, a former prostitute named Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin).

Even with a running gag/side plot involving the romantic woes of a taxi driver (Karan Soni) who ferries Deadpool around the city, the film's plot points are few and far between. Luckily, what the movie lacks in narrative content it more than makes up for with its brutal violence and, well, Deadpool-iness. Not only does Deadpool actually resemble his comic book likeness this time around, with a slick red spandex suit that would make even Spider-Man jealous, but he stays true to his comic book persona, with Reynolds cracking wise and breaking the fourth wall like nobody's business, making light of everything from his own unwholesome visage to the film's budgetary constraints.

The film also features Silicon Valley's T.J. Miller and veteran actress Leslie Uggams in small but hilarious roles as Deadpool's confidantes, Weasel and Blind Al. But if you're hoping for a Hugh Jackman cameo, don't hold your breath. In every other regard, however, Deadpool satisfies, delivering all the slick action, crude humor and pop culture references you could ever hope for from a movie starring "the Merc with a Mouth." The result? Undoubtedly one of the most unconventional superhero films out there. But seeing as how Deadpool is just about the furthest thing from your conventional superhero, it's impossible to ask for anything more.

Deadpool releases February 12th, 2016 from Twentieth Century Fox. The film has an MPAA rating of R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity. Its runtime is 1 Hr. 48 Mins.

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