Starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller
Directed by Tim Miller
IMDB Rating: 8/10
The film that refreshed the Marvel slate upon its release, Deadpool pushed further the alternative bar set by Guardians of the Galaxy when it comes to making an entertaining film out of minor source material. This small-time ‘superhero’ looked set to become a cult classic that future, Marvel-less generations will look back on with wonder and affection.
However, two years on, can it still hold up for this blogger who waited until it arrived on Netflix?!
The story follows Wade Wilson (Reynolds), a dishonourably discharged spec-ops working as a mercenary in New York as he meets Vanessa (Baccarin), an escort who he goes on to marry. When he is diagnosed with terminal cancer he leaves her without warning, initially to avoid her having to watch him die. However, he is offered an experimental cure, and is taken to meet Ajax, a man who injects him with a mutant gene before subjecting him to immense torture. The torture works, giving Wilson immortality but at the expense of his looks, his outer body becoming grossly disfigured. Ajax leaves him for dead, but Wilson survives. Now he uses the name Deadpool, and sets out to find the man who had changed him and force him to fix his appearance.
In reality, this is much more of a comedy than an action film. It is actually quite hard to compare this to Marvel films of the past, and a lot of that comes down to what is a really threadbare storyline. Like many other comedy movies, the story is really simple, with little imagination and an air of cliché which ties nicely into the comedy side. The execution of said story is also really bad – I just did not get on with the ‘how did I end up here’ idea of jumping from past to present.
However, what the basic story does is pave the way for the unending string of jokes that fill this enjoyable film from beginning to end. I would be lying if I said that I was laughing the whole way through this movie, but the comedy in Deadpool is much better than calling it a hit-and-miss comedy. There are genuine laugh-out-loud moments in this film, with Deadpool sounding himself out from the start as a completely unique character in a way I don’t think I’ve seen in a superhero movie before. Supported by a stereotypical superhero movie cast, Deadpool’s use – or misuse – of the fourth wall allows for a very intimate, almost stand-up-ish parody of the Marvel movies that had begun to saturate the cinema before its arrival.
I’m not someone who has seen a lot of Ryan Reynolds films, and the ones I remember seeing him in were certainly not comedies. However, he does a great job as the comic in this film. Without knowing an awful lot about how the film was shot, and assuming that while he didn’t do much of the work in the suit he did do most of the lines, Reynolds makes this film feel really sharp with some excellently executed jokes. The rest of the cast did good jobs, too – Baccarin was very good in her role, while Miller is certainly one of the funniest side-actors in the business, with this role another showcase of his talents.
The directing was solid by Tim Miller, but visually is where you can see the lack of budget for this movie. While there are some strong moments, unlike many superhero movies Deadpool struggles to deliver any exciting fight scenes. It would be interesting to see what they would have done differently with a bigger budget, but overall the film’s action is relatively unengaging compared to its lofty competitors.
I think a mixture of over-hype and ageing has left Deadpool looking a bit more ordinary to my eyes that it was when it appeared in cinemas two years ago. After watching it, I felt like it was a more adult, funnier version of Kick-Ass, and not necessarily the genre changing wonder it was made out to be. That being said, Deadpool is still an excellently entertaining film that does something different in a wildly oversaturated superhero cinema slate. Rammed with jokes, and more importantly with enough funny ones to last the runtime, Deadpool is an excellent comedy movie.