Review: Deadpool

8 10

Read Chris Bumbray's review HERE

PLOT: After finding out he has cancer, mercenary Wade Wilson undergoes an experimental treatment at the hands of an evil scientist; he's ultimately cured of his sickness, but also finds he's horrifically disfigured, not to mention stronger than ever before. Using newly discovered powers - and his ceaseless sense of humor - Wade redubs himself as Deadpool as seeks revenge against the monstrous doctor who corrupted him. 

REVIEW: It's hard to think of a superhero movie that is more in tune with its protagonist than DEADPOOL. Like its lead character, Tim Miller's film is sardonic, self-aware, violent, kind of crazy, cheesy, unabashedly cocky. And... not without a heart. Perhaps what makes this nutty little freak of a movie work so well is that behind all its insolence and naughty behavior, there is indeed something kind of sweet about its storyline and perverse hero. That's not to say DEADPOOL is for the Saturday matinee crowd. No, it's as gleeful and unapologetic about its character's brand of vigilante murder as any recent movie I can recall. But there's a quaint, sentimental streak in here, and that's mostly thanks to the love devoted to the project from its creators and the fans who wanted to see it happen. You wanted a balls-to-the-wall DEADPOOL movie? You got one, assclown.

The success of the movie is largely dependent on your appreciation of Deadpool as a character. And as devised by screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (working off the comic book character created by Rob Liefeld and Fabien Nicieza), this guy is both an audience surrogate for those of us sick of traditional superhero movies and a quirky badass with a sharp sense of humor, the kind of which we've seen plenty of times before. On the surface, Deadpool isn't much of a revelation, because lord knows we've seen hundreds of snarky jerks become reluctant antiheroes before. But Deadpool isn't just a slick jokester who laughs off threats by villains and defies odds with indefatigable persistence; he's actually inviting us into his insane little world in order to revel in his gruesome irresponsibility. And he does that quite well; Deadpool - and DEADPOOL - is immensely entertaining, a certified blast and a half.

Ryan Reynolds was, quite obviously by now, born to play Deadpool, who in fact starts out as Wade Wilson, a former mercenary who scrabbles together a living working as a bully-for-hire for those in need; got a stalker who won't leave you alone? Wade is the guy to back him off. But he does so with good humor; even while he holds a knife to your throat, the man seems capable of understanding, and even camaraderie. His life is cheap, but not without entertainment, especially after he makes the acquaintance of stripper/love-of-his-life Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). They get along famously for a spell, but soon a devastating sickness within Wade throws the harmony into turmoil; he discovers he's living on borrowed time.

Wade is eventually approached by the henchman of an ominous scientist/supervillain named Ajax (Ed Skrein), who makes a business out of turning sick men into extraordinary ones. The process isn't easy, but Wade's only concern is being there for Vanessa. However, Ajax turns out to be a psychopath (actually quite clear from the get-go), who mercilessly tortures Wade with a device that demolishes his flesh and spirit.

I'll be honest, this story didn't gel; why Ajax is going about things the way he is is a bit of a mystery. Would you really torment, to the brink of madness, someone you're making into an invincible killer? But we'll let it go, because Skrein does a pretty good job of selling Ajax as a remorseless bastard with a mission, even if we don't really understand it. Anyway, when Wade eventually escapes this harassment - and ultimately becomes Deadpool - we're with him for the ride because we already like the clownish nutcase. What ensues is a pretty standard revenge tale, as Deadpool does whatever he can to get back to his former life and his beloved Vanessa. That involves donning a red spandex suit, loading up guns and attaching us to his back for a sarcastic romp filled with bloodied bodies, juvenile asides and out-dated pop culture jokes.  

In case you didn't know, Deadpool gives us the inside scoop on all of this via voice over, as he enthusiastically dishes on a most tragic segment of his life. Deadpool will break the fourth wall when he wants to, he'll reference the movie we're watching when he wants to, he'll talk shit about Wolverine and the X-Men when he wants to. While this movie makes a handful of conventional attempts to bring us into the exciting world of Marvel (a couple of forgettable X-Men co-star but never really make an impression), it's all about that "who gives a shit persona" of Deadpool's that keeps us hooked. Surely, Miller and company really do frequently feel like they're breaking the rules, because the audience isn't used to a character in this genre talking to them like this. The guy is like a drunk friend who you just can't tell to shut up and go home; partly because he's so funny when he's drunk, mostly because you want to find out how his stories will end. If you're sick of his nonsense ten minutes in, it's not likely you'll suddenly warm to him afterward.

Deadpool is a cornball, so his jokes register as such and thus DEADPOOL registers as such: Sometimes when it acts like it's being hip, it's being hopelessly square. But that's what I found was so much fun about it. It's both "of the moment" and quite silly. DEADPOOL is a movie that might be initially off-putting to some because it's trying too hard to be cool, but when you realize that entire attitude is intentional, you can't help but cozy up to it. Can you dislike a flick that references both ALIEN 3 and Meredith Baxter Birney? (If you're not remotely familiar with either, Deadpool is laughing at you.)

In terms of suspense, there isn't much going for DEADPOOL, but that sort of stuff isn't its primary concern. Its action sequences are very entertaining, though they are few and far between. There's a recurring sequence involving Deadpool's ambush of his foes on a highway that is drawn out and lively, but the third act's predictable hero-vs-villain showdown is admittedly pretty standard; a traditional "boy saves girl" conclusion is inevitable. But even when that bit is over, DEADPOOL wants you to know it's not taking itself very seriously. It's not the set-pieces that are supposed to wow us, it's the character. Personally, I found Deadpool to be a delight from start to finish, and that's why I enjoyed his ribald journey heartily. 

Source: JoBlo.com



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