For those that have been dreaming about a film that would treat the Merc-with-a-mouth with the respect he deserves, your prayers have been answered. Although “respect” likely isn’t the best word for this character.
It’s no secret that Ryan Reynolds has loved the Deadpool character for many years. He played a version of him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In that film, his Wade Wilson was on point, but the writers created a sacrilegious version of Deadpool in the final act. (Fun fact, THAT Deadpoolish version, Weapon XI, wasn’t even played by Reynolds!) It could be speculated that Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity was when he first tested the waters as his favorite anti hero. It’s also no secret that since the his last outing in Wolverine, Reynolds has been trying to get producers to sign off on a stand alone film. A short CGI test segment was even created that left the men with the money unimpressed. It wasn’t until this segment was “leaked” (i.e. strategically released) that people started to pay attention. After the fanbase went wild, and RyRy threw in some of his own money, a true Deadpool feature went into production.
There has been a lot of concern on whether this movie would live up to the comics and do it justice. Many feared that the very qualities that made the comic character successful would be seen by the bean-counters as unmarketable in a feature. Rest assured, “Deadpool” is as accurate as it could possibly be. For fans, this is a wonderful thing. Theatre Managers on the other hand should brace themselves for the oncoming onslaught of raging mothers who mistakenly took their children to see the latest “super hero movie”, the likes of which have not been seen since “Kick Ass” was released. Make no mistake, this is a solid R-rated film: F-bombs, extreme comic violence, a general distaste for humanity, sex, and both male and female full nudity. Please leave the children at home.
As much as we enjoy all of those decadent elements, a good film that does not make. You also need a sharp script, pacing mindful editing, FX that look good without breaking the bank, and at least one character the audience feels empathy for. Miraculously, “Deadpool” delivers all of this. While the plot is an old-as-time love/vengeance story, its execution is certainly modern and unique. It’s not easy to create a character that will mercilessly slaughter bad guys with reckless abandon, but later reveal his insecurities that he is not always able to mask with humor. The character is at his best when he’s firing off one liners and addressing the audience directly, but it’s appreciated that the writers didn’t slouch on rounding out the character a bit making him more relatable.
Director Tim Miller does a great job of stretching the budget to its breaking point and tricking the audience into thinking it’s a “bigger” film than it really is. The fractured timeline that starts in the midst of the action and frequently flashes back to Deadpool’s origin story works surprisingly well. In this case, this cinematic device carefully balances the exposition with the action maintaining near perfect pacing. It also helps to hide that there are really only 5 total set pieces, and half of those are obviously digital extensions of a sound stage. Thankfully, it’s something you can notice without being overly distracting, and is still far more convincing than the FX in other films (Such as “The 5th Wave” or “The Finest Hours”)
With the glut of comic films and TV series every year, it’s refreshing to see something totally unique and not afraid to take risks. “Deadpool” certainly isn’t for everyone, but is near perfection for those who appreciate the source material.