It took me long enough, but I finally got around to see Deadpool. I wasn’t able to see it in cinemas when it was new due to an enormously tight work schedule (and the fact that by the time I finished, Vue Cinemas Carmarthen stopped showing it entirely), but after finally getting the DVD, I can safely say that the wait was completely worth it. Many other superhero films try too hard to be serious films, and the result is that many of them are shallow, repetitive, excessive, and ludicrously expensive toy commercials. Not Deadpool though, perhaps one of the few films of the genre with anything remotely resembling personality, and this wonderfully subversive attitude is what defines Deadpool.
The story is simple enough, and should be familiar by now. Deadpool (a.k.a. Wade Wilson) is the self-styled “merc with the mouth”, who in a bid to treat his terminal cancer, gains vastly accelerated recovery abilities, but his body is visibly scarred, and so he goes on a quest to hunt down the man who gave him the treatment.
This is essentially an origin story for Deadpool, as if the superhero genre doesn’t have enough of those already. Of course, it’s rather formulaic, but Deadpool is uniquely self-aware, and the story itself has been written as a kind of self-parody on Marvel’s part. I guess they know by know that the Marvel formula is too familiar to the cinema-going public, so they figured that the best approach would be that of an irreverent comedy (complete with the demolition of the fourth wall), and it worked.
The main reason why it worked is perhaps because Ryan Reynolds is so good at playing Deadpool. The part was almost made for him at this point, and it might just be the thing that makes Reynolds’ career. He delivers his performance with the kind of confident, gleeful irreverence that makes the whole film a barrel of laughs. The other characters perform quite well, but in terms of substance and acting, they all take a backseat to Deadpool’s show-stealing charisma.
Given that this is Marvel’s one can expect highest-quality production values, and indeed, Deadpool looks and sounds fantastic. On thing that separates Deadpool from other superhero flicks is that there isn’t as much CGI as one could expect from the likes of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, or the latest in Marvel’s vaunted line-up, with only one character in the whole film being composed entirely out of special effects. Indeed, the main strength of the film’s style is its deliciously violent choreography. Deadpool makes for a terrific action hero, but presentation isn’t the film’s strength.
Above all else, Deadpool is essentially the comic foil to all other Marvel heroes. Whenever it seems like the story is going in a typical superhero direction, Deadpool finds a way of subverting it, right down to the end. The script, though heavily profane, is cleverly written enough that the jokes are consistently funny. Rude, irreverent, and certainly not family-friendly, Deadpool is one of the few superhero movies that dares to break the mould, taking on the often pretentious clichés of a genre that is still going stale.
- Score: 83%
- Grade: B