The first superhero film of 2016 has arrived. Deadpool brings a unique edge not yet seen in the crowded superhero genre . The marketing campaign has been note perfect and the film delivers on what was promised.
The film sets the playful tone from the opening credits as no names are listed just titles like “A British Villain” and “A CGI character“. The often vulgar jokes have the potential to be divisive and if you aren’t laughing out loud within the first few minutes then the rest of the film may prove a struggle. Luckily it immediately worked for me and the majority of the packed cinema chuckled along as well.
This is totally Ryan Reynolds film. He brushes off the cobwebs of his first Deadpool appearance in X-Men Orgins, that saw him with retractable swords melded into his arms his mouth sewn shut. His mouth is definitely not sewn shut here as he unleashes lines like “Today was about as much fun as a sandpaper dildo“. The so-called “Merc with a mouth” has been awarded the film he deserves.
The plot serves its purpose by allowing the character and tone to flourish, Deadpool does not need the repetitive superhero world threatening third act showdown. The film begins with a brilliant freeway central set-piece full of wit and blood splattering action. The fourth wall breaking Deadpool talks us through the story at one point breaking a fourth wall within a fourth wall- is that 16 walls? The film flashes back and forth until we arrive back where the film starts.
The disrespect for the fourth wall and non-chronological arc adds a refreshing angle to the origin tale. The film shows ex-special forces Wade Wilson fall in love with equally damaged prostitiute Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), discover terminal cancer and then desperately agreeing to an experimental procedure resulting in the creation of Deadpool. Through torture at the hands of the British Villain Ed Skrein Wade Wilson develops regenerative powers, but ends up looking like a “testicle with teeth“.
The slight plot allows the character to shine. A character that takes a bullet up the bum, teabags a villain, sings careless whisper and has Liam Neeson nightmares. The jokes come thick and fast including Monty Python-esque slapstick and on the nose in-jokes often at the expense of Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine. Whilst set in the same universe as Bryan Singer‘s impressive, but often poe-faced X-Men,Deadpool confidently gives it the middle finger. The character wonders whether Professor X will be Patrick Stewart or James McAvoy, and bemoans the budgetary constraints resulting in him only meeting two X-Men, the metallic Colossus (Stefan Kapičić) and sullen youngster Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand).
All the supporting acts are successful, Baccarin making her a hooker with a heart feel real, Hildebrand labeled as Ripley from Alien 3 has a big impact with limited lines, and the stereotypical hero represented by Kapičić help ground the frantic lead character. Even the British villain is fun to watch despite his lack of development. The film also holds the title of the best x-rated Stan Lee cameo.
The eclectic soundtrack featuring a mix of hip-hop, soft rock and ’80s classics heighten the riotous nature. The “overpaid tool” in charge, director Tim Miller brings the fresh and frantic nature of Zombieland, successfully creating a uniquely filthy and twisted superhero movie. The superhero genre is in rude health and enhanced by the existence of this film.