Well, here it is folks. A film that almost didn’t get made and was quite literally in development hell for 12, possibly even 15 years. Only 1 thing stayed consistent throughout the draftwork – that Wade “Deadpool” Wilson in the comics looks like Ryan Reynolds crossed with a Shar-Pei, and therefore the role was meant to be for Ryan Reynolds, who was trying to get this made all this time, as a fan of the comic. Many would call this a dream come true, as Deadpool is unlike any other Marvel Superhero out there. So…Deadpool…what can be said about the film?
Set in the Marvel and 20th Century Fox Melting Pot known as the X-Men Film Universe, our focus is on Wade Wilson (Played, like I said, by Ryan Reynolds, the only actor for the role). Wade is an interesting character, as he’s a former special forces operative who basically spends his time as a mercenary, threatening guys who stalk girls for money. One night he meets escort Vanessa Carlyste (played by Morena Baccarin, aka Inara from Joss Whedon’s Firefly and *sigh* Dr Leslie Thompkins in Gotham…) who he happily dates for a year, and then proposes. Shortly after deciding to get married, Wade collapses, and goes to hospital, where he finds out that he has terminal cancer. A recruiter approaches him, saying “We can cure you”. Wade accepts the offer, and then experiences a living hell under the grace of our main villain, Francis Freeman (Ed Skrein), also known as Ajax (a mutant who feels no pain…in fact, he feels nothing at all) and his ally Angel Dust (played by former MMA Fighter Gina Carano), a mutant known for her insane levels of strength and speed. After much experimentation that could rival Unit 731 (Well, not really), Wade finally becomes a mutant, destroys the lab, survives, and then decides to look for Ajax, who said to Wade, “I know how to fix you, so don’t kill me”. From this, our story progresses.
Now to break the film into building blocks:
The Acting is very good, particularly from Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin, who come across as a sweet, funny, and loveable couple, even during the amusing jokes about their sex life. There wasn’t too much of them on screen together, but what was there did work for me.
Characters: Somehow, this film managed to justify having an incredibly 1-dimentional villain, by saying that he’s a mutant who feels no pain, in fact he feels nothing. Such a character would go against everything I’ve ever learned about creating strong villains. When I say that, I mean I usually look for a humanity behind them. A humanity where the reasons for their actions, within the context of debate, are understandable. But in this case, there is no humanity behind Ajax. He is simply a Satan archetype. It’s all about him. It’s all about the money. He is pure evil…Which I guess makes it easier to invest in Wade getting his revenge. As for the good, Deadpool’s an awesome main character, and Vanessa Carlysle is a likeable girlfriend. The inclusion of both russian-realist (and the master of “keeping it simple”) Colossus (Voiced by Stefan Kapičić) and stereotypical gothic teenager who hates everybody, Negasonic Teenage Warhead (yes, that’s her name, isn’t it awesome? She’s played by Brianna Hildebrand), were a nice comic foil for Wade, and also a nice way to progress the story. Also they got Leslie Uggams to play Wade’s sharp, foul-mouthed roommate, who is also blind (so she can’t see his scars).
The Story was…okay. It’s difficult sometimes to invest in an origins story effectively, and considering they’re making a sequel, an origin story is exactly what this is. It’s also a very basic revenge story as well. It’s changed up with the use of the origin story in the form of flashbacks, as well as the love story which becomes complicated on Wade’s part (since the experiments have robbed him of his looks, and he’s not sure if Vanessa will accept him for his appearance). In it’s own way, that aspect of the film is meant to be a story to show how beauty comes from within…as does a sense of humour. It does it quite well, but it’s not an enormous reason why you’re watching the film.
The music that sticks out in this film comes in the form of the song selection, much more so than Junkie XL’s original score. Songs like Shoop by Salt N Pepa, You’re The Inspiration by Chicago, and of course, X Gon’ Give It to Ya by DMX. There’s also the Deadpool Rap by Teamheadkick. A very good soundtrack overall with an amusing use of Wham!
The Special Effects were very good, but they weren’t on par with the likes of Age Of Ultron or Man Of Steel. It was still fun to watch though.
Cinematography-wise, the slow motion moments looked fantastic, and the opening credits are quite a legendary sight now.
It appears that they’ve stuck as close to the original source material as possible when it came to the movie’s humour. As the first Marvel movie to ever receive the R-Rating in the USA, they’ve maintained the adult sense of humour that the fans of the comic know and love. It has been said that this film was made without executives trying to make it kid-friendly in order to sell toys and more tickets…and you know what? I’m happy that they stuck to their guns when it came to this film in particular.
Would I recommend Deadpool? Yes, but it’s not a film for everybody, and even not a film from every Marvel movie fan. It’s by far the raunchiest film with Stan Lee’s name attached to it, and includes more sex, gory deaths and bad language than all of the X-Men, Spiderman, Batman and Marvel Cinematic Universe films put together. Despite this characteristic, it remains a film of great quality and potential. Now that this has been made, and Deadpool has been established as a character, I look forward to Deadpool 2.
Acting: ****1/2 (****3/4 for Reynolds and Baccacin)
Characters: ****3/4 (***** for Wade Wilson himself)
Story: ***1/4 (Very basic, even for a Superhero movie, but still fun)
Music: **** (Some very amusing choices, and well done original score)
Special Effects: **** (Seen better, but still very good)
Cinematography: ****1/2 (Some great slow-motion camera shots)
Humour: ****3/4 (Raunchiest and most violent Super Hero Movie since James Gunn’s ‘Super’)