The Merc With A Mouth’s solo film has finally arrived! Read on to find our take on Deadpool!
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T. J. Miller, Gina Carano
Directed by: Tim Miller
At long last, fans of the Merc With A Mouth have gotten their wish: Deadpool is on the big screen. Wade Wilson’s voyage to the silver screen has been a long one, and after his introduction in 2009’s god-awful X-Men Origins: Wolverine, many believed that a solo movie wouldn’t happen. And yet here we are, with a Deadpool movie that stars Ryan Reynolds, is rated R, and seemingly doing justice to the character. But now that the movie is out, was it worth all the trouble to make it?
Make no mistake, Deadpool is one of the most improbable comic book movie success stories of all time. The fact that it’s watchable is solid enough, but the fact that it’s made THIS WELL is incredible. This is the perfect example of the benefits of having creative people who are fans of a character helm their superhero movie. With Ryan Reynolds’ performance and Tim Miller’s direction, Deadpool becomes not only one of the strangest and most hilarious superhero movies of all time, but also the most true to a character comic book movie that Fox has ever done. It’s like Marvel Comics, Monty Python, and Looney Tunes had an R-Rated baby. So essentially, it’s Deadpool.
Much of the plot revolves around Wade Wilson’s origin, which is pretty much what you know from the comics, just minus any mention of Weapon X (aside from a quick sight gag, there’s no references to X-Men Origins: Wolverine). Yes, this is another “superhero origin movie” (we’ll get into that later), but even Deadpool himself is aware of it and has fun with the concept. He’s our narrator through this adventure, and from the first moments he looks at you and starts yapping, you’re hooked in for an action-packed ride.
And boy is the Deadpool action insane. From the opening battle to the final fight, you’re treated to some pretty ridiculously entertaining over the top violence. Limbs are cut off, bullets are shot through multiple enemies, and Wade starts losing (and re-growing) limbs left and right. Deadpool had a relatively small budget for a superhero movie, but you can see that a lot of that money went into the fight scenes, which are extremely memorable and beg to be seen on the big screen.
It’s not all action though. At the end of the day, Deadpool is called “The Merc With A Mouth” for a reason, and woo boy does this film live up to that title. The jokes come fast and furious, and while they don’t all stick the landing, there’s plenty that will leave you breathless. Many times I was laughing so hard that I missed five other one-liner jokes that were machine gunned at me.
Ryan Reynolds’ performance is just as good as you’d hoped. Riffing one-liners like a red-garbed jester, this is the vehicle that will finally make Reynolds a huge star. Reynolds is clearly having the time of his life bringing the real Wade Wilson to the big screen, and his chemistry with every character is dynamite, especially with Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. The scenes of the three of them bouncing off of one another are absolutely hilarious, with Colossus serving as the lovable straight man to Deadpool’s crazy antics (their “fight” scene is arguably the best of the movie), and Deadpool reacting to Negasonic’s stereotypical teenage demeanor. His verbal take down of Warhead is easily my favorite moment in the whole film.
Which brings me to the biggest strength of this movie: the way they’ve written Deadpool. In all forms of media, The Merc With A Mouth is a surprisingly difficult character to write. It’s easy for writers to fall into a trap of having Deadpool be too meta and cracking too many jokes, but thankfully that’s not the case here. This is very much a Deadpool in the same vein as the one written by comic writers Joe Kelly, Gerry Duggan, and Daniel Way (earlier issues of his run especially). Deadpool’s still crazy, but he’s also allowing people to underestimate him so he can get the upper hand. He’s also just as likely to forget his gun as he is slicing off two heads at once.
Deadpool’s only real flaws come in Ed Skrein and Gina Carano’s villains Ajax and Angel Dust, who really only exist for fight scenes and to be chased. In their cases, the credit gag at the beginning of the film is sadly pretty apt. The film also kind of drags whenever Reynolds isn’t in Deadpool mode, which is probably due to the film’s awesome opening scene. It grabs you so well that when the film has to backtrack to fill in the gaps, you end up feeling like you’re just waiting for the movie to get back to Wade as Deadpool. Speaking of the plot, it’s pretty damn sparse (it really boils down to Wade wanting revenge on the guy who scarred him), and at times Deadpool falls victim to the same kinds of things it’s parodying in superhero movies (Morena Baccarin ends up being little more than a damsel in distress). But honestly, NONE of that matters, because Reynolds is so entertaining that he elevates everything else around him. You’ll have such a fun time watching him that you won’t even care about any of this.
Deadpool is so good that it will make you weep that Fox and Marvel Studios can’t play nice. The idea of Ryan Reynolds popping up as Deadpool in a future Marvel Studios project is too fun to pass up. You know the writers would have a blast commenting on the fact that Deadpool hasn’t met any of the Avengers before ( I personally really want to see him meet Ant-Man). This is a comic book fan’s reward for putting up with Fox garbage like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: The Last Stand, and every single Fantastic Four movie. Even if you hit your Deadpool quota years ago like me, there are still plenty of good times to be had with this movie.