12th Feb2016

‘Deadpool’ Review

by Jason Brigger

Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, TJ Miller, Ed Skrein, Stefan Kapicic, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand | Written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick | Directed by Tim Miller

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Deadpool slices and dices it ways into theaters this Friday, February 12 with more crass, gore, violence and cussing than any comic book film that has preceded it.  Deadpool may not be for everyone, especially those sensitive to harsh language and violence, but at the end of the day, Deadpool turns the traditional comic book genre upside down and the genre is better for it.

Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool, a good guy mercenary and former special forces soldier, who spends his time protecting people from stalkers. At his favorite dive bar run by Weasel (TJ Miller), Wilson falls in love with Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin) but after a year of loving bliss, Wilson is diagnosed with multiple organ cancer. Wilson, with little choice, reluctantly leaves Vanessa and undergoes an experiment by a shady organization, led by Ajax (Ed Skrein) to cure his cancer.  To no surprise, the evil organization is actually injecting Wilson with a special serum that removes his cancer but severely disfigures him and “awakens” his mutant powers.  After being tortured endlessly by Ajax, Wilson escapes and with the help of his friends Weasel and Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), tries to regain whatever is left of his past mercenary life by becoming the persona Deadpool.  Once Vanessa is kidnapped though, Deadpool joins forces with X-Men Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) for a final battle with Ajax and his evil organization.

The Good:

• Ryan Reynolds is amazing as Deadpool.  Reynolds has embraced the role of Wade Wilson/Deadpool and has redeemed the previous version from the prior film X-Men film.  That version of Deadpool was not Reynolds’ fault and he did the absolute best with what the writers gave him, which wasn’t much, but this time the real Deadpool is in all his glory on the screen.  Reynolds looks like he is having fun with this character and unlike the previous superhero he played, Green Lantern, Reynolds fully embodies everything that is right with this film.

• The craziness of this film.  I cannot stress enough how this is not a typical superhero film.  From Deadpool breaking the “4th Wall” and talking to the audience, something he does in the comics as well, to the gallons of blood spilled, to the nudity (both male and female) to the language, this film earns it’s hard “R” rating and is better for it.  Fans of Deadpool from the comics will enjoy how the film stays true to its roots but newcomers to the character will enjoy the ride as well.

The Bad:

• How did it take this long for Fox Studios to pull the trigger on a Deadpool film?  Seriously, Fox should have green lit this film over any time traveling X-Men film they had in their stable.

The Middling:

• The Pacing.  The film is only 108 minutes but for some reason I felt more story could have been added to the second act of the film.  Once you learn why Wilson became Deadpool, the final battle was beginning to start.  Overall the pacing did not take away from my enjoyment of the film but a few additional scenes would have helped flesh out the film.

• Who is Ajax and why does his sidekick Angel Dust (Gina Carano) have undying loyalty to him?  Ajax is a fun villain as he plays the straight man to Deadpool’s comedy act but the audience never really learns if Ajax is the true mastermind of the evil organization of if others are pulling the string.  Yep, that means sequel! Both villains are formidable opponents to Deadpool and his X-Men friends but the audience never truly learns whom Ajax is selling the superhuman specimens to or why he didn’t recruit some of his experiments to take out Deadpool.

Final Grade: B

Deadpool fanboys will love this film but so will the general audience looking for a different version of the traditional comic book film.  The cast deliver solid to great performances and after several middling X-Men films, Fox finally got a comic book film right. Deadpool is a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously and after several brooding and depressing X-Men films, it’s a breath of fresh air.

You can catch Jason Brigger on the geek-centric podcast, The History of Bad Ideas, releasing every Wednesday at Nerdly.co.uk or subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps.

 

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