"Time to make the chimi-fucking-changas" - Deadpool.
Okay, let’s start this review with a touch of blunt and brutal honesty, borne out of my own ignorance.
Ahem – I haven’t actually read any Deadpool comics.
Oh, it gets worse – I often confuse Wade Wilson (Deadpool) who is a Marvel Comics super assassin with Slade Wilson (Deathstroke) who is a DC Comics super assassin. Though Deathstroke’s season long arc on TV’s Arrow helped me out a lot with that.
Cue the mocking……
So, what exactly did I know?
Well, that Ryan Reynolds had previously played the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but now was playing a more comic book accurate version. Right down to the costume. I had loved the trailer and I had loved the ad campaign that popped up online to remind us that the film was imminent.
I’ve liked Ryan Reynolds in every film I’ve seen him in so far. I’m probably one of the few people who went to see Green Lantern and left the film at the end, happy with everything I had seen on screen. (Not to sound too nerdy, but I have a prop replica of Reynolds’s Green Lantern ring.) He brought a level of irreverence to his performance of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern which in my opinion made the film better than it would otherwise have been. With that in mind, Wade Wilson/Deadpool – the Merc with a Mouth, seems to be a role tailor made for him.
Wade Wilson is a kind of enforcer. He helps people out for money. Sometimes, as in the case of a girl being stalked by a creepy pizza delivery guy, he does the job for free. He develops late stage, terminal cancer – but is offered a cure. At a price.
The price makes him Deadpool – a mutated super assassin with enhanced abilities and recuperative powers. The mutant powers make him an attractive proposition for the X-Men to recruit, even though he kind of straddles the line between being heroic and a villain.
The structure of the film is an ingenious as its casting, which sees Morena Baccarin a fan favorite since Firefly, and T.J.Miller from the cult hit comedy Silicon Valley join Reynolds in the fast paced, rapid fire action which I believe will change the face of super hero movies for years to come.
It has long been a concern of mine that a lot of super hero epics are dumbed down for the masses, and are often made child friendly because that’s where the studio executives see the target audience as being – right? This is the film that will change that outdated thinking.
Deadpool is in no way a child friendly film. The language alone is coarse and profane, the violence although stylised, is graphic and brutal – and darkly comic (witness the way Deadpool saves a ammunition by lining up three head shots with one bullet). The financial success of this movie will be noticed by the other studios, and as well all know it’s a case of monkey see, monkey do. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I think 20th Century Fox have a lot of flattery ahead of them.
It has already been announced that an unedited, more violent and profane cut of the film will be released on disc, and whether that has influenced Warners in THEIR announcement that Batman vs Superman will similarly have an unedited, longer and more violent cut available for home viewing, I don’t know. But in any event, it’s good news for us comic fans who are getting long in the tooth.
Structurally, it’s not a linear film – there are plenty of flashbacks, explaining what’s going on I what is, essentially an origin story. But what makes the film stand out even more is the number of times the fourth wall is broken.
Deadpool frequently addresses the audience, and comments on the film and the characters. There’s a couple of the lesser known X-Men in the film, leading Deadpool to ask of the studio couldn’t afford any more of them. Also remarks about Hugh Jackman and the confusing continuity between Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and James McAvoy’s.
It’s full of side shots at the whole superhero genre from the, “superhero landing” stance, to X-Men movies in general and Marvel movies as a whole. It’s a film made by fans, targeted specifically FOR the fans. And I can’t recommend it highly enough.
It’s a good thing that the addressing the audience gimmick carries through to the two stings at the end of the film, and that the sequel is already confirmed by Deadpool himself at the second sting. We need to see (and hear) more of the Merc with the Mouth.
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