A fast-talking mercenary with a morbid sense of humor is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers and a quest for revenge.
Director: Tim Miller
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Ed Skrein, Morena Baccarin, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Michael Benyaer
Rated: R (strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity)
By Matt Greene
Do you love taking the younger nerds in your life to see each new superhero movie? Of course you do! But for the love of God, do NOT take any kids to Deadpool, the most recent entry to the “X-Men” cinematic cosmos. Ryan Reynold’s affectionate take on this C-level Marvel anti-hero fills a massive hole in the ubiquitous world of superhero films: fanboy fiction for proudly immature adults. A no-holds-barred, Guardians of the Galaxy-esque romp, it’s gleefully violent and unabashedly debauched. Deadpool serves as proof that true passion projects are sometimes worth backing.
Unfamiliar with the Deadpool character? No problem. The film catches us up to speed with some unique origin story-telling, jumping back and forth between his present crime-fighting life and his past normal life. It’s a gloriously messy way to breathe some life into a clichéd story form. All the while, meta-references and in-jokes burst from every blood-splattered shot, starting with a wonderful opening credit sequence that features self-mutilating gags (i.e. referring to Ryan Reynolds as “God’s Perfect Idiot”). Reynolds, a guy often overly interested frat-boy shenanigans, revels and shines in a role he was clearly born to play.
And hopefully this won’t be his last time donning the red-tights and foul-mouth. If done correctly, the sequels have the strong possibility of only being better than this first one, as the setup of the character can be lost to more frivolous fun. How will this strongly R-rated character get tied into the larger X-Men story without losing his bite? Not sure; for now let’s just enjoy this one-shot action-comedy as a one-of-a-kind superhero experience that you’ve likely never experienced before.
4 out of 5 Stars
By Cole Schneider
“Deadpool” is very often very funny. Kudos. Everything else about the movie is lame. Even the humor is rooted in a purpose that is so clearly dissonant with the film’s stated thesis that its one-dimensional shtick gets tired well before the end. The brilliant opening credits sequence offers us not only hilarious physical humor, but a blunt, comic mode of introducing itself as the R-rated satire of PG-13 superhero genericism.
At that point, I’m all in. Aren’t we all tired of watching the next X-Men (or Iron Man or Captain America or Thor or <insert superhero here>) movie that we know will be basically the same as the last seven have been? One scene in and I’m grinning ear-to-ear, eager with anticipation as to how the next 100 minutes of my life will be witnessing the creative destruction of the big-budget poison that has taken over cinemas worldwide.
Then the rest of “Deadpool” came and went and despite the film’s incessant built-in commentary track—Deadpool is constantly interrupting to insist his movie is different than its predecessors—it became the same thing it was mocking—and perhaps an even worse version of that same thing. I submit that “Deadpool” is as generic, lame, and uninventive as each and every Marvel film yet. The violence and profanity are upped, and there’s more sex, but it remains stuck in an even tighter story rut than most.
“Deadpool” is nothing more than a bad romantic comedy pretending to be a satire of its own genre. It thinks that it’s a Tarantino take on Spider-Man, but it’s missing the director’s story chops and the character’s charming innocence.
2 out of 5 Stars