The Merc with a Mouth has a big heart, and an excellent first film.
Few films produce the level of antici…pation that Deadpool had prior to release. Even fewer films meet, let alone exceed, the eager expectation of its future audience. Deadpool is, thankfully, on of those films. It even led to a reshuffle of my top five Marvel-related films (as of 14/02/16: 1) Guardians of the Galaxy, 2) Deadpool, 3) Winter Soldier, 4) Ant Man and 5) Thor). The film is filthy, frantic and feverish. I can see (if I squint and put on my reflective hat) that those three reasons for why I love it so much are the same three reasons why a small minority may hate it (if you are in the later category I will *try* not to judge). However, the film is exactly my kind of humour and, heck, it’s my name in the blog title (chica chica!) Even my overuse of brackets in this paragraph (sorry, no sorry!) would indicate the fourth wall breaks/sidebars of the film. Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough here… let’s get cracking!
The film opens with a truly hilarious montage of Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) in an overturned car with some villains (soundtracked to ‘Angel Of The Morning’ by Juice Newton). Through an array of flashbacks and flashforwards we learn about the past and present of the man behind the mask. Wade Wilson was a bad guy who was paid to hurt even badder guys. He was definitely *not* a hero. One night, after a successful job, he meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). They have simillar senses of humour and the connection between them is electric. One date leds to one year of happiness – a year than ends with Wade being diagnosed with terminal cancer. He’s offered a solution: to join a secret program that will get rid of his cancer and grant him superpowers. Ajax/Francis (Ed Skrein) is the man running the program and injects Wade with a secret serum, teaming up with Angel Dust (Gina Carano) to torture Wade for weeks on end in an effort to trigger a mutation. One torture in successful in triggering the mutation, providing with the power of healing that is so great he is essentially immortal, but in the process leads to Wade being totally disfigured. Once escaped Wade seeks out the man who destroyed his life, desperate for revenge and a cure.
Where to begin with reasons for why I love this film so greatly, without turning this review into a stream of consciousness? Ryan Reynolds is utterly fantastic in this role, creating a character who is nuanced and full of depth whilst also making cock jokes. Reynolds has not been given the opportunity to show of his funny bone for so long, and having spent ten years getting this show on the road, the fact it is a clear passion product for him really illuminates just how good he is.
Often with superhero films the mask is a barrier between the ‘hero’ and the audience. In this case the barrier is shattered literally by having Deadpool talk directly to the audience (just like in the comic books) and through his use of facial expressions. Even with the red mask on we can see the facial expressions, the eyebrow raises, glaring, moments of surprise and amusement. With regards the jokes, not every joke lands but there are so many that when one does fall flat there will be two more in the next 30 seconds to get you laughing again.
His take on Deadpool is also the required level of sexy. I don’t just mean fanciable (though, yes.) But his interactions with Vanessa are sparky, sweet yet erotic. When you really think about it, how many superheros in film adaptations are given that side to their character? Batman is rather caste and crippled by his past, Superman looks great but is too noble for that, Captain America too innocent and Ironman is implied – all talk and no action (though admittedly Stark’s conquests occur in films rated 12/12A). Wade Wilson has a fully-functioning relationship with Vanessa , raunchy yet founded-in love. Which sums up the whole films ethos really – it may parody the entire genre but is done so with love and thus still honouring it. One way of doing this is with the treatment of its big baddie.
Skrein makes a fantastic villain, reaching towards (though no equal to) the heights of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Ajax/Francis is a nasty man, who ‘enjoys’ causing others man and misery yet he’s so charming in the process. We want Wade to get the vengeance he is so desperately wants, which means we get to see more Ajax/Francis in the process (a total win-win). His cool, calm borderline-psychopath-at-the-core sit he perfect contrast to the maniac ‘talker’ that is Wade Wilson. Their onscreen rapport brings the best out of both characters.
Baccarin is good, if slightly underused, as Wilson’s girlfriend. Brianna Hildebrand is awesome as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, the X-Men trainee who is shadowing Stefan Kapicic‘s Colossous. Using such little-known and under-valued X-men was a great idea, bringing out the best from Wade Wilson. Including some of the films stand-out gags…
This may be the perfect Valentine’s Day film. There’s romance, sex, dirty jokes, lots and lots of killing (think Kick-Ass or Kingsmen level violence) and more dirty jokes.
I’m seeing it for the third time this week. Go see it!