After an extremely disappointing appearance in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ back in 2009, fans have been demanding a proper big screen adaptation of the smooth-talking, fast-shooting, slicing-and-dicing hired gun known as Deadpool. Even star Ryan Reynolds did everything within his power for the better part of a decade to push the studio in the right direction. Well, all his efforts eventually paid off and we finally get to see the fruits of their labor this month. And let me tell you, they’re the best damn fruits that you’ve ever tasted. That is, if you like foul-mouthed anti-heroes, gruesome deaths, and fourth wall-breaking pop culture references. (That’s basically all of you, right?)
From the sick minds that wrote ‘Zombieland’ and VFX supervisor-turned-director Tim Miller, ‘Deadpool’ gives us the origin story of everyone’s favorite Merc With A Mouth from the Marvel Universe. This film allows us to take a walk down memory lane with Wade Wilson as we learn how he went from Special Forces operative to cancer patient to rogue experiment with a healing factor, a twisted sense of humor, and an insane arsenal of weapons. But when the girl of his perverted dreams is kidnapped by the people that tortured the living hell out of him and left him scarred for life, it’s all business for the jolly gentleman in a red suit (except not the one who brings toys to all the good little boys and girls).
Based on that description alone, the latest offering in 20th Century Fox’s Marvel mutant franchise tells us the same old story. Boy meets girl. Girl gets kidnapped. Boy saves girl. However, the thing that makes it all worth it is the execution. Though writers Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese deliver a relatively overdone storyline, their script is filled with off the wall gags, side-splitting dialogue, and hilarious in-jokes. It managed to capture everything that fans have loved about Deadpool and his comics for years and mold it not only into a true to source adaptation, but also a generally fun and fresh superhero movie that should be appealing even to people who are tired of superhero movies at this point.
Even with all the great jokes and messed up dialogue, ‘Deadpool’ would be nothing without the people carrying them out. We already knew that Ryan Reynolds was the perfect person to play Deadpool, but his supporting cast were all perfectly picked for their parts as well. Fans of ‘Firefly’ will see Morena Baccarin shed any remnant of Inara’s regal demeanor to match Wade’s crazy as Vanessa. T.J. Miller harnesses the same aloof energy and quick wit from his beloved stand up act in order to bring Weasel to life. Relative newcomer Brianna Hildebrand’s stoic expressions and powerful punches make me hope that Negasonic Teenage Warhead returns to the screen whenever the New Mutants arrive, especially since she already has the costume. Even MMA fighter Gina Carano gets time to show off some of her acting chops on top of beating the crap out of Colossus.
Speaking of kicking butts, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the awesome action sequences. The movie opens up with that awesome scene on the freeway that some may remember from the test footage of the movie, but seeing it in its entirety was pretty great. I wish I had seen it in IMAX. Due to director Miller’s visual effects background, I’m sure that his expertise in that department lent itself nicely to the process of conceiving the gnarly yet hysterical fight scenes. Major kudos to everyone who put those instances together.
Finally, if anyone is concerned about Deadpool’s usual antics being kitschy or gimmicky, I don’t think that there’s anything to worry about. Yes, there are those moments where Deadpool breaks the fourth wall and references various things at a million miles a minute. However, I wouldn’t consider any of that to be excessive. It fits the character, it fits the tone of the movie, and it contributed to the overall enjoyment of the film. Basically, everything was handled as good as we could have hoped, True Believers. Now let’s just hope that they find every excuse to put Reynolds back in the suit over and over again.
Much like ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, I walked out of ‘Deadpool’ wanting to see it again. Part of it was because we were finally seeing these characters being treated the way that they should have been all along, but mostly it was because it was just plain awesome. Though the plot was relatively simple, it didn’t really matter where the story was going because getting there was probably the most fun we’ve had in any of Fox’s X-Men movies. Sure, it’s definitely a very different flavor than any of the films that came before it, but it’s all good nonetheless. The best analogy I could think of is that ‘Deadpool’ is to ‘X-Men’ as ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is to ‘The Avengers’, even down to the excellent soundtracks.
Bottom line: After you find a babysitter for the kids that you’d normally take to a superhero movie, go see ‘Deadpool’. I highly doubt that you will be disappointed. And to top off the whole experience, I recommend Mexican food afterwards. (Chimichangas, obviously!)
‘Deadpool’ starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Gina Carano, and Ed Skrein hits theaters on February 12, 2016.