Do we think it’s any f *** ing good?
released OUT NOW! 15 | 108 minutes
Director Tim Miller
Cast Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin,
Ed Skrein, Stefan Kapicic, Gina Carano
Captain America: Civil War may have the biggest cast, X- Men: Apocalypse the grander scale, but Deadpool will surely be the most argued- over superhero film this year. Long in and out of development hell, it finally arrives as an R- rated aberration in a sea of PG- 13 spandex flicks. It’s loud, obnoxious, defiantly puerile and mostly good fun.
Wade Wilson ( Ryan Reynolds, in his second crack at the role following 2010’ s X- Men Origins: Wolverine – entirely ignored here) is a down- at- heel mercenary, working a string of minor jobs. When he meets Morena Baccarin’s Vanessa, the pair embark on a whirlwind romance that’s cut short when Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Taking off on his own, he signs up for a mysterious treatment that offers to save his life and give him superpowers, but instead leaves him immortal, disfigured and insane. Cue a bloody revenge plot as Wade, now going by the name Deadpool, hunts down Ed Skrein’s villainous Ajax – while making loads of knob gags!
Deadpool starts strongly, waving its freak flag high. It’s a rare film that can claim its opening credits as a comic highlight, but that’s the case here, with the cast and crew names replaced with “a British villain”, “moody teen” and, for director Tim Miller, “an overpaid tool”. It’s a strutting lead in to the opening, eye- poppingly violent tableau, and a hint at the film’s central conceit: the main character knows that he’s in a movie and frequently talks to the audience.
This could easily have come across as smug and annoying. Instead, the tone is generally well- judged throughout. Deadpool is a rubber- limbed cross between Spider- Man and Wolverine with a dash of the malevolent pranksterism of Michael Keaton’s Betelgeuse, but he’s not without empathy or moments of apparently sincere emotion. Reynolds is clearly having a blast in the role, both in and out of the mask.
The rest of the cast are solid too. Ed Skrein makes for a surprisingly grounded villain, while TJ Miller provides deadpan snark as Wade’s bartender buddy. Baccarin is a little one- note, but that’s down to thin material. Much better is Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead – a sullen goth girl turned X- Man, whose dismissive retorts are some of the film’s funniest moments.
Negasonic’s not the only member of Marvel’s mutants here. Indeed, it’s slightly surprising just how closely Deadpool ties into Fox’s wider filmic universe. Colossus ( Stefan Kapicic voicing a hulking CG bruiser) is a major player throughout, and there are several sojourns to Xavier’s mansion. That said, it misses the opportunity to really say anything about those films, other than bluntly pointing out that the studio couldn’t afford cameos from any of the A- list X- guys, and Deadpool speculating over whether he’ll meet “McAvoy or Stewart?”. That’s a bit of a missed opportunity. Indeed, for all its outrageous behaviour and fourth wall- breaking flourishes, this is actually a fairly conventional superhero origin tale.
Deadpool really isn’t like any other superhero film
“Start spreading the news…”
The city’s supply of black leather was getting dangerously low.