Friday, February 12, 2016

Deadpool Review: Ridiculous, Crude and Absolutely Fantastic

For years we have seen the likes of Batman, Superman, The Avengers, Spider-Man and the X-Men grace the silver screen in big time blockbuster and cementing the superhero genre. Yet every now and again one hero comes to theaters to shake things up; and no character better describes that concept than the Merc with the Mouth: Deadpool. Created by Rob Liefeld this X-Men character has been a fan favorite for years as Deadpool has been featured in several Marvel properties. Ideas of a Deadpool movie have been in the works since 2000, but no progressed was made to produced one. However hope came in 2009 when Deadpool made his film debut in X-Men Origins: Wolverine; with Ryan Reynolds playing the iconic character. Unfortunately the film was greeted with a poor reception; giving no Deadpool no chance in development hell to get his own movie. So there the Deadpool would linger but hope would again smile on the Merc with the Mouth when Fox finally green lit the spin-off film in 2014. Directed by Tim Miller, Deadpool would be a reboot of sorts for the character's film appearance; though Ryan Reynolds would return to reprise the role. So at long last Deadpool has hit theaters, but the question now is this: was this X-Men spin-off worth the wait?

This reboot tells the origin of Wade Wilson and how became the iconic anti-hero. In order to cure his cancer, Wilson enlist in a secret program that would give him superhuman abilities. However the program was not as it appeared to be as the villainous Francis/Ajax (Ed Skerin) tortured Wade in the hopes to awaken Wade's powers and use him as a “super slave”. Eventually Wade gains the ability to heal himself, but in the process he becomes horrifically scarred. Out for revenge, Wade becomes the Merc with the Mouth and seeks to hunt down Ajax for what he did him. However things get complicated when Francis kidnaps Wade's girlfriend: Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), plus the X-Men get involved as Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) seeks to enlist Deadpool for the team.

The story to Deadpool was as straightforward as a plot could get. When it came right down to it there was not much to this superhero plot. Then again, given the subject matter, this simplistic storytelling was to be expected. What really made the difference for Deadpool was how the story was told. I liked the narrative to this movie as it was handled in a creative fashion. The telling of Deadpool's origins was told in sync with the overall plot; and with Deadpool being a fourth wall breaking narrator, it made this superhero tale both fun as well as engaging. However the story was not without its flaws. As stated the plot was simple, but perhaps it was a little too simplistic as the lack of complexity did hurt the story's structure. The other issue, though this is nitpicking, was that the plot did not go far enough in breaking the fourth wall. Deadpool does breaks the fourth wall(frequently mind you) but there were cliched plot points (such as Vanessa being captured) that could have been easily picked on in the dialogue. Then again this was just a nitpick.

Seeing that this X-Men spin-off is centered on one character, it only made sense that Deadpool would be the driving factor in the cast. If there was any doubt that Deadpool could be the center of a film's attention, then the Merc with the Mouth certainly put those skepticism out of their misery. Deadpool steals the show with every scene; whether it be the character breaking the fourth wall or having a dramatic scene. This movie showed that the comical anti-hero could be a three dimensional character; and Ryan Reynolds brought his A game playing Deadpool as he proved that there was no one better to don the red suit then Reynolds. While they may not have been as eccentric as this film's lead, the supporting cast to Deadpool was effective. Morena Baccarin was solid as Vanessa as her chemistry with Reynolds was quite good. I was surprised with T.J. Miller's performance as Weasel as the character was a subtle comic relief character and worked perfectly with Deadpool's over the top personality. While he may not have been the most engaging antagonist, Ed Serkin was still memorable as Ajax. Add other fun characters like Colossus, Blind Al (Leslie Uggrams) Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hidlebrand) and you have a cast that was well rounded; not to mention one that suited the source material.

Of all the elements that made up Deadpool, none may have been more apparent than the film's comedy. I am usually hesitant when a film's humor ranges on the crude side, but that was not the case for this superhero film. Oh the comedy was crude, but the way it was handled made all the difference. The humor had an array of comedic techniques that blended well together to make an outrageous tone for the film. However that is not to say that Deadpool could not be dramatic. There were tense moments in the film, such as Wade Wilson being tortured, and it did not detract from the film's lighter side. This over the top atmosphere was complimented by the film's action. While I felt that the aspect could have been crazier, it was still perfect for the film as it was both gruesome and entertaining.

There is not doubt about it: Deadpool lived up to expectations. It may not have been the most complexing of cinematic experiences, but it did not need to be. The film stayed true to its source by having a crazy atmosphere, outrageous humor and a show stealing lead. This X-Men Spin-off is everything that a Deadpool fan could hope for; and this superhero flick is one that definitely stands out from the rest.

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