Review: Deadpool

Deadpool is a brilliantly refreshing take on the superhero genre. Its sarcastic humour and gory visuals make it the perfect film adaptation of the beloved comic-book anti-hero, says

★★★★☆

Image: Twentieth Century Fox

Image: Twentieth Century Fox

Now that’s how you write a Deadpool movie! Lots of wit and humour? Check. Breaking the fourth wall? Check. Making ‘pool an overall badass? Double check. Honestly, Ryan Reynolds was just determined to be in a good superhero movie, wasn’t he? By leaving his awful animated green suit from Green Lantern at home and by making sure that his mouth was anything but sewn up, it’s fair to say that with Deadpool Reynolds has finally done just that!

Superhero movies have become pretty cliché over the past few years. Very rarely does something deviate from the norm as much as Deadpool does. What you tend to get nowadays is either your basic Marvel Cinematic Universe experience (villain wants to destroy the world; plucky superhero comes along to save the day, whilst cracking PG jokes the whole way through) or something that is overly gritty and is just trying to prove how ‘dark’ it is (aka. Man of Steel / The Dark Knight trilogy). There’s nothing wrong with these kinds of films per se, but no matter what you actually think about Deadpool as a film in of itself, you’ve got to commend it for trying to do something new with the genre.

Some critics have complained that Deadpool has no real plot and although I can see where they are coming from, wasn’t that the whole point of the film? The opening title sequence should really give that away, with its direct jabbing at the cliché casting of superhero movies. I mean they cast a British actor as the villain and give the titular character an attractive love interest for Pete’s sake; Deadpool straddles the cliché so closely that the irony runs so deep in its veins that it effectively underlies the entire experience.

This kind of deep-rooted sarcasm is probably why the film has captured the essence of the comic-book character so well. The fourth wall breaks are more than just witty moments for comic relief, they’re a manifestation of the character’s self-awareness. The ‘fourth wall break within a fourth wall break’ scene springs to mind, since it once again draws home how ironic the entire movie is supposed to me. Deadpool’s sarcastic remarks, like the one made in this scene, show that he knows exactly what kind of role he is playing in his own movie. Throughout the film he pokes fun at other clichés like the ‘X-men bullshit’ so hilariously destroyed in the closing moments when Colossus gives his overly dramatic speech, but in the ‘sixteen wall break’ scene he even goes so far as to mock the cliché of his own narrative technique. Reynolds and the screenwriters of Deadpool couldn’t have done more of a service to the fan-favourite comic book character than by having this kind of sarcastic, self-aware humour be at the heart of the movie.

Now on the whole I think that Deadpool was a superb film, but I think that I should provide some justification as to why I am giving it four stars instead of five. Largely this is down to the poor utilisation of the Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Although Deadpool jokingly jibes that the studio could only afford for there to be two X-Men in the movie, it would appear that they’re didn’t even really want to flesh those two characters out either. Sure, Deadpool is the star and they did a superb job at providing him with a back-story and establishing his characterisation, but if they were going to have Colossus and Negasonic be a big part of the final fight scene, maybe they should have given them more time to shine. Perhaps this was a joke at the expense of the team-up aspect of movies like Avengers (and most likely Batman v. Superman), but if this was the case, they could have probably done with establishing it a bit better earlier on.

However, that is but a mere niggling irritation that I have with the movie. All in all, it was better than anything I ever expected to come out of Twentieth Century Fox. Ryan Reynolds played Wade Wilson / Deadpool so well that it is now extremely hard to disassociate his voice from the character when reading the comics. If the post-credit teaser is anything to go by, I honestly can’t wait for the now green-lit sequel to be released!

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