For months now we’ve been bombarded with anything and everything Deadpool. From guerrilla-videos to emoji billboards and tweet wars (fake and otherwise) there’s been no marketing stone left unturned or birds in the bushes. But was it worth it, and does Deadpool live up to the hype?
The short answer is a resounding ‘Yes’ on both fronts. First off, I don’t think any R-rated movie has as many 5 year olds that want to see it as much as Deadpool. They might have to wait a couple of years though… or at least until Daddy buys the Blu-Ray and plays it at home… yes that will happen.
Why? Because unlike other R-rated movies, this is a ‘superhero’ movie, it’s funny and I’m pretty sure that GTA V had more swearing, nudity and blood. Deadpool will be the R-rated movie that will be played at movie gatherings everywhere… especially since they’re already promised the inclusion of deleted scenes for the Blu-Ray release.
Now the movie itself. This was the role Ryan Reynolds was born to play. We haven’t seen a better (or more obvious) choice to play a role for a superhero movie since Patrick Stewart as Professor X. Reynolds is Deadpool and it’s been obvious since the first time he played Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine… which was also the worst way to depict our friendly neighborhood merc.
However, Deadpool doesn’t pretend that the studios didn’t screw up, it embraces the fact that they got it wrong the first time and now they’re trying to do it right. The tone is set from the opening credits and doesn’t quit until the teaser after the end credits. Yes, you should wait till the end… there’s more… kinda.
Staying true to source material is something every fan (me included) rants about. It’s not that we don’t like change, we don’t like change without careful thought – something Fox has been guilty of waaay too many times (refer X-Men and the god awful Fantastic 4 franchise).
Deadpool’s origin as told in the movie is not completely faithful to the comics. However, what they’ve done is retold it in a way that makes it for the studios. Originally, Wolverine’s healing factor was transplanted into Deadpool which gave him his regenerative capabilities. Ed Skrein’s Ajax (think the cleaning solution not the football team) was a super-soldier that was experimented on – in a broad sense think Captain America.
Here’s where things become a little sensitive so stay with me for a bit… Fox, has the rights to the X-Men and the term ‘Mutants’. Which is why Marvel can’t refer to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch as mutants even though that’s what they are in the comics. On the other hand Marvel Studios has the most identifiable ‘Super Soldier’ in their ranks in the form of Captain America.
So what do they decide to do for Deadpool? Make him, and Ajax both mutants. Again, while it’s not true to the comics, it’s cleaner for the studios and it doesn’t affect things too much. The ‘dead pool’ isn’t an ongoing bet between the test subjects in the Workshop but Weasel’s bar instead. Again, not true to the comics, but accurate enough to serve its purpose.
While Deadpool might have it’s ‘Ace Ventura’ moments, it’s far from it. The story plays out in a sequence of flashbacks during the highway chase scene that we’re all too familiar with from the trailers. The movie develops the relationship between Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and Wade which then adds depth to Deadpool beyond the snarky wise cracks to coping with cancer and his disfigurement later on – all facets which the newer comics tend to forget but which used to be the building blocks of the Merc’s earlier runs.
Blind Al (Leslie Uggums) and Weasel (T.J. Miller) play their roles well enough and I hope to see more of them in the sequel… and for the comics fans, there’s Bob. Goddamnit there’s Bob! Also, was there a reference to ‘the Box’? I think there was… I hope that’s what it was.
It’s only taken them 5 movies but, this is the first time that we actually see the X-Men, look like the X-Men. Gone is the puny Daniel Cudmore (in comparison) to this Colossus. Gone is the liquid metal look finally replaced by the silver bands that fans know and love. Stefan Kapicic’s voice completes Piotr Rasputin perfectly.
Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead (coolest superhero name EVER) does really well as the brooding teenager waiting to (literally) explode in her perfect yellow spandex – another who they altered from the comics to good effect. To think that Cyclops made a snarky remark about yellow spandex in the first X-Men movie… no wonder they killed you Scott. And of course, Gina Carano gets enough screen time to show she’s no lightweight as she takes on the Colossus.
Where the movie does stumble though is that it really is all about Deadpool. Ajax had the potential to be a whole lot more. He’s a sadist that can’t feel pain and therefore loves to make others feel as much pain as possible. None of that is really explored though. The villains feel very one dimensional and flat. There’s just not enough done to make them feel like real villains.
Don’t expect a movie like the Avengers or the X-Men. Deadpool is a different kind of superhero movie that doesn’t disappoint and is loaded with pop-culture references like a stuffed chimichanga.