Deadpool: Move over Pullverine, there’s a new superdude in town
Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds): ‘You’re probably thinking “This is a superhero movie, but that guy in the suit just turned that other guy into a f**king kebab.” Surprise, this is a different kind of superhero movie’.
And so it is. In among the plethora of superhero movies released in recent years (and with a good many still to come) the standouts are becoming rarer and rarer. We had the Dark Knight trilogy. That was pretty special. I also rate Iron Man a personal favorite among the earlier Marvel releases. And now we have Deadpool, a film that easily ranks with the aforementioned, and stands out for taking a decidedly different approach that, hopefully, will change the way studios approach future superhero flicks.
So what makes Deadpool different?
Firstly, Deadpool is violent, and loaded with profanity. Don’t bring the kiddies along to this one, it is certainly no Spider-Man or X-Men outing. The Deadpool character faces no moral or ethical quandaries when it comes to dispatching bad guys – be it by gun, sword or, in one hilarious scene, a zamboni. Deadpool takes out baddies like Rick and Daryl take out zombies. The movie contains endless references to the eighties, and the violence itself is a throwback to many of those action classics of the time. Deadpool may be the good guy here, but personal development and anger management are not high on his priorities list.
Second, the villainy in Deadpool is an afterthought, merely an excuse for Deadpool to rise from the ashes of his alter-ego, Wade Wilson, and to have a group of people for whom we care nothing about upon which Deadpool can wreak his havoc.The main villain, Ajax aka Francis (Ed Skrein) is no Joker, Lex Luther, Loki, or even a Green Goblin. He serves the purpose of bringing Deadpool to life, and to give motivation to Deadpool’s actions. That’s it. No further thinking required. His superhuman assistant, Angel (Gina Carano) provides some light distraction with a well-advertised ‘superhero landing’ and a bit of a frolic at the end with two of Deadpool’s X-Men colleagues, Collossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), but other than that does very little but grunt her way through the film.
Third, Deadpool owns the rights to ‘Fourth Wall’ breaking. No one else in superhero-land has this special power. And boy, how he uses it to effect. I don’t like spoilers, so I won’t break my own little rule here, but let’s just say the folks over at 20th Century Fox (the studio that owns the X-Men franchise) must be spitting chips they don’t have a character to hit back at Deadpool the way he swung at them. The results don’t always hit their intended mark, but more often than not they work, and the result is a theatre full of patrons laughing along and nodding knowingly.
Lastly, more than any other of the recent superhero outings, Deadpool is a love story. The heroine, Vanessa (played wonderfully by Morena Baccarin) is far more than a damsel in distress. She is sexy. She is sassy. Her character holds a strength that even Deadpool can’t match. She’s a ‘stand by your man, but don’t take any crap from him’ kind of gal, and I adored her for it. More than the action sequences, more than the violence and the wise-cracks, the moments in which these two share screen time are crazy, funny, and memorable. The development of their relationship, shown through a montage of sexual adventures based around various holidays and other events on the calender, is immensely funny and a very clever way to convey their developing bond (keep an eye out for International Women’s Day, one of a number of moments in which I thought ‘surely they’re not about to go there’….. I was wrong).
For all his wise-cracking. For all his self-confidence. For his ability to stare down bad-guys and take them out in ever-increasingly imaginative ways, Vanessa is his weakness, the one person he can’t face when things turn against him, and the only time Deadpool ever takes itself even a little bit seriously. Vanessa is an essential part of what makes Deadpool tick. He’s not trying to save the world, just the one girl that is his world. They are a perfectly imperfect couple.
Deadpool is as advertised. A very simple story, developed surprisingly well, with characters you’ll want to see again and again. From his conversations with Dopinder (Karan Soni) and his best friend Weasel (T.J Miller) through his relationship with Vanessa and aggravation of Ajax, the dialogue is clever, funny and engaging. Don’t miss it. You’ll have fun!
Explosions and Action
Chaos and Carnage