Review: Deadpool (2016)

Director: Tim Miller

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein

Release Date: 10th February 2016 (UK)

The Marvel cinematic universe is expanding, and while some films like Ant-Man have had a warm reception, the bar was set astonishingly high last year with Guardians of the Galaxy. Of course there were two unofficial records up for grabs with the release of Deadpool: the best new Marvel franchise and most lovable blonde-haired male Marvel protagonist.

It’s safe to say Ryan Reynolds has stormed to victory on both fronts with arguably one of the finest superhero, or should we say anti-hero, performances of all time, and will no doubt propel Deadpool to unprecedented success at the box office.

It took approximately 20 seconds to woo the cinema full of fans, who admittedly didn’t need much winning over, with an opening credits that was jam-packed full of sarcasm and perfectly set the tone for the following 105 minutes. Where Guardians was witty Deapool is largely acerbic and shamelessly crass, with a running theme of downright indignation for anyone and everyone, including the Marvel universe. The X-Men were the recurring butt of many jokes, though the film also delivered many cracks at the genre as a whole.

This is a superhero movie more refined, more confident and much more accomplished following a couple of years and several attempts from a studio diving into new creative territory. Deadpool is storming in a new direction whose path was cleared by its cautious predecessors, taking the genre firmly into a comedic environment. Here we have something much less action-oriented and more polished in its cinematography and design – both on set and in the cutting room.

In case you didn’t already know, Wade’s history was bleaker than most, though no less tragic. The self-proclaimed bad guy is paid to do dirty work to even worse guys, and life is not great. That is until he meets Vanessa, an equally troubled hooker and the two find love. However, as crappy impending superhero luck would have it, cancer strikes at the very moment they get engaged, but as always there’s a shifty looking dude waiting to make all of Wade’s troubles disappear… for a price.

And so Deadpool was born, eager to enact his revenge on the men who double-crossed him, and desperate to rekindle his love with Vanessa.

The plot is less linear than other Marvel films, and in many respects it’s hard to find similarities to the rest of the universe. Scenes jump about as Wade/Deadpool breaks the fourth wall to address us directly and offer a macabre narration of his life. The entire story is laced with self-ridicule, which is nothing if not consistent with the general concept, while Deadpool himself is presented not with your standard achilles heel (i.e. kryptonite to Superman) but with genuine character flaws that poke fun at many of the inconsistencies that are often too trivial to address.

As always, there is just enough closure to leave us feeling all happy inside, but just too little to allow a sequel. And there will definitely be a sequel.

Deadpool is not a movie for kids, so parents be warned: this film rating is worth paying attention to. However, it is certainly one of the most unique and self-assured superhero movies for a generation, and if it’s any indication of the direction Marvel plan on taking then the next few years will be very exciting indeed.


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