We’ve seen enough comic book movies that it seems we need to get meta…like Mel Brooks levels of meta. And here to do that is the man in red, the merc with the mouth, the not Green Lantern himself, Deadpool. But is his first solo film any good?
Deadpool follows the titular merc with a mouth and serves as an origin story of the character. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is entered into a program that hopes to mutate his cells to give him superpowers. But while he was attracted to the program with the hopes of being a superhero its quickly reveal that the program is instead a supersoldier factory aiming to sell it’s product to anyone with the money. After days of torture leads to him gaining an accelerated healing factor, Wilson destroys the facility and starts hunting down the people who did this to him.
But after finding his maker, Ajax (Ed Skein) Deadpool is stopped from hitting the killing blow by two members of the X-Men letting Ajax escape. After healing his wounds and retelling his origin to the audience, Deadpool has to team up with the Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and his trainee to take down Ajax’s army and rescue his former girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin).
Let’s be honest, the superhero film genre has become crowded. With the success of the X-Men and Avengers films, it’s easy to see why a character like Deadpool is refreshing, he’s not at all serious. The characters ability to see past the fourth wall and talk to the audience is 99.9% of what makes Wade interesting and the film is at it’s strongest playing to these ideas.
From Reynalds looking directly into the camera lens to literally fast forwarding over parts of the film we’ve already seen, the film uses the characters unique feature quite well making the film funny and easy to watch. That being said, when the film moves away from the one liners about Huge Jackman and the copies of People’s magazine with Reynolds face on the cover it Deadpool is forced into the trope that hurts most comic book movies, the origin story.
Deadpool is at his best a masked guy that just shoots bullets, chops off heads and thumbs his nose at the seriousness of comic books in general. There’s not much underneath this generalized version of the character. His life before being a hero isn’t the cool part, making it the job of the filmmakers to make these moments interesting. Sadly, it doesn’t workout to well.
That being said, the script is fairly good in between the flashbacks and the cast are all impressive in their different roles. Reynolds shows off just how much the Green Lantern team screwed up while T.J. Miller plays the same character he’s played in everything. Adding onto the fun is the impressive showing from Brianna Hildebrand, whom plays the role of Negasonic Teenage Warhead (no no, that’s the characters real name…and I though Batwing was a stupid name). While there aren’t that many moments with her in the movie she and the titular character mesh well together.
Production wise, the film is impressive and features some solid effects work, funny editing and visual comedy. This sense of humour leads to one of the funniest and most meta opening credits sequences in film history and continues on throughout the films 108 minute running time. From top to bottom the film was made with a huge amount of love and craftsmanship.
But what the film seemingly lacks is it’s own identify. While you’ll remember many of the one liners about the other Marvel Heroes, the actual story is a different story. The plot is treated with all the importance of acting in a porno and felt swept under the rug. The film lives and dies off it’s characters and dialogue, but the things that led to the characters saying and doing those things is such an afterthought and is the that holds the film from being classic and instead acts almost as a parody of the genre as a whole. Sure we all remember just how bad those two other superhero movie are, but this one has issues of it’s own.
Don’t get me wrong, Deadpool is a solid movie. It’s fast, funny and has features some solid production and action sequences but it relies entirely on crude humour and mocking other films. If that’s all you’re looking for then this movie scratch that itch and then some.
Deadpool was produced by Marvel Enterprises, TSG Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Film Corp. The film is distributed by 20th Century Fox.