The Ryan Reynolds starring, and produced, much delayed big screen adaptation of the Marvel comic finally hits the big screen in the UK. It’s been breaking box office records and the previews and spin-off videos have been hitting hard and fast. But the real question is, is it any good?
Reynolds stars as Wade, an ex special forces man who is a gun for hire but one who helps the underdog. After learning he has late stage cancer of practically everything he’s offered a way out by a mysterious stranger (not sure there’s any other kind) who’s laboratory people are basically torturing people trying to turn them into mutants (this is the X-Men universe after all). Wade gets accelerated healing powers, and regeneration abilities, and becomes Deadpool, hell-bent on seeking revenge for the torture he received in the lab and the disfigurement he’s been left with.
Right from the opening credits the tone and humour of the movie is set. The credits feature things like “written by The Real Hero’s Here” and such like (the writers are: Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza (both Marvel Vs Capcom video game writers), Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (both Zombieland, G.I. Joe Retaliation) . It’s funny and this continues throughout the movie, I’ve never been in a cinema were the whole audience laughed out loud the entire way through a film.
Reynolds is perfect as the sarcastic, deadpan, no-nonsense Deadpool, he owns the self-depreciating humour that’s such a big part of the script. Ed Skrein (Ill Manors, The Sweeney) plays Ajax the bad guy and yes he’s an English bad guy, and yes this is pointed out from the start. He’s helped by Gina Carano (Haywire, Fast & Furious 6) as Angel Dust, Morena Baccarin (V, Homeland) stars as Vanessa, Wades girlfriend who’s just about as bad as he is so don’t feel sorry for her.
T.J. Miller (Cloverfield, Big Hero 6) plays Weasel, Wades friend, Stefan Kapicic (Tears For Sale) voices Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead is played by Brianna Hildebrand (First Girl I Loved, The Voice Inside) and, apart from a few bit-parts, that’s about as much an ensemble as you get – which is also pointed out in the movie.
There are a lot of movie based jokes throughout Deadpool as well as references to other films, not just other X-Men movies although they do come in for a particular beating. This, coupled with the constant one-liners, quips, fourth wall breaking can get a little much after a while, which is something I never thought I’d say, but it’s true. I just got a little weary by the end, but then, that’s kind of the point of Deadpool. He is annoying, he’s meant to be and, once you’ve started on that path to the extent they do, it would have been weird to then pair it back.
That’s not to say this is a bad film, it really isn’t. The violence and action arrives thick and fast (quite surprised it’s only a 15 in the UK), the jokes are non-stop and it all flows and works wonderfully. Gripes? Well, I’m unsure as to who exactly Vanessa is. We meet her in a bar full of hitmen, so you assume she’s one too. But then you find her working in a strip club as a waitress and the character becomes a little weak by the end of the film when she was so strong at the start.
But this shouldn’t stop you watching what is an in-joke, movie referencing action-fest of a movie. Oh and stick around after the credits for perhaps the best of the movie references and some information about Deadpool 2.