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Deadpool (2016)
Movie Reviews

Deadpool (2016)

Manages to be refreshingly violent and an energetic mess that makes Disney’s Marvel movies look tame in comparison.

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Deadpool, or the “Merc with the Mouth,” is an acerbic, sarcastic, mentally unstable and scarred mercenary – and also one of Marvel’s most popular anti-heroes. Originating in Marvel Comics’ New Mutants #98 in the early 90s, here was a character – originally conceived as a supervillain – whose unmitigated and vigorous charm and attitude would thrill fans for decades to come.

Deadpool isn’t much concerned with being your typical superhero film, and fans have proved they much prefer the unrefined and flawed anti-hero, complete with his trademark potty humor, quips, and psychologically questionable insights and ruminations. It should come as no surprise that word of an exact adaptation of Marvel’s Bad Boy would drive patient fans to theaters, re-awakening their inner teenage boy with consummate gleefulness, eager to see Deadpool done right. Well, their patience has been rewarded.

The comics are chock full of pop-culture references, brechtian fourth-wall shattering (he’s very aware he’s a comic character), whose only concerns are with masturbutory and depthless debauchery – things that director Tim Miller and company capture almost perfectly. Everything that fans love from the comics is in Deadpool; the character breaks the fourth wall, has an invisible bag full of dick jokes and, as expected, is far more violent than the regular comic book fare. Like, a lot more violent.

Deadpool doesn’t have the most original comic book narrative, even including a tedious origin story to pad things out, which seems needless in this day and age. However, it makes up for this by playing around with structure and telling the character’s origin with flair. Flashbacks are interspersed throughout, most prominently in the opening action sequence on a freeway, with moments of time-suspension as Wade chimes in and recalls his beginnings.

In a nutshell: Wade (Ryan Reynolds) falls in love with Vanessa, played by the gorgeous Morena Baccarin (Homeland, Firefly), finding plenty of love (and carnal desire) in Vanessa’s embrace. Unfortunately for the Merc, she shifts the attention to herself in any scene she’s in with her stunning aura.

After discovering he has terminal cancer, Wade see’s no reason why the universe has to be so unfair. He finds a way – or the way finds him – with an organization that could offer help with an experimental cure. Or so he’s led to believe. The shady organization is far from a positive moral gauge, their intents and purposes more aligned with treachery. Wade is succumbed to grueling torture, disfiguring his body to a mass of scar tissue.

But…silver linings, right? Wade now has the benefit of expedited healing and single track mind – which is payback for Ajax (Ed Skrein), the mastermind behind the loss of his perfect little life.

The casting for this movie is above par any comic book movie since Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s a maximum effort to impress, instead of simply going through the motions like most other Marvel properties. Above all else, It looks like Reynolds has found a character he can fully portray and engulf himself in. Deadpool requires the finesse of a self-conscious and narcissistic character that finds charm in his own platitudes. Deadpool always felt like a failed-actor continuing to enthrall himself in his own vanity, despite donning a red suit – a perfect match for Reynolds.

The supporting cast is equally impressive. It’s nice to see Baccarin out there as the love interest, she’s dazzling and it’s far from unbelievable that Wade wouldn’t fall in love with such a beauty and talent. Fans of TJ Miller (Silicon Valley) will enjoy him as Wade’s friend Weasel. Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), two-supposed students of Professor Xavier are adequate add-ons and nice allusions to the X-Men series (also a Fox property)

Deadpool requires the finesse of a self-conscious and narcissistic character that finds charm in his own platitudes, and can be played with simplicity. Deadpool always felt like a failed-actor continuing to enthrall himself in his own vanity despite donning a suit – a perfect match for Reynolds.

Deadpool is an action-packed comic book fantasy that manages to be refreshingly violent and an energetic mess that makes Disney’s Marvel movies look tame in comparison. Despite the mostly unoriginal story of redemption and it’s adherence to typical ‘origin story’ tropes, the film manages to be entertaining and fun – both traits that have been in short supply in recent comic book movies. As the genre becomes progressively stale, anti-heroes like Deadpool are coming in and taking care of business, mocking the comic book genre and going out of its way to please fans of the comics in a very faithful adaptation of the character. And does it with percolating energy

About the Author: J. Carlos Menjivar