DEADPOOL (2016)

Review by Derrick Carter

Running Time: 1 hour 48 minutes

MPAA Rating: R for Strong Violence and Language throughout, Sexual Content and Graphic Nudity

Deadpool poster

Directed by: Tim Miller

Written by: Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese

(based on the DEADPOOL comics by Fabian Nicieza & Rob Liefeld)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapicic & Leslie Uggams

Deadpool has finally arrived on the big screen! Fox previously tried to bring the merc with a mouth to the big screen in X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, which easily stands out as the worst X-MEN movie in the whole franchise. They botched that attempt badly. Fear not though, because fans’ hopes and prayers have been answered with this gleefully R-rated superhero flick that’s strictly for mature audiences. DEADPOOL is awesome from beginning to end with multiple jokes being fired off every few seconds, a non-linear storyline, and copious amounts of sex and violence.

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Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a freelance mercenary living in New York City. One night, he falls head over heels for escort Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin) and the two begin a fairy tale romance. These happy times come to an end when Wade is diagnosed with cancer in multiple organs. In an effort to cure himself, Wade volunteers to be subject in an experiment to create super soldiers. It turns out that the people running this top-secret program (mutants Ajax and Angel Dust) have more sinister intentions in mind. Soon enough, Wade is scarred from head to toe and Deadpool is born. Wielding multiple weapons and an infinite amount of smart-ass quips, Deadpool begins a bloody hunt for Ajax (Ed Skrein) in an effort to regain his former face.

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DEADPOOL is a superhero origin story that’s unlike any other origin story to previously hit nationwide theatrical release. This plot is told in a style that constantly breaks the fourth wall, pokes fun at the proceedings, and is told in a non-linear fashion. This film reminds me that seemingly overdone narratives (in this case, superhero origins) can still be brought to the screen in new, exciting ways. DEADPOOL’s nearly two-hour-long run time breezes by as I was laughing the whole way through, found myself fully invested in the plot, and had blast watching every bit of over-the-top action.

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I highly doubt that any other performer could have played Deadpool as perfectly as Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds’s filmography has seen its ups and downs (the latter are openly mocked throughout this film), but DEADPOOL is the best thing he’s done thus far. His narration, constant fourth wall breaking, and comedic timing bring this delightfully deranged antihero to life. Reynolds is not the only memorable mutant here as Ed Skrein is well-cast as the sword-wielding Ajax (who has super strength and is immune to pain). This is a despicable villain that I loved to hate and his frustration towards Deadpool’s sarcasm makes their confrontations ten times funnier. Ajax’s second-in-command is Angel Dust (a well-cast MMA fighter Gina Carano) and though she doesn’t receive as much dialogue as Ajax, she’s still a very strong screen presence.

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As far as Deadpool’s various helpers go, Stefan Kapicic voices a well animated Colossus. Colossus’s nice guy persona make his reactions towards Deadpool’s extremely violent nature stand out as some of the funniest scenes in the film. Newcomer Brianna Hildebrand steals every bit of screen time she’s in as Negasonic Teenage Warhead (who’s essentially a human bomb). TJ Miller is also well cast as the human sidekick Weasel, while Morena Baccarin has great chemistry with Reynolds as Vanessa. This film also features my favorite Stan Lee cameo in any Marvel film thus far.

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The non-linear way in which DEADPOOL is told (with lots of flashbacks) kept me hooked in the story, despite me knowing full well how this origin tale was likely to play out. DEADPOOL may not be free of clichés, but it does openly mock them at every given opportunity. There are tons of references to other superheroes and films as well. All of this is done in hilarious fashion and doesn’t become repetitive in the slightest. The opening credits rank as some of the funniest in recent memory.

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It should be noted that DEADPOOL definitely deserves its R-rating and pushes it to the limits. Of course, there’s lots of violence with bodies being dismembered, decapitated heads being used as soccer balls, and plenty of insane action sequences. The sex is also off the charts as we get nudity (both male and female), crude running gags, and gross-out jokes. The constant sense of humor is wildly irreverent as nothing is off-limits and the F-bomb is thrown around like candy. I have no earthly idea how this movie could ever possibly be edited for basic cable. One can only hope that this film’s guaranteed success will open doors for more R-rated superhero flicks down the line (I’d love to see a proper SPAWN reboot).

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DEADPOOL is exactly what you think it is and I mean that in the best way possible. This is one of the most insane superhero flicks out there. The film is fueled by non-stop sarcasm, crude humor, T&A, gory violence, tons of references, and love for the source material. It will definitely benefit from multiple viewings as there are so many jokes being fired off at a mile-a-minute that it’s simply impossible to catch all of them in one sitting. Simply put, this film is a self-referential, profane, darkly hilarious, gloriously violent, and very R-rated superhero/anti-hero story. If that sounds up your alley, then DEADPOOL is a must-see!

Grade: A+

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