I will say this straight up: this movie is not for everyone. The unapologetic violence, gore, sex, and raunchy humor may be a tad overwhelming for the uninitiated. But those are the exact reasons why this movie is a great adaptation that fans will appreciate – and a great primer for those seeking to dabble in the Deadpool comicverse.
The story – as explained by Deadpool himself in a series of flashbacks – is straightforward as far as revenge movies go: Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) finds love with a girl named Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). Everything is sunshine and rainbows until he’s diagnosed with cancer. He then joins a shady program in hopes of curing his cancer, becomes Deadpool in the process, and subsequently hunts down the man who made him into what he is. A plot this simple might have made for a forgettable film.
The execution, however, blows everything out of the water.
The opening sequence pretty much screams THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL SUPERHERO MOVIE and runs with it for the rest of the ride. The first thing that clues you in is the soundtrack. It’s both hilariously inappropriate and perfect all at once, making you feel as if you’re in Wade’s headspace – and half the time, you are. Deadpool himself is weird and hilarious and so Deadpool. He carries much of the weight of the film but does so with aplomb and a constant stream of profanity and crude humor.
The supporting cast is remarkably small but formidable in their own right. Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) introduces us to the surly teenager brand of superhero, while Colossus (Stephan Kapicic) acts as Wade’s conscience, often trying to steer Deadpool back towards the right path. They’re more like semi-reluctant allies than sidekicks, but their team works. Wade’s relationship with Weasel (TJ Miller) and Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) speak of true friendship.
Ajax (Ed Skrein), however, was a little unremarkable as the Big Bad of the film. He gives off the impression that he answers to someone else rather than being the mastermind. Nevertheless, fans may likely appreciate the way he was presented on-screen, as it was mostly faithful to his comic book version. Angel Dust (Gina Carano) came off as nothing but brawn, though she was enjoyable to watch, especially near the end.
The humor strays into weird territory, but manages to make them hilarious without degrading anyone in the process. Just when you thought you heard all the penis jokes, Deadpool dishes out a fresh one you can steal for future use. As a whole, the jokes are a mix of show and tell, occasionally riddled with blink-and-you’ll-miss it Easter eggs and an almost-constant stream of one-liners and potshots to the big superhero studios, especially his own.
One of the unexpectedly good things to come out of this movie, however, is the romance. Long-time fans might argue that it was shooed in to make the story more palatable to casual fans; in a way, it was. But it was still very much like Wade to end up with someone like Vanessa. The romance was sexy, quirky, funny and despite the NSFW-ness of it all (or maybe because of it), is a pretty good benchmark for #relationshipgoals.
Overall, this movie may not be for everyone. But will I recommend it? Fucking hell, yes I will. And if you have money to burn, go see it in IMAX for an additional IMAX-only one-liner.