Remember that first episode of The Shield where Vic Mackey tells a suspect “Nah, good cop and bad cop left for the day, I’m a different kinda cop.” That’s Deadpool. He’s not your typical superhero. Though he may have spandex so red and so tight that you’d think he was smuggling a cucumber wrapped in tin foil, he’s not into the whole superhero thing. He just loves compression-fit clothing that makes him look like a Fruit Roll-Up in order to hide his disfigured body. (It’s amazing Steve Harvey announced him the winner of the Mr. Universe contest after the speedo portion, beating out Drax the Destroyer. The outcome was quickly corrected.) Oh, and he loves to jabber. Deadpool expresses his innermost thoughts and opens his mouth so much you’d think he was looking forward to Second Breakfast with Pippin and the rest of the dwarves before the fellowship goes on its quest to put a ring on Beyonce’s finger (Am I right, single ladies?).
I know what you’re thinking: What’s with the pop culture references with that first paragraph? It’s funny you should ask, because that’s what I was thinking, too! We must share the same brain. Well I’m just getting warmed up. Hoo-ah!
You see, Deadpool – the biopic of a great warrior similar to Russell Crowe in those movies Peter Graves likes so much – is a regular kick to the nut sack when it comes to comic book movies. It breaks every rule. A complete satire of what we’ve been served with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which includes the after-school special “Captain American Pie: I’ll Never Lose My Virginity”), the movie should not exist. Deadpool was a 20th Century Fox production, a studio that has shown its incompetence on multiple occasions when handling superhero properties like Fantastic Four and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the latter of which had the brilliant idea of sewing Deadpool’s mouth shut (rolls eyes, flips bird). Come on, Fox. This is a character that breaks more fourth walls than the Kool-Aid Man and you take away one of his most identifiable character traits? For shame.
Five years after Deadpool made his appearance in 2009’s Origins, that romantic drama in which Wolverine’s and Deadpool’s love for one another tears them a part (Damn you, Joy Division!), a funny thing happened. Some visual effects test footage created in 2012 and starring Ryan Reynolds through motion capture was leaked online. It became a viral hit. Two months later 20th Century Fox greenlit the movie and slotted it for a February 2016 release. Costing a fraction of most superhero movies but carrying an R-rating, Deadpool looks to subvert the normal as it lampoons everything in its path.
Let’s start with star Ryan Reynolds, or “God’s perfect idiot” as the opening credits define him. The actor’s manic energy fits the character to a tee, serving up jokes by the millisecond. He didn’t just say what I think he did, did he? Deadpool’s pretty shady like that. Here, have some M&M’s why don’t ya.
Defying the odds of one chance to make a great impression, Reynolds’s second go-around as the “Merc with a Mouth” is a huge win; not bad for an actor who has been in quite a few comic-to-screen flops (Green Lantern, R.I.P.D.). Without the mask as Wade Wilson, Reynolds is a brash and brazen wise-ass man-for-hire. Behind the mask as Deadpool, Reynolds is, well, still a wise-ass but someone who stands out with multiple sidearms, katana blades and an Adventure Time watch. Sly Stallone was Rocky and Rambo. Clint Eastwood will always be Dirty Harry. Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool, his defining character. Plus, I don’t think anyone else could fit into the suit. You’ll be amazed by the texture. Rich Corinthian leather, I believe.
Rather than go in sequence, our story is told with flashbacks. At the present Deadpool is in pursuit of the man who made him quite the circus freak (The Elephant Man is a GQ cover model by comparison). That man is Ajax (Ed Skrein). It was going to be Comet until test audiences were confusing him for Comet the dog from Full House. Ajax is still better than his real name, Francis. Just sound it out one time. Fran-siss. Pee-Wee Herman was right to give him trick gum before his Big Adventure. Ajax is also the man responsible for Wade’s immortality. But losing his looks makes Wade feel like his “future baby mama,” as he puts it, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), won’t love him. Now Wade could have gone full-on Nicholas Sparks and ripped out pages from a notebook and put messages in bottles but instead he, like Salt-N-Pepa, came to his senses and chilled for a bit…waiting for that perfect moment to smell gunpowder and touch himself in “mysterious ways.” U2 would do the same.
Now I would be mindful of your surroundings if going the Divinyls route. We wouldn’t want another Pee-Wee incident. Instead, revel in the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day and we get served a racy romance masquerading as an action-comedy where the protagonist is blood-soaked red and not fifty shades of grey.
Deadpool’s anger management issues and acts of extreme justice don’t sit well with the X-Men, so Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead a.k.a. The Prom Date You Don’t Try to Ruffie (Brianna Hildebrand) are sent out to try and control Wade’s homicidal tendencies. Colossus would like it very much if Deadpool could use his powers for good as an X-Man, but the Merc with a Mouth is not interested in joining his boy band group. The two may not be NSYNC but they have great rapport. Besides, you’d think Colossus would be into heavy metal considering his metallic form (Rammstein, perhaps).
Deadpool‘s offbeat style is a credit to Reynolds, first-time director Tim Miller, who has a visual effects background, and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (of Zombieland fame). From breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to the audience, Deadpool is fully aware that this is a movie and is self aware that other superhero movies exist. He speaks about the genre and other films for that matter – Liam Neeson as a bad father in those Taken movies. If you had no idea what you were going to get with a movie like this, the opening credits is your cue to brace for the brilliant absurdity that is about to transpire.
Deadpool is a refreshing spin on the same old song and dance chart toppers that Marvel has been churning out. Highlighted by a catalog soundtrack that includes aforementioned Salt-N-Pepa, Chicago, and DMX it seems only appropriate that a wise-cracking, spandex-wearing fourth-wall breaking motormouth who moves with slo-mo grace while being shot multiple times would have “Careless Whisper” on his playlist. Because if you are going to hit somebody over the head what better comic book word than Wham!
Director: Tim Miller Writer(s): Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick Notable Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Leslie Uggams, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapicic
Travis Leamons is one of the Inside Pulse Originals and currently holds the position of Managing Editor at Inside Pulse Movies. He's told that the position is his until he's dead or if "The Boss" can find somebody better. I expect the best and I give the best. Here's the beer. Here's the entertainment. Now have fun. That's an order!