One of the best superhero films about a guy who isn’t really a superhero, ever!
It’s a rare but great feeling to walk out of a theater in February and know you just witnessed one of the best movies of the year. Sure it’s early, and yeah there are hundreds of more flicks on deck to hit cinemas worldwide this year, but it doesn’t matter. No, you see, even before the Academy Awards have announced their best picture winner for 2015, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Deadpool, the clear winner of next year’s golden bald man statue for best picture.
You think I’m joking, and yet hasn’t the Academy shown many times in the past that they love the story of a man fighting against adversity while wearing lots of makeup that makes an otherwise attractive person unattractive? There we have it, Ryan Reynolds is also locked in for at least a nomination!
It’s true that I’m probably getting ahead of myself as far as Oscar noms go (okay, maybe not when we’re talking Best Original Song for Teamheadkick’s Deadpool Rap) but Deadpool is easily one of the best pictures of the year, and I’m not just saying that because it’s February. If we jump ahead to December, I firmly believe that this movie will stand tall and still earn such an accolade. It’s also one of the best superhero films about a guy who isn’t really a superhero, ever!
It’s just that everything about this movie is perfect: the tone, the tempo, the soundtrack, the acting and the rating. Yes, for a long time there was a worry that the studio was going to cave in and make Deadpool PG-13 so that they wouldn’t miss out on all that huge superhero money that the tweens and teens bring to the table. Luckily, smarter minds prevailed because Deadpool earns its R rating, and it does it in style!
This rating allows Deadpool to actually be Deadpool and say what he wants to say, to whomever he wants, however he wants. There are no limits to the amount of vulgar language Wade Wilson uses, and it shows over the course of this hour and forty-eight minute film (wow, that flows a lot less smoothly than 90-minute film or two hour escapade. Guess I could’ve rounded up, but that’d be false information and besides, it’s too late now.) The violence and language never feels over the top or excessive. It’s happening almost every minute, but it never grows tiresome or feels forced just for the sake of the harder rating. Everything about Deadpool feels natural and that’s strongly in part to Fox doing what was right and giving Deadpool free reign to be himself on screen.
Ryan Reynolds plays Wade Wilson/Deadpool, sort of reprising his role from the 2009 flick X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Since part of Deadpool’s character is breaking the fourth wall, there are a few solid pokes at his previous incarnation (where his mouth was sewn shut and he had blades coming out of his forearms, for those who need a refresher of how poorly the character was handled the first time out) but they actually didn’t go after it as much as I thought they might have. The slight jabs were nice acknowledgements of the error of the studios past ways, but moving on and focusing on the story at hand was a smarter play.
The story itself is masterfully crafted, which isn’t something you’d expect to say about a Deadpool movie, but it’s true! It weaves seamlessly between Deadpool’s origin story, and his present mission of trying to find Francis (aka Ajax, played by Ed Skrein), the guy who put him through the tests that turned on his mutant powers, but left him horribly disfigured in the process.
You see, Francis is the only one who can treat Wade’s disfiguration, and Wade wants it fixed because he feels that the love of his life, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) won’t want anything to do with him once she sees the monster he’s become. More detail could be given, but if you know anything about Deadpool you don’t need to know anything else, and if you don’t, well, it’s just a lot more fun to watch it all unfold as it happens.
The film is also visually stunning. It’s hard to believe that this is director Tim Miller’s first time behind the camera for a feature film, as he just nails it. His visual effects background likely helped a lot with his laying out the highly stylized action sequences, but the film as a whole just flows so tightly, and looks so good while doing so that hopefully Miller will be returning for the already greenlit sequel alongside returning writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the duo who made this script as strong as it is.
After the misfire that was Green Lantern (through no fault of his own) Ryan Reynolds gets another go at the superhero gig (though Deadpool himself would tell you he’s not a superhero) and it’s clear that this is the one role that was truly made for him. Yes, he’s been fantastic in other parts, but it’s always great to watch an actor find the part he was meant to play and have it hit on all the right notes.
Comedy is one of the harder things to pull off, but Reynolds is a natural and he shines here. He brings Deadpool to life in a way I’m not sure anyone else could have, and he makes a guy who’s pretty much a murderer – albeit of bad people – a lovable one.
And Deadpool isn’t alone on his journey. No, since Fox owns the rights to the X-Men, he gets to play around with Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). Colossus is done in CGI and continues to show just how far the industry has come along in that department. Another small note on that front is Deadpool’s mask, as his eyes are full of emotion and expression, even though they’re a part of his mask. It’s something that’s hard to say whether it’d work in another superhero movie, like Spider-Man, but it’s a wonderful addition to have here.
There are also so many inside jokes for Deadpool fans to enjoy, but there’s also plenty of hilarity for those who are new to the character. Jokes will be missed because you’ll still be laughing at the one that came before it, so there’s really no choice but to see this as many times as you can to really get this franchise started right.
In the end, they did everything right. The casting, the script, the soundtrack (every song just fits in so beautifully!), it all just clicks. In a time when superhero movies need to constantly be breaking new ground to stay fresh, Deadpool has broken the ground, stuffed it full of explosives and blown said ground into orbit.
Director: Tim Miller
Writers: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
Notable Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Ed Skrein, Morena Baccarin, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, Gina Carano
Brendan Campbell was here when Inside Pulse Movies began, and he’ll be here when it finishes - in 2012, when a cataclysmic event wipes out the servers, as well as everyone else on the planet other than John Cusack and those close to him. Brendan’s the #1 supporter of Keanu Reeves, a huge fan of popcorn flicks and a firm believer that sheer entertainment can take a film a long way. He currently resides in Canada, where, for reasons stated above, he’s attempting to get closer to John Cusack.
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