Saturday, February 20, 2016

Deadpool Film Review

by The Wanderer

Director: Tim Miller
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano.
MPAA Rating: R
Series: Deadpool
Length: 108 minutes

I'm Going To Do To Your Face What Limp Bizkit Did To Music In The Late 90's

I'm not a fan of Deadpool the comic character, that being due to my ignorance of his existence rather than actually reading his stories. But when I saw this movie was going to be rated R, and that it would be taking liberal use of the language license those movies grant, I got pretty excited.  

The superhero formula has gotten old, and finally there was going to be a movie, that could help revitalize a fun film genre that has been showing signs of stagnation due to repetitive plot formulas and over-exposure to the masses ... so maybe my expectations were a little high, but that's what I was hoping for walking into the theater.

Deadpool starts off on the right track. During the opening credits a camera shifts around a bombastic action scene that has been frozen in time while Juice Newton's Angel of the Morning blasts in the background. The credit titles and names are all jokes, people in the action scenes are placed in compromising positions ... all in all this is a real fun beginning. And throughout most of its near two hour duration Deadpool  remains an attention grabber.

The fourth wall is broken constantly, oftentimes to crack jokes or warn the audience that something very violent is going to happen. The language is obscene, the violence is bloody, and I honestly can't believe how Ryan Reynolds of all people is able to pull off what will likely become his career defining performance. Basically, in the action department Deadpool, lives up to everything it promised to be. 

The humor department is also pretty successful. Jokes come flying at you at the pace of a Rodney Dangerfield or a Robin Williams monologue. A lot of the humor is very meta, and the film isn't afraid to take jabs at movie studios, the over saturated comic market, and the career of Ryan Reynolds. Despite a mostly laugh-filled experience, there are still a sizable portion of jokes that do fall flat. The constant stream of them, makes it feel like the movie is trying too hard to "just" be funny all of the time.

But again with a great premise, especially with one that's new for Marvel superhero movies, there comes an expectation that the movie can breath new life into the other aspects of superhero films that could really use some freshening up. For example, there's the cliched superhero origin story. Deadpool tries to fool its audience into thinking it's changing this aspect of the superhero film, but rather it inserts the same old cliched storyline in the middle, rather than the beginning. 

Even worse is the characterization of the love of Deadpool's life, Vanessa. Sadly she is another one dimensional damsel in distress, who's only talents appear to be her high sex drive and her ability to go toe-to-toe with Deadpool in the sarcasm department. She could quite possibly be one of the worst female superhero girlfriends to hit the big-screen. There is just no reason for the audience to get behind this character, and it really reduces any kind of emotional impact the ending of the movie could have had. Plot-wise (and I'm being vague to avoid spoilers here) the ending isn't believable, and a large part of that belongs to the poor development of Vanessa.

Despite some significant flaws Deadpool remained an enjoyable viewing experience. At the very least, I hope it leads the creation of more R rated superhero movies. 

Score: 7.7

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