Back in 1998, when tax dodger Wesley Snipes assumed the role of Blade, who would have known that eighteen years later superhero films would remain popular. I expected the genre to fade into obscurity, much like Westerns have done in the past, but if anything the appetite for spandex wearing vigilantes continues to grow. Not that I am complaining though, because I am a huge fan of Marvel comics. Now that most of the A-list heroes have starred in their own feature films the time has come for lesser-known characters to get a moment in the spotlight. We can only reboot Superman, Batman and Spider-Man so many times after all. Enter Deadpool, the wisecracking merc with a mouth starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin and a CG character.
Wade Wilson, a former Special Forces soldier turned mercenary, is the man underneath Deadpool’s mask. The anti-hero’s origin began when Wade hooked up with a prostitute named Vanessa, played by unlucky actress Morena Baccarin (she seems to have a knack for appearing in cancelled TV shows, having previously starred in both Firefly and V.) For a while the pair’s relationship goes swimmingly, but all that comes to an end when Wilson is diagnosed with terminal cancer. In a desperate bid to beat the disease Wade abandons Vanessa to pursue an experimental medical procedure. The treatment proves to be successful and grants him immortality, although it does have the unwanted side effect of making Wade’s face resemble Freddy Krueger’s scrotum.
After assuming the mantle of Deadpool, Wade sets off to punish Ajax – the doctor responsible for his disfigurement. Standing between him and vengeance is a small army of armed lackeys and Ajax’s superhuman bodyguard Angel Dust (played by former MMA fighter Gina Carano.) Having seen Gina’s martial art skills onscreen I am left wondering why she wasn’t cast for the role of Wonder Woman. Oh well, I am sure the skinny model with a funny accent hired by Warner Bros will do just fine as the Amazonian heroine. Anyways, to even up the odds Deadpool enlists the aid of X-Men acquaintances Colossus and the awesomely named Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Why didn’t he recruit Cyclops to his cause? Deadpool explains that the studio can’t afford any more X-Men.
My rating for Deadpool is five stars. It’s probably the funniest superhero movie I have ever seen. Marvel Studio films tend to have plenty of gags, but this 20th Century Fox release is on another level when it comes to humour. Deadpool has the comedy stylings of Ace Ventura combined with the ruthlessness of Wolverine. Although sometimes fatuous, the jokes had me in stitches throughout the 108-minute running time. The script panders to the geek crowd, so be aware that some references may go over your head if you aren’t versed in superhero lore. On the action front it was refreshing to see blood spatter and decapitations aplenty, given that most flicks based on Marvel properties are family friendly. See Hollywood? You don’t always have to aim for a PG rating to earn big bucks at the box office.
It’s good to see Ryan Reynolds redeem himself in the eyes of superhero fans after his lacklustre portrayal of Green Lantern. The Canadian actor’s gift for the gab served him well in delivering Deadpool’s fourth wall breaking quips. I especially enjoyed the banter between politically incorrect Deadpool and metallic do-gooder Colossus. What makes the exchanges all the more impressive is that the Russian X-Man is fully rendered in CG. Out of all the live action films featuring the steel skinned Ruski this would have to be my favourite take on the character. Beware human actors; virtual thespians will soon make you obsolete. Caesar from Planet of the Apes was awesome, as was Gollum. For the sake of proving my point correct let’s ignore that Jar Jar Binks exists! Okay, enough typing for today. Penning this review has made me hungry. I am off to devour some Chimichangas.