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Deadpool – Movie Review

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Deadpool – Movie Review

Rating: A- (Great)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy 20th Century Fox

When the superhero movie has been established for some time, it can be refreshing to see one of them break from the formula and Deadpool does it with relish. This is a movie that wants to throw convention out of the window even as it gives us an origin story and explosive action sequences. The opening credits quickly establish director Tim Miller and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are diving head first into sheer lunacy. This is a movie that’s not afraid of defying timelines, rights ownerships and all of those pesky things that are a huge part of the genre these days. All it took was a Merc with a Mouth.

At the centre of Deadpool is Ryan Reynolds. Also serving as one of the film’s producers, Reynolds clearly understands all of the ticks of this character and his quirks. There’s a charm even early on as Wade Wilson threatens people in his mercenary role. When he finds himself matching wits with Morena Baccarin’s strip joint waitress Vanessa, there’s a mutual respect further shown with a humourous series of sex scenes. When he gains his super powers, Reynolds keeps the sharp mouth running with hilarious succession. However, Deadpool works because Wade is not merely a never-ending joke machine. The back story taps into nicely who he is and thus, the audience becomes emotionally attached to him. He doesn’t treat everything like a joke, allowing him to become a more dimensional character rather than just another funny personality for Reynolds to play.

Since Deadpool’s powers include breaking the fourth wall and showing complete awareness of his movie surroundings, the writers use that as an advantage to play with narrative form and flashbacks. Thus, audiences don’t have to wait long for the red-suited anti-hero to make an appearance. This also presents a new and inventive way of telling the origin story as the movie jumps back and forth. When the film gives us a couple of X-Men, the script even plays with the idea of the timeline and not making it super clear which one it’s following. That Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead are able to hold their own alongside Deadpool is also a credit to Wade’s willingness to share the spotlight with other heroes.

The action sequences are spectacularly handled by Tim Miller, who makes his feature directing debut with Deadpool. He’s clearly honed his skills through working on animated shorts and supervising special effects on video games and applies that knowledge to his direction. The combination of computer effects and stunt work is seamless and Colossus is an impressive CG creation. Miller even knows the right moments on when to utilise slow-motion, a device that mostly comes across as overused and annoying in other hands. Miller and editor Julian Clarke keeps the action flowing and tight and there is not a single tedious moment in Deadpool. If there’s a flaw to be found, it’s that the villains are a tad on the dull side with the vaguest of evil plots. It seems a common tendency of Marvel film adaptations where the heroes are built up and developed so much that the antagonists end up generic by comparison.

Deadpool feels like the product of a studio giving filmmakers some extra money and telling them to go nuts. This is the sort of bonkers production that gives some added freshness to the superhero movie genre. If studios continue to bankroll more of these sorts of blockbusters, these caped heroes won’t run the risk of going stale. The large majority of jokes do land, whether courtesy of Reynolds or his bartender friend, played by T.J. Miller. It’s common in reviews of comedies to give some brief indications of the best gags, but doing so would be a disservice to the clever writing in Deadpool and the studio’s marketing department deserves a lot of credit for not ruining them in the advertising. There are going to be a lot of superhero movies released in the coming months and if they are equal to Deadpool’s level of quality, we’re in for a fun year with these comic book superstars.

Stefan Ellison

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