Director: Tim Miller
Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T. J. Miller, Stefan Capicic, Ed Skrein, Brianna Hildebrand, Gina Carano, Leslie Uggans
Released: February 12, 2016
Deadpool was the most entertaining comic book movie of 2016. Yes, that year had stinkers like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, but it also had the excellent Captain America: Civil War. It wasn’t the first R rated comic book movie ever made, but it was by far the most successful of its time. The plot of Deadpool is not anything groundbreaking. At its core it’s a standard superhero origin story you’ve seen told before. We see Wade Wilson before he has his powers, there’s a love interest, a rather bland villain, Wade gets his powers and must find his place in the world with them. What manages to salvage the by the numbers plot is its delivery and how the characters interact with each other.
Deadpool gleefully takes full advantage of its R rating to enhance its plot. The humor is crass and raunchy, with sex and dick jokes galore. The humor also takes fire at superheroes, superhero movie conventions, the various cinematic universes studios are pumping out today, actors, and many others. No one is safe from this movie’s satirical knives. Deadpool managed to breathe fresh life into the market that it sorely needed.
Deadpool also makes sure to take advantage of its R rating for the action scenes. People have their heads chopped off, get blown up, and have their bodies eviscerated in all manner of gruesome ways. It is refreshing to see a superhero movie just go all out with insane violence. The violence is also very well choreographed and directed, with a mixture of practical stunt work and effective CGI. The action unfortunately peaks rather early, as after the highway sequence the film never manages to reach the same level of intensity and creativity.
Ryan Reynolds is perfect for the role of Deadpool. He manages to walk the line between funny and obnoxious without straying into the latter. His fourth wall breaking jokes are always well delivered, and he has likable side characters to play off of. The love story between him and Morena Baccarin’s character is lovably raunchy and crass, in comparison to other bland romances in superhero movies. The dynamics between him, Colossus, and a blind old lady named Al played by Leslie Uggams keep the humor fresh and new, thanks to the tried and true combination of the straight man working with the quirky character. The only side character that could be pegged as the weak link is T.J. Miller’s. He just serves to make jokes at the expense of Deadpool’s cancer ridden face. He’s not terrible or even bad, but is just an average presence in a movie full of good and funny characters.
A comedy movie such as this needs to be very tightly paced in order to prevent the audience from getting annoyed by the characters, and a character like Deadpool runs a serious risk of this happening. Thankfully the movie doesn’t outstay its welcome and both satisfies you while leaving you feeling like you’re hungry for more. A feeling every movie should strive for.
Deadpool helped fend off comic book movie fatigue by being fresh and different. Not necessarily different in every way, but different in the ways that matter. I’ll admit it did go down half a point upon second viewing due to the plot’s delivery not feeling as fresh the second time around, but still, if you want proof comic book movies still have plenty of room to be creative, look no further than this film. I’ll get to the sequel sometime later.