This review contains mild spoilers. If you have not yet watched the movie and would like to do so WITHOUT BEING SPOILED, click away. Read something else like – this review of a solar powered battery charger or watch this Marvel Collector Corp unboxing or see what’s on my phone.
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Deadpool is one of the most cult-followed comic book characters of all time. I am not the world’s biggest Deadpool fan, but there is no denying that even people who haven’t read much, if any, Deadpool comics (or any comics, for that matter), for some reason, claim to be Deadpool fans. It’s like people wearing Ramones T-shirts, but couldn’t name 3 songs by The Ramones. I get it, he’s irreverent and some would even go as far as to label him as anti-establishment. (It’s an election year, everyone is throwing around that word.) He’s the CM Punk of the Marvel Universe. If his name wasn’t Deadpool, it just might be Fourth Wall Man and people love him for those things.
This movie rights A LOT of wrongs. We have seen movies and even television shows right the wrongs of previous depictions of a character, but never have we seen those productions publicly acknowledge those wrongs within the movie like we do with Deadpool. Never did we get a “Dude we screwed up” within The Incredible Hulk (2008) or a “Yeah, sorry about that” in the Daredevil Netflix show. This movie acknowledges their wrongs and attempts to make them right.
The opening credits in this movie set the pace for what turned out to be a fun ass ride. When you’re sitting in the theater and you see opening credits flash across the screen that say “Starring: God’s Perfect Idiot, a Hot Chick and a British Villain” and “Directed by An Overpaid Tool,” they let you know right off the bat this is not your stereotypical superhero movie. This movie is very self aware. It makes fun of other superhero movies starting with X-Men Origins: Wolverine where they sewed the Merc with the Mouth’s mouth shut. There’s even a scene where Ajax threatens to sew Wade’s mouth shut and Wade says, “Oh, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” There is also a scene that shows an action figure of the teleporting, laser eye beaming abomination of a character.
There are tons of other references and easter eggs throughout the movie. There are references to the character’s co-creator, Rob Liefeld. The movie takes multiple shots at Green Lantern, an SNL skit of a movie starring Ryan Reynolds. There are shots taken at the superhero movie genre. If identifying all the easter eggs in this movie were part of a drinking game, you’d be passed out in a puddle of your own piss after about 30 minutes into the movie.
Pissy drunk or not, it’d be hard to fall asleep during this movie. This movie is non-stop action. There are very few lulls throughout the movie. The opening act is the where the action peaks, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This movie moves at neck-breaking pace at times. The only time the movie ever slows down is when it is setting up the love story. It doesn’t slow down that much since its version of a love story isn’t your typical movie love story. Never would you see a Marvel Studios movie put out a story that includes a hooker and a pegging session. But we were already told this isn’t your typical superhero movie. Deadpool isn’t even technically a superhero. He’s an antihero. Deadpool is a mercenary. Sure, he tries to do the right thing, but most of the time he’s just in it for a buck. In the movie he’s all about getting back at Ajax no matter who gets in the way.
Ryan Reynolds was born to play this role. No one could deliver the type of calculated chaos and joke-after-joke-after-joke like he did. Whatever the hell happened in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was clearly the fault of the director and whatever idiot wrote the script. Whatever the hell happened in Green Lantern was the fault of the studio. (You can see Reynolds trying to save that movie with everything he has and yet he couldn’t overcome the aimless nonsense put together by some overpaid idiot.) Reynolds gift wrapped and delivered the world’s biggest apology through Deadpool. And, yeah, it worked. All is forgiven.
Deadpool, himself is a flawed character and brilliantly played by Ryan Reynolds. Ed Skrein plays Ajax about as sinister and deadpan as any other Marvel villain, which looks like that was the intention. I liked that the stakes were so few, relatively speaking. Not every Marvel movie needs to have the fate of the world at stake. This has worked for the Netflix series like Daredevil and Jessica Jones. I feel like this can work for other Marvel movies as well. Most of Deadpool’s adventures in the comics aren’t world-threatening, so it makes sense to start small. I expect greater stakes in the sequel when they introduce the mainstream world to Cable, the time-traveling son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor, a Jean Grey clone.
Deadpool is a good movie. Is it a “great” movie? No. At times the jokes fall flat and the humor seems forced. Even so, it was a solid movie that keeps you laughing and interested. The R-rating was a welcomed departure from modern Marvel movies. While I wouldn’t want to see every movie follow the same format, I do feel like studios should take note, see what works here is what the fans have been clamoring for all these years and implement those pieces into movies to come. Deadpool is what it is and what it is a pretty damn solid movie.