Deadpool - Review

Deadpool getting his own movie with an R-rating and Ryan Reynolds in the lead role? Is it Christmas already or have a billion nerds' wet dreams just come true?
That's right. After the horribly misguided Deadpool interpretation in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the "Merc with a Mouth" is finally getting another shot at the big screen.
Even though outfitted with only a budget of $58 Mio. dollars, yet with an overwhelmingly huge fan base and a genius marketing campaign behind it, Deadpool might just actually work out.
And seeing how we now live in a time where everybody on the internet seemingly gets offended by absolutely everything, there couldn't be any better time a full-on self-aware and R-rated Deadpool movie could come out.
Question is whether Deadpool can actually meet the fans' high expectations or if the constant blabbering of the merc boils down to just a lot of hot air.

The plot:
This is the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
Source: 20th Century Fox

Fans of the ever talking mercenary Deadpool have been longing for a proper Deadpool movie for years, and now that time has come.
Though it in many aspects shows that Deadpool was treated as a risk project for 20th Century Fox, and thus only had roughly a quarter of the budget of usual big comic blockbusters, director Tim Miller put every penny of that budget to fantastic use. Deadpool is not only a breeze of fresh air amongst the onslaught of Marvel and upcoming DC superhero movies, but also a loveletter to fans, and proof that a good script and spot-on casting choices easily make for a better movie experience than hundreds of millions of dollars worth of CGI-extravaganza.

"Finally, a second chance!"

After the horrible misfire which was the Deadpool interpretation in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, that up til recently haunted Ryan Reynold's career, Deadpool now finally has been done absolutely right.
Deadpool is not only one of the most refreshing superhero movies of the recent years but also one if not the best comedy of 2016 (already).
Granted, fans of Deadpool, comic movies and nerds in general will definitely have the most fun with the movie since the most of the its humor heavily relies on pop culture references and current geek culture/internet humor. Yet keeping in mind that Deadpool was never meant to be a mainstream comic superhero in any way, director Tim Miller stayed true to the character and gave us a Deadpool that really felt like he had been ripped straight out of a comic book and put into his own movie.

Ryan Reynolds proves that he is the perfect Deadpool.

With that said, completely different from other superhero movies but fitting to the character, Deadpool features loads of fourth-wall-breaking jokes that constantly reference real life facts. From X-Men movies, to Ryan Reynolds horrible role in Green Lantern, over James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart, the list goes on and on and on. Seeing how in the comics Deadpool himself is the only one who knows that he is a comic book character (and everybody else thinking he is just mad), it's fantastic how well Miller pulled off Deadpool in his own movie where the same character now makes fun of the movie industry and superhero movie tropes. And while all of the raunchy jokes, curses, constant winks to the audience and fourth-wall-jokes have all been expected by now, the move in many cases still manages to surprise considering with what references they actually managed to get away with.

"Did I seriously just say that out loud!?"

With Deadpool's strongpoint easily beeing the joke-machine that is Deadpool himself (aka Ryan Reynolds), the movie's storyline however, albeit not horrible, plays out very safe.
Whereas it's nice that the movie humorously tells its story oftentimes with multiple flashbacks to showcase how Deadpool came to be, the story remains largely quite predictable in its general outcome and flow. Thus, Deadpool storywise is mostly a trip back to the old days of comic book movies (like Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man from 2002), complete with an origin story, a generic revenge motive, a damsel in distress and a big showdown.
But given how surprisingly well the movie balances its immature dirty humor and its serious themes, both the funny and serious scenes work out quite well. In many ways, some of the dialogue in the movie even tackles quite harsh themes in those emotional scenes that make Wade Wilson not simply a jokey idiot but also establish him well as a human being that becomes relatable. And given how many people will watch Deadpool simply for the jokes and gags, it's fantastic that director Tim Miller managed to also pay tribute to the darker tones of Wade Wilson's/Deadpool's backstory from the comics.
Yet still, Deadpool sure enough won't change the superhero movie genre, but it also doesn't want and need to.

"Alright, let's see...How to get your Girl back in a Revenge Story 101."

Tucking along with Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool are the borrowed X-Men characters Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus.
While they don't appear too much in the movie and are rightfully used as sidecharacters in a mainly Deadpool focussed movie, they fit perfectly into the story. Not only do they directly establish a strong connection between Deadpool and 20th Century Fox's X-Men movie universe, but they also give hands down the best opportunities for Deadpool's jokes to shine while giving him a moral compass. With Negasonic's and Colossus' personalites representing pretty much the total opposite of what Deadpool's character is, it's those polar differences that make their addition to the movie such a joy to watch. And also, it's a great example of how well the addition of the Marvel character Cable would benefit the comedy in Deadpool sequel.

We definitely need to see even more of this hilarious trio.

A rather annoying aspect about the movie, which also shows the its script's biggest shortcomings, are the villains.
Deadpool's two main villains are Ajax, played by Ed Skrein, and his henchwoman Angel Dust, played by Gina Carano. Sadly though, those two villains are only in the movie for a functionary nature rather than anything else. With that said, neither Ajax nor Angel Dust have any insightful backstory or interesting motives for their crimes and evil actions other than that they are villainous bad guys.
In a day and age, where superhero movies proved that you indeed can have complex villains like the X-Men movies' Magneto, Ajax and Angel Dust just feel weak. They are very one-dimensional, forgettable cardboard cutout villains and easily expose themselves as the script writer's mere afterthoughts during the writing process. With neither their motivations, nor their very generic superstrength powers well enough established or explained, their are instantly destined to become throwaway characters. What additionally doesn't help are Ed Skrein's subpar acting abilities (want to see more of that? - then check him out in Transporter Refueled...or rather just don't).
However, in a movie like Deadpool, that constantly makes fun of old superhero movie tropes, it's either just bad writing or even some kind of meta joke with the movie itself featuring such weak villains as an old trope. Anyway, you be the judge.

"What was your superpower again?"
Actionwise, Deadpool doesn't hold back. In a great mix of great fighting choreography, great practical effects and effective yet careful use of CGI, the producers and director Tim Miller have been excellent in making most out of the movie's just mere $58 Mio.dollar budget (!). Also, even though Deadpool's popularity also reaches people under the age of 18 years, the movie's R-rating definitely comes for a reason. The movie is fittingly filled with a whole lot of swearing, dirty humor, gore and nudity.
With that said, even the movie's R-rating itself is a bold move for a studio like 20th Century Fox that so desperately avoids change or risk in any way. Luckily that risk now just paid off, seeing how much the R-rating fits Deadpool's morbidly fun humor blending over-the-top gore and dirty jokes, which we only saw in 2010's Kick-Ass done right the last time.

Deadpool is putting each penny of its small budget to great use.

Overall, Deadpool sure enough is a dream come true for fans of the "Merc with a Mouth" and a breeze of fresh air during the onslaught of Marvel superhero movies we are treated with nowadays.
Making very good use of its R-rating, Deadpool is fittingly filled to the brim with Deadpool's trademark dirty, referencing, fourth-wall-breaking, self-aware humor blended together with over-the-top violence and action. Director Tim Miller as well as actor Ryan Reynolds himself truely managed to wash away the bad taste of X-Men Origins: Wolverine (and Green Lantern) with a Deadpool movie that truely just gets the character.
Though its storyline quickly reveals itself to be a very traditional superhero revenge plot with a very predictable outcome and pace, the movie makes that easily forgivable thanks to the hilarious one-man-show which is Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. Busting out joke after joke in combination with a good amount of well balanced emotional weight (and of course action), Deadpool isn't only a very enjoyable superhero movie but also already one of the best comedies of the year.
With the only big downside being the movie's very weak and forgettable villains, it remains impressive how Deadpool manages to make seemingly every other aspect of the movie work out so confidently well with such a small budget.
It only goes to show that oftentimes less is just more in the end and that sometimes studios should just listen to the fans' demands and take risks - looking at Deadpool's box office success, it definitely pays off here.

It's a no-brainer that Deadpool fans absolutely have to see this movie, while everybody else looking for "another kind of" superhero will most probably also have their big share of fun with Deadpool's unconventional "superhero" persona.

Final Verdict: 7 out of 10


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