At long last, Marvel’s first R rated film hits the big screen in grand fashion. When it was first announced that Deadpool would be true to its comic source material and in fact be rated R, most people were giddy with excitement. The test footage was actually quite good, featured Ryan Reynolds as the red spandex clad, mouthy merc (mercenary) and in a quick two minute clip managed to mobilize the fans of both Marvel and Deadpool. I imagined what they could do with a budget and I was ready. Well, not to disappoint, Deadpool is terrific fun.
Ryan Reynolds is Wade Wilson who is basically a gun-for-hire, mercenary who will take just about any job. In the opening, he is scarring a stalker off of a certain girl and then its off to the local watering hole for a tasty beverage with his fellow mercs. It is here he meets Vanessa (Monica Baccarin). The two hit it off and fall in love. They are two peas in a pod and I love the way their relationship is written. They have chemistry and their dialogue is structured as two intelligent people would talk. I believed their relationship was real and when Wade is diagnosed with cancer I believed how it affected their relationship. It is all well written and acted.
When Wade subjects himself to a risky cure at the hands of Ajax (Ed Skrien) and Angel Dust (Gina Carano), the result has created or horribly disfigured but seemingly indestructible Deadpool. The remainder of the film is Deadpool’s quest for revenge. From the opening credits to the Ferris Bueller inspired final post credits sequence, Deadpool is a smartly written film. Clever and deviously funny from start to finish. Reynolds is PERFECT as Deadpool and even through a suit of red spandex, able to convince us that he was born to play this role. His comic timing is impeccable and will have you howling with laughter. Monica Baccarin is lovely as Vanessa and she never oversells her character and is strong as well as beautiful.
Ed Skrien, seen in last year’s abomination Transporter: Refueled, hits his mark as Ajax and Gina Carano continues her ascension in her acting career as a beauty-and-the-beast like sidekick, Angel Dust to Ajax. T.J. Miller as Weasel, bar owner and weapons man to the mercs, is another well written character. Weasel is a friend to Deadpool, but still can’t help but bet on the odds of Deadpool’s demise with his other patrons. This is a clever gag that works but is not overdone. The supporting cast of Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic but the facial performance by Greg LaSalle) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (the simply stunningly and exotic looking Brianna Hildebrande) add some tie-ins to The X-Men universe and there is even a quick shot of Professor Xavier’s school.
There are some running gags on Reynolds, his past performance as Deadpool in the X-Men Wolverine film, even some references to Reynolds own turn as the Green Lantern as well as some witty pokes at Hugh Jackman. Most of these are fresh and funny but a couple fall short or I just didn’t get them. Most of Deadpool is spot on, however. Director Tim Miller shows a flair for the drama, has some terrific action sequences and Rhett Reece and Paul Wernick’s script bristles with energy and sass. Junkie XL’s score really amps up the action and compliments it effectively. This is an origins film that knows exactly what it wants to do and does it exceedingly well. It travels some familiar ground but seems to not care. It just wants to entertain. This is a unapologetically profane film that revels in its unseemliness and has fun doing it. I did, too. A sequel is already in the works and set for a release sometime next year. Strike while the iron is hot.
Deadpool- **** out of 5
Deadpool- Rated R for language, nudity, violence and gore
Deadpool- Run Time is 108 minutes
Deadpool is currently in theaters. Consult your local listings and times