You have to give 20th Century Fox tons of credit for not going the Disney/Marvel ”Let’s play with a safety net and slap a PG-13 rating on Deadpool so we can make a few extra bucks” route. What they have done with the famous/infamous “Merc with the Mouth” is brilliantly brave and the result is an absolutely hilarious, self deprecating, and brutal piece of comic book entertainment that will forever rewrite the rules on how we view our spandex wearing superheroes.
Right from the opening credits, Deadpool marks its territory as director Tim Miller firmly plants his foot on the audience’s collective necks. Miller immediately sets an immediate “I don’t give a shit what you think” tone that just never relents, all while breaking boundaries and repeatedly bulldozing the fourth wall,as Ryan Reynold’s sword wielding Deadpool is constantly talking to the audience like an X-rated Bugs Bunny.
Deadpool opens in the middle of a chaotic car chase and takes an occasional break so our hero in red and black tights can take a few moments to let the audience know how great he had it in his past life with fiancé Vanessa (a terrific Morena Baccarin). Well, up until the part in which Wilson was diagnosed with cancer which quickly spread to his brain and lungs. Rather than let Vanessa see him whither away, he chooses to quietly and secretly leave the relationship. Wilson agrees to be a willing participant in an underground experiment that will supposedly cure all of his cancer.
After being strapped to a gurney, Wilson is immediately told by the sadistic Ajax (Ed Skrein) that the only way to kill the cancer in his body is to be repeatedly tortured. This process will force any mutant genes ( remember Deadpool is part of the X-Men universe) to emerge, killing any cancer in Wilson’s body. Ajax also informs Wilson that if the experiment works, he will essentially become a superhuman slave, sold to the highest bidder.
As Ajax promised, Wilson is repeatedly beaten and subjected to torture which includes beatings and being burned. After escaping the laboratory, Wilson finds out that he is in fact cancer free and also happens to be immortal. All that matters to Wilson is finding Ajax so he can fix his badly burned face and Wilson can go back to a normal life with Vanessa. Wilson quickly learns that his looks do him no favors on the streets, so he transforms himself into Deadpool, a mask wearing, mouthy mercenary extracting his plot for revenge.
I just can’t say enough about Ryan Reynolds here as Deadpool/Wilson. He is so charismatic and exuberant in this film that I would argue that if Academy Award voters weren’t so old and milquetoast, he would get serious Oscar consideration. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. It’s as if the role of Deadpool was made for Reynolds. It’s been days since I’ve seen the film and I still can’t think of anyone else in the role. Reynolds just kills it and now can be officially forgiven for the fiasco that was The Green Lantern. Deadpool is finally the film that makes Reynolds a bonafide star.
BE WARNED: Deadpool is definitely not for everyone. This movie isn’t for people that can’t take over the top vulgarity,violence, explicit sex and sexual innuendo, this movie is not for Hugh Jackman, and most importantly this movie is especially NOT FOR KIDS. Parents, if you think you are taking your kids to see a typical Marvel movie like Iron Man or Captain America, you will find yourself heading for the exits five minutes after the movie starts. If you don’t want to see Ryan Reynolds getting anal sex by a strapped on Morena Baccarin, don’t take your kids to see this film. It is a HARD R. But for the rest of you, that last sentence says all you need to know about Deadpool. It is ultra-violent, hilarious and next to Guardians of the Galaxy, my favorite Marvel film to date.