You have to hand it to Ryan Reynolds. He’s been saying he’d get this film made for over 10 years and he bloody did it. I’m a Deadpool fan, like a lot of you out there, and I have been willing him to succeed for fucking years. There have been plenty of actors who belligerently stick to their hope that they’ll get to create the film they want. We quickly saw through Kiefer Sutherland constantly banging on about a 24 movie but Reynolds was the kind of person who could get it done. He pretty much is Wade and cares so much about the character that it made so much sense to give him what he wanted. To everyone but Fox, of course. Then when the test footage was leaked a couple of years ago it was like a fucking miracle. Deadpool is exactly the kind of character who needed a film and that’s not just to rewrite the injustice of X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
The final trailer for Batman vs Superman played before our screen of Deadpool on Sunday. All I could think whilst I sat through it was “we get it Synder, you’re taking this seriously”. It’s fucking ridiculous how high that film’s opinion of itself is. I’ve gone through stages with it and I think I’m firmly in the “can’t really bring myself to give a shit” camp. It’s exhaustingly earnest. The film industry was ready for a comic book movie to come along and fuck shit up. Nobody was better suited for the job than Deadpool.
It’s difficult not to watch Deadpool with a smile on your face from the opening scene. With its alternative credits including names like “British villain”, “moody teen” and “gratuitous cameo”, Deadpool isn’t pretending to be anything other than itself. This isn’t the shitty mute Deadpool that we last saw in Origins with retractable arm swords, ability to teleport, or eye lasers. This is Deadpool as he should be; the merc with a mouth. He’s talkative, witty and breaks the fourth wall at every given opportunity. Deadpool is set in the same world as X-Men but is as far removed from Byran Singer’s sensibilities as it possibly can. He’s not a superhero and will do anything he can to prove that.
Deadpool starts out life as Wade Wilson, a mercenary paid to deal out justice for a healthy price. After meeting beautiful prostitute Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) Wade decides its finally time to settle down until he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. A lifeline is handed to him thanks to a mysterious programme granting subjects mutant abilities. Of course, this comes with a price and Wilson loses his boyish good looks, which forces him to take up the mask. Newly suited and booted, he’s pissed and looking for revenge. British villains better watch their fucking backs.
Although, the film actually starts midway through the narrative after Wade has already accepted the Deadpool mantel and is tracking down his foe. An epic fight ensues where we get to see the characteristics that set this comic book movie apart. There’s plenty of sass, bloody violence, swearing and mid fight pauses to show us what makes this guy stand out. How many X-Men have you seen pause upside down in mid-air to muse about leaving the stove on or get shot up the arse during their first fight scene? The action then flashes back and forth between the present and Wade’s past, revealing to the audience what is driving him to such wanton destruction.
It’s a clever way of getting around the typical origin story problem of not seeing our hero in action until at least halfway through the film. Instead, our first shot is of the familiar figure in his red suit wielding his two blades. This film is action-packed from the word go. This format also masterfully disguises how thin the plot really is. When it comes down to it Deadpool is origin, fight, kidnap, fight. There is no typical superhero “save the world” plot because it doesn’t need it. Deadpool isn’t really about what the main man is doing but how he’s doing it.
This is a film built upon quips rather than intricate plot. Something that is both it’s saving grace and its biggest downfall. When the humour hits it hits hard. Like when Deadpool is showing self-awareness and questioning which Xavier he’ll be meeting or musing on why only two mutants (Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead) are ever present at the mansion. The knowing and clever jokes keep this film feeling fresh and exciting. However, in order to keep the humour constant, it mainly comes down to dick jokes, which, unless you’re a 12 year old boy, will eventually get old. Now I have nothing against the puerile nature of the film but I felt it needed something with a bit more substance to change it up a bit.
Although, I can’t deny that this is the happiest I’ve felt walking out of a comic book movie for a while. There was never a point when I felt that it’s lack of finesse ruined it. It is, after all, a flawed film but it makes up for that thanks to its very nature. Ryan Reynolds and co. made this film because they loved the character and it shows. It’s fun and, in an age of super dark superhero movies, that’s exactly what we needed. We don’t need Captain America’s righteousness; we need a hero willing to chop his hand off just to give you the finger. I can’t wait to see this film again… and again… and again. It’s fucking awesome.