Deadpool’s not your typical Marvel hero

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20th Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment, The Donners’ Company

 

“Deadpool”
Feb. 12 2016 (R)
Directed by Tim Miller
Starring Ryan Reynolds
★★★★☆

Viewers be warned, this is not your typical superhero movie. The explicit, fourth-wall breaking experience that is Marvel’s Deadpool stands as a refreshing contrast to the mainstream superhero genre. Equipped with an indomitable sense of wit and powers of invincibility, Ryan Reynold’s interpretation of the comic book character Deadpool transforms a generic plotline into an comedic work of entertaining superhero cinema.

From the moment opening credits incite laughter with character titles like “God’s Perfect Idiot” and “some hot chick,” it is clear that humor is poised to be the backbone of the film. And it’s a solid backbone. Reynolds’ brazen interaction with almost every character, from blind grandmas to bad guys, proves to be endlessly entertaining, providing sufficient compensation for the movie’s other disappointing aspects.

Take away the hilariously presumptuous approach Deadpool brings to everything he does, and Deadpool is essentially a low-budget rendition of the age-old “defeat evil for the girl” story, saturated with poorly executed CGI, stereotypical antagonists, and a mediocre supporting cast.

The story begins with an immediate introduction to the red-clad super soldier himself, mid-confrontation with his archenemy, Francis Freeman (Ed Skrein), the man who we learn is the insane scientist responsible for Deadpool’s existence and disfigured form. From here, the timeline reverts back to the times of former Special Forces operative Wade Wilson and his previous life as a mercenary.

Eventually, Wilson meets the prostitute Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), and they fall in love classic movie montage style. Despite the lack of in-depth development, Wilson and Vanessa’s connection is still playfully convincing enough for viewers to perceive Wilson’s internal turmoil when he must choose between dying with Vanessa or pursuing Freeman’s risky “cure” for cancer. Following his disfigurement from Freeman’s brutal treatment for his cancer, Wilson adopts the name “Deadpool” and embarks on a quest to find Freeman for a cure to Deadpool’s marred appearance.

Unfortunately, the antagonists’ performances aren’t nearly as convincing. The movie relies on the cliche of an unlimited supply of generic, black-clothed henchmen who prove little deterrence for Deadpool. Even Skrein, Deadpool’s intended target who is gifted with super reflexes, delivers a stereotypical, emotionless bad guy routine.

But then again, it’s hard not to let Reynold’s satirical narration and juxtaposition between the raunchy comedy and katana-related violence entertain. The script is riddled with fresh jokes, and metaconscious humor engages the audience in a unique way.

Certainly, this film is not tailored for all audiences and Deadpool himself makes this clear during a fourth wall break at the beginning of the movie. Gratuitous nudity, violence and obscene language sets this film apart from your conventional model of Marvel cinema.

Although the Deadpool concept was already introduced in 2009 with his appearance in X-Men Origins, it’s important to note that the most recent Deadpool is, by design, a completely different portrayal of the character both thematically and charastically. Specifically, Reynold’s comic portrayal and human, as opposed to mutant, background serves as a stark contrast to the sinister, mute depiction he played six years ago. To account for the obvious adjustments in character, the writers integrated a revised timeline into the plot. This meant Reynolds’ powers were altered, leaving him with a completely regenerative body, super speed and of course, bestowing upon him the ability to speak, which makes the movie infinitely more fun to watch.

With his debut as a feature film director, Tim Miller and his screenwriters (“the real heroes”) Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have undoubtedly captured a fan base who appreciate their willingness to venture outside the level of moderation we have come to expect when watching Marvel feature films. Deadpool paves the way for more mature approaches within the superhero genre and hopefully will act as a foundation for future directors to execute a greater level of originality.