Someday Productions LLC and Pillow Talking are pleased to present the following review of the movie DEADPOOL
Another Marvel hero takes to the big screen (and toy stores) increasing the coffers of both Disney and Marvel. The big question is, does Deadpool work? Will it become a successful franchise like Spiderman or will it be relegated to on-demand movie abandon like both Fantastic Four movies and the old Daredevil film with Ben Affleck? One thing is for sure, even if a superstar actor bombs in a superhero film, he/she will still have a chance to make a comeback as a different hero (e.g., both Ryan Reynolds and Ben Affleck are prime examples).
So again, does the movie work? I would have to say a resounding yes. But it doesn’t work (at least for me) because of the action sequences or the gore (and that’s a bit odd since I am a B-horror schlock junkie). It works because of the witty writing and Reynolds performance as the snarky superhero.
Before he was the snarky Deadpool, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) was a snarky ex-special forces-type-mercenary/equalizer. He falls in love with a stripper (Morena Baccarin). On the verge of their happily-ever-after he finds out he has terminal cancer. As a last ditch attempt at life he subjects himself to an underground procedure whose promoters promise to make him a mutant superhero. They fulfill their promise, but turn him into an ugly, monstrous looking one. The movie follows his quest to find his sadistic creator Ajax aka Francis (Ed Skrein) who he is determined to strong arm into making him normal again. Of course, Ajax is part of a grand conspiracy to make mercenaries for hire (not superheroes) so there are a lot of bad guys to take down along the way.
Like his comic pool alter ego, the cinematic Deadpool loves violence, gore, sarcasm and breaking the fourth wall. As my sixteen-year-old marvel comic book enthusiast advises, Deadpool is the closest movie to the comics. Ryan Reynolds is perfectly cast as the sardonic yet comedic superhero. T.J. Miller, known more for his stand-up then his acting (at this point in time although I am certain this will change after Deadpool) is hilarious as the deadpan, joke-spouting Weasel who runs the local mercenary hangout. I am sure that many of his lines were ad-libbed. (I can’t wait for the X-rated gag reel soon to be released showing what they couldn’t show in the R-rated film.)
The best part of the movie was recognizing the countless pop culture references and inside jokes that were made. One source lists the references at 200 (don’t people have jobs? Who has time to count the references in a movie?) There are many leveled at the comic book rivalry between Deadpool and Wolverine, but the jokes cross the line to become ad hominin attacks on Hugh Jackman who played Wolverine. My favorite “eggs,” however, were the really subtle ones that you had to think about. Ajax’s sidekick Angel Dust (Gina Carano) constantly chews the end of a matchstick, prompting Deadpool to quip “Do you have an oral fixation complex or are you just a Stallone fan?” The matchstick reference was to Stallone’s character in Cobra, one of his lesser known creations.
This is definitely not a movie for the young ones. Risqué jokes and sexual innuendoes fly faster than speeding bullets. There is a noticeable pansexuality that Reynolds brings to the character as well. (Reynolds reportedly wanted a boyfriend for Deadpool.)
Special shout outs must be given to Karan Soni for his part as the love-stricken cabdriver, Dopinder, and Brianna Hildebrand for her offbeat portrayal as Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Kudos to the director, Tim Miller, and writers Rob Liefield, Fabian Nicieza, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick for bringing a different kind of Marvel movie to life.
If I had any criticisms, they would include the lack of a real villain or a deadly flaw in Deadpool’s character. While Ajax was a formidable nemesis, if one thinks about it, Deadpool got what he wanted – a cancer cure. Trading in terminal cancer for immortality is not a bad trade even if you are left ugly in the process. After all, beauty is only skin deep. Additionally, there was no real danger to Deadpool at any point in time. Even Wolverine has been threatened with REAL death. (Although my son tells me there will be a serum developed down the road that will be harmful to Deadpool.)
While not as engaging or well-rounded from a story or character perspective as Marvel’s Ant-Man , Deadpool was thoroughly enjoyable, funny and worth staying past the credits to see the post-movie snippet (which I will not ruin here).
Our family, lovers of all things superhero (it even was our wedding theme), could not wait for the release of Deadpool. We’ve bought T-shirts and comic books and socks; we watched the teasers, the trailers, and every bit of YouTube extras we could find; we watched the telecast of the Comic Con actors’ panel last July; and we hit the theater in the film’s first weekend out. We were psyched for it.
It was good, really good. But somehow for me it didn’t rise to the level of the hype and I was a little bummed. Deadpool, directed by Tim Miller, had all the right elements. Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson-turned-Deadpool was everything I’d hoped he’d be. He was the superhero reinvented – a grimy, mercenary turned antihero whose powers arise after he is lured by a Men in Black-esque recruiter from some strange secret program. He’s promised that they can save his life and give him superpowers; but that’s not all. They victimize him, torture him mercilessly, disfigure him, and ultimately put him over the edge of sanity. Wilson/Deadpool is caustic, cutting, bitter, sarcastic, snarky X 1,000, and somehow still likeable. But the story moved slowly and at some points actually didn’t seem like it was going anywhere. I was surprisingly a bit bored from time to time, despite the tasty zingers and wicked barbs thrown right and left.
The dialogue was quick as was the humor although after a while it felt more than a little sophomoric, filled with toilet and sex jokes galore. After we quickly move through Wilson’s attraction to and growing relationship with prostitute/escort Vanessa (the stunningly captivating Morena Baccarin) – who knew prostitutes accepted marriage proposals? – we find out he’s got cancer . It’s everywhere and it’s incurable. So what’s a boy to do? Ditch the hot chick who’d have stood by him until his dying breath. So much for the rose-scented love story for the Valentine’s Day weekend release!
Enter the program recruiter (Jed Rees) who leaves Wilson in the hands of Francis Freeman a.k.a. Ajax (the perfectly villainous Ed Skrein who hates to be called Francis – sorry Mom and Dad) and “angrier Rosie O’Donnell” Angel Dust (Gina Carano). Wilson just can’t hold back the foul-mouthed affronts so he’s subjected to the worst torture imaginable; the end result is a superhuman healing factor (he now can cure his own cancer among other things), superhuman strength, and anything but good looks. The entire rest of the film is his vain quest to get his Ryan Reynolds “Sexiest Man Alive!” face back (People’s cover even made an appearance) and maybe the girl. In the meantime, let’s find 972 different ways to gruesomely maim and kill anyone who gets in our way.
In addition to Reynold’s spot-on delivery, there was a good deal of comic back-up: take Weasel (T.J. Miller) who had some especially great ad-libs when describing Wilson’s gruesome transformation (something about avocadoes and sex). Miller seemed toned-down from his alter-ego, stand-up persona; namely I reference some of his extremely inappropriate rantings at Comic Con (find the video and you’ll know what I mean). While in search of the bad guys, Deadpool scored some entertaining (and free) transportation with cab driver Dopinder (Karan Soni) and in return offered some him unfortunate advice about love. X-Men crime fighters Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) were hilarious and the bratty sibling-like relationship between Deadpool and NTW reminded me of my own children at times. And lest I forget the scene-stealing Blind Al (yes, she can’t see) played to the hilt by the brilliant actress/songstress Leslie Uggams. With Al as his roommate, Wilson’s met his match.
Deadpool also was rife with some fabulous “Easter Eggs” – tons of pop-culture references, including many to Hugh Jackman/Wolverine and the X-Men franchise, Star Wars, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 127 Hours, Honey Boo Boo, and more. And Deadpool’s constant breaking of the fourth-wall was pretty darn amusing. In truth, one of my major disappointments was the missing No Doubt song “Hollaback Girl” that had been in the so-called “leaked” test footage which was replaced by “Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa in the film.
Overall, Deadpool was a crisp mash-up of snark and badass and surely not for the young’uns – crude, bloody, and pretty damn hysterical in a totally adult-humor kind of way. I must say I am looking forward to the next installment and to see what other nonsense Marvel and Reynolds can deliver. But please bring back B-A-N-A-N-A-S, just for me, okay?