2016 / Director. Tim Miller.
Review by Jarret Gahan.
Shortly after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, petty criminal and standover man, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is visited by a mysterious man who promises not just remission but complete recovery from said disease in exchange for Wade's service with his organisation. The treatment however does come with consequences, one being heightened powers comparable to those of a superhero and the second undisclosed to him, physical deformation. Unfortunately for Wade, he only learns this and the genuine nature of the organisation's intentions for him once it's too late. Driven by the passion to be reunited with his one true love, Wade sets about finding the people who made him what he has become to restore him to what he once was or otherwise suffer a grizzly fate.
DEADPOOL, the film like its source material is a slight divergent from the Marvel universe that Disney has recently shaped, in that its attitude toward violence is more of excess, style and above all humour. Whilst the comic book was forced to tone down its onscreen violence due to its wide readership, the brush and canvas are out with the feature-film as it earns it's MA15+ with generous and consistent strokes of crimson, a freeway beheading proving a particular standout. Likewise with the profanity, gone is the @#$&! of the comic, replaced by bona fide obscenities and whom better to deliver that dialogue than the silver tongued devil himself, Reynolds as the merc with a mouth.
Despite a tumultuous filmography of comic adaptation misfires (The Green Lantern, R.I.P.D., Blade Trinity), Reynolds shines as Deadpool with the right balance of brawn, intellect and charisma to deliver both deadly blows and hilarious quips while always remaining affable to the viewing audience. On that note the film stays faithful to its source with Deadpool regularly breaking the fourth wall to directly address the audience and better still often with intertextual wisecracks, one pertaining to the cheapness of the film's financing studio, 20th Century Fox gaining huge laughs.
Humour is paramount to DEADPOOL, from the aforementioned to its jocular opening title sequence to the insult-ridden interplay between barman Weasel (T.J. Miller) and Wade/Deadpool to the wit against grit one-liners dispatched by Deadpool, the film remains funny as it does action-packed from start through finale.
As a film, DEADPOOL does feel a little reminiscent of KICK-ASS in terms of tone and to a lesser degree style but that's not necessarily a bad thing, in fact its welcomed as it offers contrast to Disney's Marvel universe and may prove to engage viewers who regularly dismiss superhero films as children's fare or fanboy fantasy.
Like Reynold's performance, DEADPOOL is a skilled symmetry, proportionate in plot as it is in design.