Feb 15, 2016

[Movies] Deadpool (2016)

With the popularity of superhero movies over the past decade, one comment coffee table discussion has been about how tricky it would be to pull off a proper Deadpool movie. Even not considering the typical degree of violence in most Deadpool comics, trying to capture the humor and his totally meta way of breaking the fourth wall and addressing the reader, that's a lot to work into a script.

Our hopes for seeing a proper Deadpool on-screen were significantly diminished after the rather traumatic Wolverine Origins movie that capped things off with a Deadpool whose mouth had been sewn up entirely. So much for the Merc with a Mouth.

But one thing has led to another and now we have our Deadpool movie. Ryan Reynolds and the rest of the team decided to make up for, well, Ryan Reynolds as the other Deadpool and created a snarky, tongue-in-cheek sort of comedy that worked on so many levels. Plus at its core, it's actually a love story.

Synopsis: Deadpool is a 2016 American superhero movie directed by Tim Miller as based on the Marvel comic book character of the same name. The screenplay was written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

The movie starts with the big action sequence that had been initially leaked as test footage for the movie before it had been greenlit. This involves Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) in pursuit of a man named Francis. And as we go through this initial pursuit, we're also taken back further in this history to understand how Wade Wilson beca,e Deadpool and why the heck he's after Francis. Thus we learn of his mercenary past that didn't involve a mask followed by his whirlwind romance with an escort named Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). But of course it turns out he has cancer and only an experimental treatment promised to turn him into a superhero is his chance at life. Yet things don't go as hoped as it's actually a strange human weapons program that he barely escapes from. And thus he's now hellbent on finding the man who had done all this to him and who also potentially has the knowledge to restore him to something that looks a lot more human than he does now.

First, major props to the writers for crafting a story that may be low on plot complexity but is rich in witty dialog and well-crafted sight-gags that really push the comedy in this movie. Just the opening credits alone were wonderfully irreverent and immediately set the tone for the movie as a whole. Dredging up Ryan Reynolds' rather unfortunate history when it comes to super hero movies (Origins and of course Green Lantern) and ribbing those past movies rather directly with key Easter Eggs further pushed the fun in everything. So yeah good stuff.

I've been a longtime Ryan Reynolds fan since his 2 Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place days (which was well before he beefed up around the time of Blade Trinity. I don't know why I got into his steady banter that borders on sarcastic rambling, but it always worked for me. And when it comes to this movie, that sort of running commentary for events worked perfectly for the character, especially when he'd take the time to address us in the audience to make sure we were keeping up.

The director employed some classic movie techniques in order to tell this story in a more meaningful way. Sure, we could have had a straight-up linear narrative that starts with Wade Wilson and ends with Deadpool being Deadpool, but that would have left us with a very slow first act for the movie. Instead we jumped right into the action and we used the random flashbacks as a way to build the story but also further establish the quirky and chaotic way of thinking that drives Deadpool's head.

Action sequences were quite fun and sometimes bordered on b-movie gory in terms of violence. But that also worked out, especially once they brought in the two token X-Men characters to help round out the cast to act as contrast to Deadpool's willingness to kill in the name of whatever. But it never feels like they crossed a line or they pushed things too far - both action and humor retained that delicate balance in terms of how to make things work while staying true to the essence of Deadpool as a character.

Deadpool may not be your typical superhero movie or one that will appeal to all audiences but it is a very funny experience. And for folks who know Deadpool from the comics, this is probably as good as it gets in terms of bringing this character to life on the silver screen and we are all the better for it. Thus the movie gets a full 5 crazy meta fourth wall breaking moments out of a possible 5 because it's still hard to believe that this movie got made at all.


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