Just a few nights ago, I got to see Fox’s Deadpool and here’s what I remember most vividly from that night: When I left the theatre, I didn’t get in my car right away, I didn’t stop and think about the film quietly to myself, or analyze it like I normally do, often in preparation for these kinds of reviews. No, you see, I was too excited to do that. Instead, I started calling and texting all of my immediate cinephile friends about the movie, and this included, but was not limited to, a 10 minute phone call to my Managing Editor here at GeekNation, Mark Reilly, at 10:00 at night, shouting into my phone about just how amped this movie had made me.
The problem with these kinds of reactions is, and I even realized this at the time, is that they are the most untrustworthy of reactions. I was worried that the next morning I would wake up and more and more flaws from the film would begin to appear in my mind, that my excitement was more of a chemical, than critical reaction. Luckily for myself and the friends of mine to whom I applauded the film’s quality to, that has not been the case. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
I’m just going to cut straight to it: Deadpool is in the simplest of terms – pure, unadulterated fun.
After years and years of struggling to get this movie made and show audiences what he can do as this character, properly for the first time, Ryan Reynolds has helped to create one of the most memorable onscreen comic book characters of all time with his Wade Wilson. Constantly snarky, self-referential, and almost always somewhat angry, I felt like I was finally seeing the Ryan Reynolds I knew was always there on the screen for the first time. This was the guy that I had wanted to see in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (which offers a masterclass in how not to adapt beloved characters) or even in Green Lantern, and here, with the momentum of this film’s promise behind his back, he has hit a home run.
Following the Merc with a Mouth from his days as an open-for-hire mercenary, to a dying cancer patient, then a lab rat experiment, and finally practically immortal mutant with a taste for vengeance, Deadpool manages to encompass practically every notable aspect of the iconic comic book character into its run time, which speeds along like a speeding bullet. Remember how the first half of Man of Steel was dominated by that interesting, non-linear storytelling structure? Yeah, imagine that on acid, plugged into an amplifier, and cranked to full volume. Wernick and Rheese have created the most refreshing superhero origin story since Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins here with their unique approach and unbridled passion. As the movie even applauds at one point, they might just be the real heroes here.
First time director Tim Miller directs the film with an equally palpable passion and devotion to this character though, rounding out this entire creative team as a group of people that not only love this character very much, but are also aware of what makes him work in the first place. Watching the film, you would never know that this was Miller’s first blockbuster film, let alone feature of any kind. He directs the film’s action like a Fast and Furious movie crossing over with those great hand-to-hand combat sequences from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. They are ridiculous and impressive at the same time, striking a perfect balance from the very first scene.
Morena Baccarin delivers on all fronts as Vanessa too, possibly the best superhero love interest we’ve seen in the genre yet, after finally being given the opportunity to show off her skills on a playing field suitable for her talents, which fans of hers have been more-than-aware of ever since her days on Joss Whedon’s Firefly. She is strong, while also loving, and does not let Wade off the hook for the bullshit he often pulls. Her ability to throw out complex Star Wars references is just icing on the cake.
Ed Skrein absolutely shine though as Ajax, the film’s main antagonist, who not only brutally mutates Wade beyond repair, but also kidnaps Vanessa in an attempt to face off against Deadpool one final time. He’s easily one of the best Marvel movie villains we’ve seen yet – Fox, Disney, Sony, or otherwise. He’s evil, but charming, and possibly even gives Tom Hiddleston’s Loki a run for his money in terms of cadence and watchability alone. For a movie that could have just been Deadpool fighting no names for two hours and nobody would have really minded all that much, the care to make each character strong should be applauded.
The film’s structure is almost poetic in its set up towards the climactic battle at the end, which lives up to the already breakneck hour and a half prior, in spectacular fashion as Wade is not only joined by Colossus (in the best film adaptation of the character yet), but also Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), who both have interesting and entertaining dynamics with Deadpool throughout the film. While they are busy dealing with countless lackeys and Angel (Gina Carano), a mutant with super-strength that walks around with matches in her mouth and clenched fists, Wade and Ajax face off in a dynamic and exhilarating final fight.
Now, Deadpool is not a perfect movie. I’ll say that right now, although I think few comic book films are. There will be people who will loathe this movie, this character, and its bizarre filth and humor. In their defense, they won’t be wrong by disliking it either, because they just might not connect with the Merc with a Mouth, and that’s fine. This movie was not made for those people though, it was made for those of you out there that have been wishing for a suitable Deadpool movie your whole lives.
This is made for the fans, and it honors them and this character in ways that few other comic book adaptations ever have, and maybe ever will. I won’t spoil too much, but from the opening credits of the film alone, any of your worries or concerns will be laid to rest through such a grand and spectacular opening sequence that I still don’t quite believe Fox or the filmmakers themselves had the balls to begin their movie like that. Although, I guess the same can be said for the entire film.
Deadpool is set to hit theatres on February 12th.
Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.
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