Starring: Ryan Reynolds
Four out of five stars
Its been years in the making but fans of Marvel’s incendiary, foul-mouthed anti-hero superhero Deadpool are finally getting a film, and it’s the movie they’ve always wanted.
Ryan Reynolds plays Wade Wilson, a mercenary with a heart of mold. There’s nothing sentimental about him. He hangs out at a bar with other mercenaries and hit men, run by a guy named Weasel (T.J. Miller). Miller is the yin to Reynolds’… yin. They’re a ferocious comedy duo that must have supplied the editor with enough improvised material for a 10-episode series on Netflix. But I digress.
Weasel runs a “dead pool” – that is, a betting pool with odds on which one of his patrons is likely to die next. Weasel, a funny guy but a terrible person, bets on his best buddy when Wade learns he has terminal cancer. Then some shady organization offers Wade a cure. It works, but it disfigures him. That’s the bad news. The good news is he’s also developed incredible regenerative healing powers and strength. Meet Deadpool.
But before he becomes Deadpool, Wade meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), who shares his wit and values. Like Wade and Weasel, that makes her a terrible person, and a terribly entertaining character. Wade and Vanessa fall hard for each other and in the process we’re treated to a delightful and gut-bustingly funny montage of love scenes that, I’m guessing, took days to shoot.
Reynolds, as Deadpool, defies pretty much every superhero movie convention. He points out “superhero landings” made by characters, references the legal reason there aren’t more X-Men in the movie, constantly talks to the audience, and is self-deprecating in a way I’ve never seen before. And that’s just skimming the surface.
Ed Skrein, star of the recent "The Transporter Refueled," is in his element as the stereotypical British bad guy, while Leslie Uggams, as Blind Al, is the best superhero roommate any superhero movie has ever known.
There’s no doubt that fans are going to flip for Deadpool, but it’s not perfect. Reynolds and company get overzealous with breaking down the fourth wall and disparaging superhero movies, and realistically, it’s impossible to keep up the hilarious, breakneck pace the film establishes in the first 20 minutes.
Even so, groovy non-linear story-telling and Reynolds’ frenetic energy and comedic timing will keep the most superficial fans entertained. Deadpool is subversive fun and a likely blockbuster.
The characters appearing in “Deadpool” are owned by Marvel Entertainment, a division of Disney, the parent company of ABC News.