Now I may be the nerd consultant around here, but I don’t read everything that Marvel brings out so you will forgive me if some of my knowledge of Deadpool isn’t the best in the world, but I do have a basic knowledge of the characters and I do enjoy the character, I just don’t tend to read his series for some reason, though I have been reading a few Deadpool comics in preparation for the film, plus I am getting somewhat up to date with the character because he is appearing in Uncanny Avengers at this point in time. That being said though, I was really excited that a Deadpool movie was on the cards, and I was even quite happy with Ryan Reynolds being cast in the role despite the fact that there is a running gag that ‘if Ryan Reynolds is in a movie based on a comic it will suck’ as proved by such brilliant cinematic bombs such as X-Men Origins Wolverine, RIPD, Blade Trinity and who can forget Green Lantern.
Now Ryan Reynolds has been very passionate about this project and has wanted to get it in to the works ever since X-Men Origins Wolverine where he played the same character and the film completely screwed it up. Yes, here’s an idea, take one of the biggest characters known for mouthing off and spouting one liners and make him mute!! He has also been putting a lot of his own money behind the film as well as his own time and merit, but despite that the film had failed to be picked up for years and years, it took some of the footage leaking on line to actually get the studio to green light the film. This is despite the fact that we are living in an age where comic movies are some of the biggest blockbuster draws of any year.
The film is directed by Tim Miller, no relation to the famous comic writer Frank Miller, who is making his feature directorial debut having only previously written and directed short films. The screenplay itself has been written by the team behind the movie Zombie Land and that film was actually alright, I wouldn’t go nuts over it because I think you could do better Zombie based comedies, like Shaun of the Dead, but still. This film has gained a lot of controversy in the States by the fact that this is the first R rated Superhero Movie, which I believe has been reduced to a 15 in the UK thanks to the relaxed British Censorship. With all that being said, would the merc with the mouth that loves chimichangas be finally getting a decent adaptation on a cinema screen? I went down to my local cinema screen to find out.
Wade Wilson (played by Ryan Reynolds) is dying of terminal cancer. In order to have any chance of survival and to get back to his girlfriend Vanessa (played by Morena Baccarin) he seeks out help from a mysterious organisation that can not only cure him of his cancer, but turn him into a Superhero, led by the villainous Ajax (played by Ed Skrein). There is just one problem, they’re aiming to turn him into a super slave and they will destroy most of his body in order to do so. He inexplicably gains the ability to be un-vulnerable to harm and breaks out, vowing revenge on Ajax and seeking him out in order to change him back. If your have read Deadpool comics, you know what to expect here, lots of fourth wall humour, lots of over the top violence and a hell of a lot of one liners and gore! This film only really stood a chance being R rated and that is probably one of the film’s biggest strengths, it’s R rated so it’s allowed to go all out and tell a proper Deadpool story. Deadpool is not as familiar in the popular consciousness as say Spiderman or Batman so I am glad that this film went into his origin and it does it very well. The film starts out with Ryan already in costume before it flashes backwards and forwards into its origin story and what is going on at the present moment. Luckily it doesn’t do this too often like in a film like Batman Begins or even worse Man of Steel so the coherence of the plot is still intact. We know who we are following and we are allowed to follow it well. The other strength to this film is it is a really good Deadpool story. This film nails it almost to a T and that is down to the fantastic writing as well as the fact that Ryan Reynolds seems to have really put his heart into this film. There are a couple of really interesting ideas around here but this mainly is a straight up translation of the comics. It almost feels like one of those fan films you see online like Batman City of Scars, or Street Fighter Assassins Fist, except this one managed to get a Hollywood budget. But even then, this film still seems to have some budget issues which even the film makes a couple of jokes about on occasions. I don’t want to go into too much details about the jokes because I think this is one of those films you really have to experience, but trust me when I say, they don’t put all the best jokes in the trailer, and the other factor is that this is really fun.
I don’t read many Deadpool comics but I’m starting to think I am missing out a bit because this film was a great deal of fun. That is especially down to the fact that it is very funny and after sitting in a cinema and watching a film like ‘Dirty Grandpa’ which had such awful humour and yet people still laughed at it, and to have a cinema laughing at what were genuinely funny jokes was really heart warming for me. It gave me some evidence that mankind isn’t completely doomed!! This is very R rated humour, so expect the jokes to be rather vulgar. The difference between this and a lot of R rated comedies that don’t get it right is that the jokes are genuinely well written and the characters are rather endearing, so the jokes feel better delivered. It’s not for everyone, the humour gets rather dark on occasions and while I do believe it could have almost universal appeal, this is not the Superhero film to take your kids to. This is a very adult Superhero movie.
One of its biggest strengths is that it is not set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While I wouldn’t object to Deadpool being introduced to the MCU, my biggest problem with Deadpool as a character is the fact that he is in the Marvel Universe and he does rather stick out. I know there are a few characters in the Marvel Universe who don’t quite match the mould and feel rather out of place in it, like for example, The Punisher, but Deadpool’s powers, especially his ability to break the 4th Wall seems to almost clash with everything that is going on. That’s not to say that this film seems to shy away from the Universe as a whole, the film makes it very clear that it is tied in with the X Men characters and that Deadpool comes from that stable of books, though we only see 2 X Men in the actual film, Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, seriously that is her name, played by Stefan Kapicic and Brianna Hildebrand respectively, but don’t expect to see any more X Men in this film, again which led to one of the best jokes in the entire movie.
Despite the fact that this films feels like a one man show for Ryan Reynolds, some of the other characters do get some funny lines in, especially T J Miller who is now 2 for 2 with good comic movies between this and Big Hero 6 and unlike that movie he is a lot more enjoyable this time around, playing Weasel. As usual for Deadpool stories, the villain basically acts to be a straight man for Deadpool and Ajax is an excellent straight man, although I wouldn’t go as far as to say he is an excellent villain. We never really find out what he is up to throughout the entire film, he never fully gets to develop any sort of villain plan or plot and eventually it just boils down to him wanting to defeat Deadpool, he feels rather wasted potential and seems almost like he is an evil for evils sake villain, which granted we haven’t seen in a while, but it doesn’t feel very modern or progressive. The other example is love interest, Vanessa who has shown that she can stand up for herself and be an excellent character in her own right at the beginning of the film, but then disappears entirely during the middle act and barely shows up in the final act and even then she seems to just exist to be the love interest. She feels like a wasted character and I thought they might be going down the route of making her Domino at one point, however, like many of the other Deadpool exclusive characters, Domino isn’t in the movie. However, I do suspect they may be saving her and the rest of the cast for a sequel. The problem is though, I just wish they had done more with the character and I also would say the same for Negasonic Teenage Warhead, who really doesn’t get that much to do at all or even many lines, despite the fact she is at least a decently written character. Granted, I have no idea about her despite the fact that I read a lot of the X Men comics and judging by the profile of the character on IMBD I suspect she may have been invented for the film. Colossus on the other hand seems slightly out of character, but again, change is not necessarily a bad thing in an adaptation and he works as an interesting counter to Deadpool’s attitude.
The film knows how to keep your attention very well and has a very good coherent plot, mainly around Deadpool tracking Ajax and his henchmen and eliminating the group for revenge, but it is played very fast and very loose. In fact the film feels very short by the end of it. It does come in at just over 1 hour and 40 minutes, but I couldn’t help but feel that this film was missing a few scenes, and there appears to be some lines that turn up in the trailer that didn’t make it into the final cut which makes me suspect that there are a few scenes missing from the film, and while I would recommend seeing this film in the cinema because it’s really funny, I would also recommend getting it on DVD as I suspect it will be coming with an extended cut. If that does come out with one I may comment on it. Now I complain a lot that a lot of films are way too long and add a lot of unnecessary scenes that just exist to pad out the running time, but I did feel that this film could have gone on a bit longer. People could make the argument that the film is paced very well and the scenes that are left in do a decent job. I also think that jokes where Deadpool breaks the 4th Wall might be a bit annoying to some people, I personally found it really funny, but I can definitely see where it could grind some people the wrong way and I would also give a word or warning, the humour is really dark and vulgar at times, but I actually kind of like it because it is at least well written, and I have already explained what the difference is between films like The Hangover, Dirty Grandpa and Entourage compared to films like this. The humour also does demand that your are familiar with Superhero movies, particularly the X Men and The Avengers movies and I suspect there are a few people who don’t watch too many Superhero movies will feel slightly alienated. In short, the plot is actually pretty damn good, it does its job very well, there are a couple of hiccups but it does tell a very funny and unique story well. It’s a bit short, but I was very entertained by it and while it’s not the greatest writing in the world, it still does a good job and brings these characters to life and actually makes you feel like a film made by genuine fans that just wanted to bring their vision of the character to life.
The actors. Finally Ryan Reynolds is in a comic movie that doesn’t suck and he is given the leading role that he very much deserves because he clearly has wanted to be in a good Superhero movie for a while. He is perfect in the role and it’s another amazing mould of character and actor, on a par with Robert Downey Jr as Tony Start and Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow. Ed Skrein gets another chance to shine in this film and while he does reprise a lot of his acting skills from The Transporter Refuelled, this time he is given much better writing and direction so he works a lot better. One of the break out actors should be Karan Soni who does an excellent job as taxi driver Dopinder who serves to drive Deadpool to his jobs at the beginning and end of the film and gets a really funny sub plot. I liked Stefan Kopicic as Colossus and despite the fact she isn’t given much to do Brianna Hildebrand is pretty good. I would say that T J Miller was actually rather decent in this role and despite the fact that she is kind of reduced in her role at the end of the film Morena Baccarin does a damn good job playing Vanessa. I also liked Gina Carano as Angel Dust who makes an excellent henchman to Ajax. Did I forget to mention that Greg LaScalle is excellent as the physical performer of Colossus, also Deadpool’s blind roommate played by Leslie Uggams who does a good job playing the cocaine addicted surrogate mother of Deadpool, and of course, it’s a Marvel movie that doesn’t suck so Stan Lee makes a cameo in the film and it’s one of his best cameos to date, not quite on the level of his cameo in Amazing Spiderman, Captain America The Winter Solder or Avengers Age of Ultron, but still very good. All are well picked out cast who do their jobs very well.
If there is one department in this film that really needs to be really praised, it’s the effects department. They did a fantastic job on the make up and the visual effects of the film. The film seems like a good mix of CGI and practical effects and the fight scenes have some amazing choreography that really suits Deadpool’s style and actions. I’m not too keen on a lot of Superhero re-designs, and granted it does appear to have gone down a bit in recent memory, but you do occasionally feel it. The Deadpool movie, however, has absolutely no changes to the costume. The costume is exactly the same as it is in the comic and it is fantastic. It never looks at any time like Ryan is confined by the costume and the fact he has to wear it along with the heavy make up to show the effects of the treatment he has received is a real commendment to him as well. The CGI almost seems rather seamless, although I do admit Colossus does look very computer generated.
I would also like to point out that the film does not flinch on its gore front, it goes all out with it and some of the practical effects were also excellent and I would say there are a few points in the film that will make you wince, not in a good way. I also think that people will get a kick out of the films eclectic sound track, especially the older viewers of the film that will be impressed by a lot of the 70s and 80s heavy soundtrack, although I don’t think this will have the same nostalgia trip as The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack did. Is there a major negative to Deadpool? The only one I haven’t really mentioned is the fact that Deadpool’s main power is that he is un-vulnerable and this means we never feel like Deadpool is in any sort of peril. It’s not will he win, it’s he will win! Because there is nothing these guys can do to kill him, he’s basically an even tougher version of Wolverine, but even Wolverine isn’t immortal, again, another thing the film actually does make a joke about. However, that does not hold back this film too much because I really liked it.
Deadpool is a truly great comic film, it sets a very high standard for all the up coming comic Superhero movies coming out this year. It’s very funny, very well acted, very well written and the action scenes and the practical effects are pretty damn good. It’s a bit short on it’s plot, but it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome and while this film won’t convert anyone to Deadpool who wasn’t there in the first place it’s a treat for any fans that have waited to see this film made, with all the vulgarity, swearing and 4th Wall being well and truly broken. Finally Ryan Reynolds gets the good comic movie that he deserves. There is a couple of issues with it, but there weren’t enough to sink the movie for me and I would really recommend seeing it at the cinema because there is a lot to marvel about it. It’s not the greatest Superhero ever made, but it’s a damn good one and a very funny one at that which kept me laughing from start to finish and if this is an omen for the year to come, bring on Batman V Superman, and Captain America Civil War already.
Go and see this one in the cinema, but I would also recommend if you are one of the people that wait for it to come out on DVD you might well be within your right because I suspect there will be an extended cut, but I would say, don’t take my word for that and go and see it at the cinema anyway because I can’t guarantee that. A sequel is already in talks which feels rather premature considering that this film hasn’t been a success and I suspect it’s probably going to be beaten in the box office this month in the UK by Dad’s Army, but I would definitely welcome a sequel to expand upon this film, but it’s still good in it’s own right.
“So what are your thoughts on Deadpool. Did you agree with me?”
Please leave a comment, I welcome all opinions. Remember you can follow me on Twitter to get my thoughts on films I am seeing outside of the reviews for the Axia Film Society. Well this was going to be the point where I would mention that my next review would be Batman Bad Blood, however, I haven’t been able to procure a copy of it on DVD in time for this week and iTunes are still telling me that while I technically have a pre-order, they are not giving me a release date for their version of the film. While I am certain that the film is coming out in the UK, I do have an import copy coming in so hopefully I will get round to reviewing that in a couple of weeks. But that is not a guarantee, I might skip this one and move on to Justice League Vs Teen Titans, or review both of them together as one review like I did with “Attack on Titan”. I’m not making any guarantees yet, but since I haven’t got anything to review I am just going to go ahead and review the latest live action film from Disney ‘The Finest Hours’ and that review will be on the website on 26th Febuary.
Thanks for reading my review, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Calvin – Nerd ConsultantShare This Post: