ByRob Taylor, writer at
Rob Taylor

Well that's how the subject of this article would introduce it anyway!

Since the first wave of "modern" Superhero flicks began to land with X-Men and Spiderman back at the turn of the century, they have become nothing short of a juggernaut (bitch), steamrollering Hollywood competition much like Vinnie Jones' did our love of Cain Marko as a serious villain.

First movies were "kid friendly" but with a splash of darkness. Raimi's Spiderman 2 was a perfect blend of studio sponsored toy commercial and nods to its director's best known horror work. X-Men United/2 had a strong mix of action and subtext, Bobby Drake's chat with his parents being a classic example of using the Mutant "problem" as a metaphor.

Then things went totally dark thanks to Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger before going full circle into the team up event pictures we are going to see in the next month or two... spectacle, mixed with darkness, mixed with toy commercial and social commentary.

The one area no studio dared go to was a balls to the wall, violent costumed character, one whose violence had real consequences that you see, rather than the untold but unseen casualties of Man of Steel or the "subhuman" fodder that Blade would dispatch. Indeed, the most shocking act of violence in any superhero movie until now was X2's cold blooded, yet oddly bloodless, soundless and gritless murder of a grunt by Wolverine, stabbing him through a fridge. It was a "wow" moment, but there was no real impact.

Our salvation has arrived however. Ever since the ill fated Wolverine:Origins appearance, fans have rued the wasted opportunity of Wade Wilson and his Merc with a Mouth alter-ego Deadpool. Here was a guy people could like, could be violent, funny and get away with it because of his unique backstory and "power" of knowing he's fictional.

When Reynolds appeared in a leaked sizzle reel, made to tempt the studios the fans literally lost their minds at the possibilities and it's here that we meet Deadpool in his real outing. The sequence plays out a little differently, but it sets the tone perfectly, from the ultra meta credits to the introduction of the first of many friends Deadpool brings along for the ride, Dolpinder is a great character and it's soon apparent that despite the ultraviolence, 4th wall breaking and snark in the movie, the characters are very well written, except one... but we'll get to that.

Going forward there are spoilers, but you know that from the title... if you're still here and moan, Deadpool will go to your house and visit your litter box. Leave now if you don't want to know...

The films great strength is Reynolds as Wade Wilson. While there is a lot of humor around him, he is clearly a messed up guy when we meet him, but has a yearning to do something better, he just has no clue what. So he spends his time fucking with people, until he meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and after the funniest sex scene since Team America we find that Wade is ready to move on with his life, when life decides it's time for him to move on.

Reynolds nails this part of the movie harder than he seems to Baccarin, for a guy who isn't known for serious work he gets the emotions and gallows humor right. You get every decision he makes, and when he is at his lowest ebb you can see the pain and regret. It's around here we meet our villains properly, Ajax played by Ed Skrien and Angel, a very hot Gina Carano. While their powers are relatively formulaic, their attitudes are not. Ajax is as nihlistic and sarcastic as Wilson, while Angel Dust is the strongest female villain you will meet in any of these type movies, physically and mentally. THIS is what Captain Phasma was meant to be like!

Soon enough the die is cast and Wade has his cure and his curse and Deadpool is born. There is a fun riff on the origin story trope and moving the action backwards and forwards really works for this character, at times he seems a bit of an unreliable narrator but as he's the only one who can "see us" then it works.

Rounding out the group are 2 X-Men... Teenage Negasonic Warhead and Colossus. While there are several digs at Fox over this glaring omission and Warhead being more than good as a character, it's Colossus that is the only real own goal the movie makes. Re-cast as a pure CGI character, with a thicker Russian accent than Daniel Cudmore's version had it, he has more to do than in any movie yet... but the only way to see it as remotely a success is as a parody of the old He-Man style "moral of the day" at the end of each episode. It feels like most of his dialogue was written for Charles Xavier but the studio balked at letting them use McAvoy or Stewart. Colossus also seems seriously underpowered for much of the film, so it's a big disappointment and personally, I feel nothing that Cudmore couldn't have done better (complete with B-list X-Man gags) in the part.

The action rattles along at a pleasing pace, with TJ Miller's Weasel and Wade's Stick parody land-lady rounding out the "team", the movie doesn't outstay its welcome in terms of gore and sick humor and big bonus points are deserved for not letting Baccarin become "just a damsel in distress", although she nearly does, she keeps her attitude, sass and downright sexiness throughout. If you loved her in Gotham, you'll probably need a little unicorn time after seeing her in this.

All told, Deadpool is a great romp, made by people who love the character and what he stands for. It's the part Ryan Reynolds was born to play and the ensemble as a whole works well to pull off what could have been a disaster.

Here in lies the biggest shame about the movie though. It is clear that the studio didn't quite believe in it enough, that they even after green lighting it didn't expect it to catch on as it seems to have with the general public. Till the full opening weekend numbers come out it's hard to say, but this certainly isn't gonna tank the way Fantastic Four did.

With hindsight, they almost would have done better by not making Fantastic Four until AFTER Deadpool, or even introducing THEM in this movie, using that now wasted budget to make Deadpool a bigger, more balls to the wall movie than it is. It's easy to promise it all in the sequel, but that's very Deadpool 2: The Search For More Box Office.

Yes you need to stay to the end of the credits and no it's not what you think it's gonna be... I was the first to howl with laughter in my showing cos I knew where it was going, all I can say is don't leave the theatre thinking you didn't see anything good today.

So there you have it, overall a solid 8 movie... could have been better with more faith and budget from the studio but it's proven that a foul mouthed, uber violent, avacado headed anti-hero with a self abuse problem CAN front a movie!


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