Deadpool is supposed to be a game changer. In this new age of comic book movies where everything is supposed to be spun off into a franchise or larger connected universe, here we have an R rated character in an R rated movie who will also be a part of a larger cinematic universe, and even with the 4th wall-breaking and the splattering violence and constant cussing, Deadpool treads familiar territory in comparison to its peers in the genre, and instead of being the game changer it thinks it is, it's simply a good and often times funny movie. But it could have been more clever, and it could have pushed the boundaries of what we accept in these movies, but instead it's just a different hero in the same movie we've seen a hundred times before. But the good news? This hero is often times hilarious, which tends to make up for the lack of originality in terms of narrative.
Deadpool, portrayed by Ryan Reynolds who was born to play this character, is the merc with the mouth we all wanted ever since his blunder in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Here, where his mouth is not sewn shut (and yes, there were references to X-Men origins), the character talks a mile minute and tosses out joke after joke and never shuts up, which is what we all wanted. Reynolds is often times hilarious as the character, striking the perfect balance between annoyance and endearment, and in the end we come to root for this character who hasn't always been that great of a person.
When it comes to the character of Deadpool/Wade Wilson, the film knows exactly what the audience wants, and it delivers ten fold. However, it is in generally every other aspect of the film where the movie suffers. the narrative is generally unoriginal and very played out, even though they found a clever way of implementing the origin into the film, by having a fourth wall break so we could flash back to the merc with the mouth before he donned the red suit, back when he was just Wade Wilson, and even though there were some redeeming qualities of these flashbacks, such as the very heartfelt and emotional scene where Wade is essentially being tortured by the Weapon X program in order to activate his mutant gene, they simply slowed down the movie and we were waiting for it to cut back to the merc in present day.
In these flashbacks is where we meet Vanessa, played by Morena Baccarin, the love interest for Wade, and unfortunately that's all she is. Just like the rest of the side characters, she isn't given much depth or development. There is a scene when they first meet where she is a strong capable women, and then she is sidelined until the bad guys capture her which then angers Deadpool who must chase the bad guys. This character had such promise, but she was relegated to a damsel in distress and she wasn't given much to work with. Of course Baccarin was great with the material she was given, and really sold the performance, but the character itself was weakly developed and never given the chance to be anything more than a love interest. Which is a problem with the rest of the side characters as well, including the villain.
Weasel (T.J Miller), who is supposed to be Deadpool's best bud, shows up a couple time throughout the movie, says some funny stuff and then disappears until the next time they need him to be funny. His character was simple comedic relief in a movie filled with them. Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (awesome name) were simple side kicks who showed up, tried to get Wade to stop killing people and wanted him to join the X-Men, and then disappeared until the movie needed them again. Sure, they were cool but the script never gave them any true purpose. The cab driver Dopinder (Karan Soni), who popped up twice for extended scenes, had more character and felt like a more realized person than any of the other side characters in the film. The movie perfected Deadpool, but seemed to blunder the other characters (except the cab driver. he might have been the best character in the movie besides Deadpool).
That brings us to the villains, who again, felt like your generic cookie cutter villains. Nothing about them was fleshed out and they weren't even given much actual motivation. They were evil, and that's about it. Ed Skrein was charismatic as Ajax, but again, without any clear motivation or purpose, he was just an assembly line villain that the hero needed to fight. Angel Duster, played by Gina Carano who still can't act, was his side kick, and she was great in the fight scenes, but she also has the same exact expression on her face whenever she's on screen, and she was as wasted as Ajax. For a movie that's supposed to be innovative and invigorating, Deadpool fell into a lot of the same tropes as many other superhero movies. I'm just glad that they perfected the character of Deadpool, or else this would have been a lot worse.
Now, getting to the action, it was impeccably captured, with Deadpool talking trash as he slices and dices through the bad guys. It was brutal, violent, and as irreverent as the main hero. there was a fun and exciting flare to it, with the camera staying focused and steady, keeping the action tight and able to capture everything, Too much in action movies the director will implement shaky cam to either cover up the bad stunt work, or because they can't think of another way to keep it Pg-13. With this however, the stunt work was flawless. The one major flaw with the action however was that the movie opened up on a completely insane highway action sequence, and none of the other action set pieces were able to match up with it. Even the finale, which was a good scene, simply couldn't live up to what the film captured in its opening.
Overall, Deadpool as a character was perfectly captured with a pitch perfect performance from Reynolds, but the issues with the film popped up in nearly every other aspect of it. Instead of trying to be clever, the film opted to be crass and crude, which worked to an extent, but then when it fell into familiar territory it failed to give us an explanation as to why this was necessary. With a hero that breaks the fourth wall, it could have been a lot more clever and this film could have essentially been a spoof on superhero movies while also blazing its own trail as a new type of movie. But in the end, it was a very familiar movie with a very different type of hero, which was funny and worked, but all of the crassness didn't make up for the lackluster narrative and underdeveloped characters. However, now that they got the origin story out of he way, I believe they could really go all out and give us a much improved sequel, and I'm looking forward to it.