TWIM Reviews: Deadpool

DEADPOOL (Fox)

Dir. Tim Miller, Script. Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller

Plot: After his life is destroyed, Wade Wilson (Reynolds) becomes the alter-ego Deadpool in order to save his girlfriend.

It’s brilliant.

It’s absolutely goddamn brilliant.

Deadpool is a game-changer, there’s no other way to put it. This movie is going to have a lasting effect on Hollywood in the next few years, make no mistake. Deadpool represents proof – proof that you don’t have to make a blockbuster 12A to bring in crowds, proof that you don’t have to repeat the same tired formula that the MCU is beginning to suffer from, proof that (coming in at a modest $58m budget) you don’t have to put the GDP of a small European country into producing a comic book movie. I’m not kidding right now: in 100 years when people are looking at this superhero fad that’s been in high fashion for a decade or more now, it will be divided into pre and post-Deadpool. I genuinely believe that Deadpool is that important.

Deadpool 1DEADPOOL HAS FINALLY ARRIVED – HERE WE SEE MARVEL AND DC SHOT DOWN

So why am I raving about this movie? Well, for starters, it’s the funniest superhero movie ever made. Nothing even comes close to Deadpool for consistent laughter. This thing absolutely doesn’t stop – from the opening titles (which are so hilarious I physically didn’t stop laughing all the way through them, so much so I felt significant abdominal pain) to the end credits scene (no spoilers from me), Deadpool is a balls-to-the-wall, frighteningly funny film. Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have written something magnificent, almost transcendently hilarious – while I admit that the humour does mask quite a formulaic plot, I couldn’t bring myself to care.

Tim Miller, in his directorial debut (not a bad start, Mr. Miller), walks the line between the self-referential comedy and the serious action plot just right, and his visuals are not only clever, but very impressive – he makes Deadpool look like it was shot with double the budget. Miller’s pacing is FURIOUS: there’s barely a moment to breathe, not only from the very decent action sequences (and its killer soundtrack complimented by Junkie XL’s score), but from the constant laughter you won’t be able to hold back. The brilliance of Deadpool‘s comedy is that it’s not only hilarious in any context, but its packed to the brim with meta-references to comic book movies. Deadpool frequently breaks the fourth-wall, sometimes directly to camera and sometimes through subtext. The thing is, because the film is so outright hilarious, people who aren’t really into comic movies won’t mind missing out on subtext, but the people who are…you’re in for one hell of a treat. To hear Ryan Reynolds in that red suit, making references to the disasters of Green Lantern and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, is something of rare beauty to a nerd like me.

Deadpool 2RYAN REYNOLDS IS PERFECT IN THE ROLE OF DEADPOOL, IN A FILM HE’S TRIED TO MAKE FOR MORE THAN A DECADE

Talking of Reynolds, my god is he a perfect bit of casting. Before this, I felt like Reynolds doing Green Lantern was an error; now I feel like he was held hostage by Warner Bros. to make the thing. Reynolds is Deadpool – that’s probably the best way to put it. Once the film ends, you won’t be able to distinguish between the two. You’ll never be able to watch The Proposal the same way now. He completely embodies both Wade Wilson and Deadpool, he’s 100% investable, incredibly likeable and, needless to say, is unstoppably hilarious. Deadpool‘s been a passion project for Reynolds for more than a decade, and if you can find an actor that’s having more fun than he is this year than he is then you’re lying. He’s living a dream playing Wade Wilson, and if he’s this goddamn funny while he’s doing it, I’m not going to be the one to stop him.

Deadpool 4DEADPOOL’S SUPPORTING CAST IS TERRIFIC – NEWCOMER BRIANNA HILDEBRAND PLAYS NEGASONIC TEENAGE WARHEAD

The rest of his cast is more than competent as well: Morena Baccarin (if you ever watched Firefly, then you’re thinking what I’m thinking) is great as girlfriend Vanessa, who starts out as a dynamite hooker but unfortunately ends up inhabiting the damsel-in-distress role. I have to say, I do feel like Reese and Wernick’s script has a few flaws and this inconsistency might be its biggest. It’s villain is also a little weak – Ed Skrein plays him with the required sneering and Britishness, but the role doesn’t really have much to it. T.J. Miller frequently steals scenes as Wade’s friend Weasel, almost matching Reynolds for comic book brilliance. In the scenes they have together, it’s difficult to think of two actors who have a better rapport.

With all this stuff going on in Deadpool, it’s very easy to forget that this film is in Fox’s X-Men Universe as well: it’s the first of three pictures being released in the universe this year alone, being joined later in 2016 by X-Men: Apocalypse and (at the moment, although the word is this may move to next year) Gambit. As such, two X-Men appear in the form of Colossus (whose jokes sometimes don’t quite land with the same oomph) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played hilariously deadpan by Brianna Hildebrand in her feature film debut – while it’s hidden away, there’s definitely some stuff going on that sets Deadpool‘s character up for a lot of interesting new things in the X-Men Universe.

Deadpool 3DEADPOOL CHANGES THE GAME FOR COMIC-BOOK MOVIES, BREAKING BOX-OFFICE RECORDS GALORE ALONG THE WAY

I love Deadpool for that fact: it somehow manages to feel like its speaking to us as fans, like its one of us that somehow got through the cracks. And yet, while it satirises the comic book craze, its actively purporting it. It’s numbers don’t lie: as of writing this, Deadpool has taken $150m in its first four days in the USA, outpacing The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and every DC film ever made exempting The Dark Knight. While kicking the comic book genre directly in the balls, Deadpool has given it a shot in the arm – its made the genre exciting again. The effects of this will be long-lasting and interesting; after Deadpool, the only thing I have to say is: Your move, Disney and Warner Bros. Your move.

RATING: 3.5/4

James Stephenson

P.S. If you didn’t know, I have a Twitter account where you can find my ramblings – follow me @TWIM_Tweets!

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