Deadpool (2016) – Film Review
Director: Tim Miller
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller
by Anel Blazevic
Deadpool is not your average superhero film. Firstly, Ryan Reynolds laces the title character with wit, irony and sarcasm. This instantly debunks the dated holier-than-thou protestations of Superman and his ilk. Secondly, there’s violence. Lots of it. With blood and gore. Thirdly, there’s sex, bad language, cancer, torture, death.
Plus, a bubbling-under disdain for every half-arsed superhero movie any of us have endured in the last ten years, especially, hilariously, Reynolds’s own abysmal The Green Lantern. All those times you’ve been wishing, hoping, for something just a little bit different and out-of-the-ordinary. Well, here it is.
It starts with Deadpool in a taxi cab (normal superheroes don’t take taxi rides, right?). The character is relaying his past to the driver and, in the process, instantly setting up the film. Then, in the manner of the original black-comic creation from 1991, it plunges headlong into a rampant revenge thriller, knocking down as many sacred cows as possible across a compelling 100-minutes.
“A welcome shot in the arm to the genre”
Action sequences are staggering, particularly an extraordinary slo-mo opening sequence. But it’s not perfect – I was kind of left cold by the first person direct to camera dialogue. It’s all well and good breaking down the fourth wall to bitch with the audience about lame superhero movies, but when it gets in the way of pacing and flow, it can be a clumsy device. And when the odd gag misfires it’s doubly-bad, simply because the set-up is so knowing and cocksure. Really, if you’re gonna be this in-yer-face irreverent, you can’t mess about with half-written jokes.
Superhero cameos are in full force, including one hilarious scene where The X-Men try to recruit Deadpool into their team, but he’s having none of it. And when a couple of X-Men try and convince Deadpool to meet with Professor X, he asks whether they mean James McAvoy or Patrick Stewart.
While not quite the reinvention of the superhero movie you might have expected from the hype (Deadpool does, despite everything, play out in a very familiar narrative arc), it is a welcome shot in the arm to the genre. And we’ll take Deadpool 2 over The Man of Steel any day.