MOVIE REVIEW: Deadpool | FanboysInc

MOVIE REVIEW: Deadpool

By Jason Pickup

MOVIE REVIEW: Deadpool

Usually I preface any movie review with a blurb about how this post might contain spoilers. That’s kind of unnecessary here. Oh sure, there are plenty of balls in the movie but none of them are of the curving variety. A former special forces guy falls in love, gets cancer, signs up for a super secret program to get rid of the cancer, becomes a superhero after being tortured, and decided to go after the jerk responsible, the jerk kidnaps the love interest and a big climactic final battle happens on top of an aircraft carrier. What they promise you in the trailer is exactly what you watch, and therein lies a bit of Deadpool‘s problem.

I liked Deadpool, I didn’t love it. I blame this mostly on the marketing. It is no secret we’re lucky to have gotten this movie; the test footage was never supposed to see the light of day. Thankfully due to internet shenanigans and an enormous groundswell, that test footage and internet hype earned a green light for the movie. I don’t think Deadpool ever really got Fox’s confidence and the resulting marketing campaign ranged from absolutely hysterical (see the Empire and Australia Day promos for the best examples) to pretty much giving away some of the best parts of the movie, like the highway bloodbath and Weasel’s multiple descriptions of how horrible Wade looks unmasked. You have to identify yourself as something different from the other comic book movies, but you shouldn’t attempt to do that at the expense of giving away the goods for free.

MOVIE REVIEW: Deadpool

Now that we’ve gotten that off our chests we can sit back and savor the finer points of Deadpool. First and foremost we should enjoy the meaty goodness that is a hard R-Rated superhero movie. I know Deadpool isn’t the first, hell, it’s not even the 12th R-Rated superhero movie, it’s not even the first time Marvel has given the thumbs up to a R-Rated super hero movie. However in the era of Disney-owned Marvel where marketing their cash cow movie juggernauts to children is a yearly occurrence, Deadpool feels a bit naughty, and rightfully so.  Deadpool doesn’t pull any punches, across the board. People get cut into tiny bits over and over and over, Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin leave little to nothing left to the imagination and there are enough curse words to make the cast of Deadwood blush. Its delightful in comparison to the PG-13 X-title where a certain mutant with unbreakable claws seems to leave all his foes in one piece and gets to let out one half-hearted ‘fuck’ per movie. Also coming from FOX, who has dropped the ball on more than one Marvel franchise putting out something Dis-vel wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole and having a fair amount of hype surrounding the release has to feel good to them.

Deadpool takes somewhere between 45 seconds and 6 minutes to break the 4th wall depending on if you if you include the opening credit sequence (more on that in a moment) or consider the flicking of gum onto the camera to be a break in the wall. I can’t fathom how hard it was to find the right line of how much wall breaking should occur, but whomever is responsible deserves a gold star for getting it close to right. There is enough there to remind you that Deadpool is still the only guy in the universe who understands he’s not really real without slowing the movie down to have him stop and talk to us every 20 seconds. The in-jokes start roughly three seconds into the opening credits and within a few seconds they’ve already skewered the entire cast, the creator of Deadpool, Rob Liefeld, and the Green Lantern movie. That’s literally all within the first minute of the film and it picks up steam after that. From there we’re treated to pot shots at real celebrities like Liam Neeson, Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds, repeated complaints at both Wolverine: Origins and Green Lantern, questioning which version of Professor X is in this timeline (McAvoy or Stewart) and some questioning of why the budget only allowed for two X-Men? I’m sure there are other digs in there as well, honestly, it needs a second viewing just because dialogue was missed from laughing so hard.

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The best compliment I can give the cast is that they look like they’re having fun. No one looks to be phoning it in, there’s no gratuitous chewing of scenery. You know what you’re getting into with Ryan Reynolds if you’ve seen any of his other films. Deadpool is Van Wilder or Hannibal King or Monty with a red mask on. Some may see it as a detriment but there’s a reason they cast him as the snarky wise-ass and it’s because he does it incredibly well; even without facial expressions it comes across on screen. The scenes between Reynolds and TJ Miller as Weasel are great and their banter back and forth makes me assume that the bonus disc on the DVD will contain some horrible, offensive, and hysterical outtakes. As nerds we’re all quite aware of Morena Baccarin but I think this is the first time we’ve gotten to see her spread her wings into comedy and she certain holds her own alongside Reynolds.

MOVIE REVIEW: Deadpool

I know I’ve been mostly positive about the movie but there are some things that may seem like nitpicking worth getting out in the open. First and foremost we go almost 2 hours of run time and we get exactly 1 chimichanga and 0 taco references? You manage to cram half a dozen references to Reynold’s other movies and you can’t have Wade and Vanessa sit down for a taco dinner? Heresy.  Negasonic Teenage Warhead, first off she’s named after an amazing Monster Magnet song so I’m going to try to be gentle here. In the comics NTW is a blink and you miss her character, she’s also a telepath in the comics and not Cannonball. The Deadpool-verse’s NTW is very much Cannonball from the comics in a snarkier, girlier package. She plays an interesting dynamic between Colossus as straight man and Deadpool as comic relief, but I kind of wish they would have skipped the power-swap just so they could use the name Negasonic Teenage Warhead for a throwaway joke.

If you’re wondering why the recurring joke between Deadpool and Vanessa sounded familiar, it’s based on an old Monty Python sketch. It’s not a direct nick, but it is pretty darn close. Also in the Python vein, the fight between Deadpool and Colossus plays very much like the Black Knight scene from Holy Grail. However if you’re going to borrow, you might as well borrow from the best. Speaking of Colossus, while having him in the film was lovely, and he was actually characterized correctly for once, he looks a little bit off. It’s no secret they weren’t exactly given a huge budget to run with, but there are scenes where Colossus’s anatomy is a bit perplexing as his neck and arms seem to eat other parts of his body.

Deadpool isn’t perfect, but its a great palette cleanser for the horror that was Wolverine: Origins and I’m happy Ryan Reynolds helped correct one of the greatest disservices to fans in comic cinema.

FBI Score: 8.5 of the 10 tacos. Deadpool is an almost 2-hour long sex joke, sandwiched between Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning” and Wham! “Careless Whisper”. If that doesn’t sell you on the movie, then I’m afraid I can’t help you. And as always, stay until the end of the credits for one final callback.

Jason Pickup

Jason just pawn in game of life.

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