Not anytime in the future, but eventually, and I’m talking way down the line here, audiences will tire of the superhero movie. Most of us are familiar with the template: “Iron Man”. The classic: “The Dark Knight”. And the outlier: “The Guardians of the Galaxy”. The best way studios who own these comic book properties can keep us from fitting them all into one kind of box or another is to be bold and attempt to try something new and fresh. There have been comic book movies in the past that have crossed the rated ‘R’ line to show the darker side of heroes, like the Blade films and “300”, the latest film to enter that realm is fan favorite, the merc with a mouth: Deadpool.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a wise-craking mercenary with a heart, he takes jobs that help the little guy or gal. When he meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) they are the best kind of crazy pair, they like self-deprecating humor and lots of weird sex. When they are thrown a curve ball, it causes Wade to take drastic measures that turn him into a deformed version of himself with a healing factor that may or may not come from the leftovers of the guys who helped create X-Man Wolverine. With revenge on his mind Wade, now Deadpool is on a mission to get his man, and his girl and most of all his looks back.
That’s kind of it when it comes to “Deadpool” there is no world saving mission, no bigger picture to consider, it’s all personal revenge and rescue that is littered with bullets, bad language, and enough wacky violence to fill ten Looney Tunes cartoons. Reynolds as Deadpool is without a doubt the most rated ‘R’ character ever, and as you’re likely to hear, there is no one else who could have played this role. I believed it when he played the same character in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” back in 2009, he is perfect for this fast-talking-sword-wielding-slightly-psycho anti-hero. One of the ways Deadpool is original is the fact that he knows he’s in a comic book, which transitions well here as he knows that he’s in a movie. The jokes are clever and hit you with a rapid-fire pace that matches the violence, in a nice trim 1hr and 48min running time. Nothing drags as the movie jumps from flashback to present, to a flashback within a flashback that never leaves you confused, only laughing and grinning the entire time.
There was certainly a huge risk on the part of 20th Century Fox to have this one blow up in their face. After all, this is the studio that gave us the most recent Fantastic Four, a David Hasselhoff Nick Fury, and the afore mentioned “Origins”. Director Tim Miller nails the tone of the comic and the character who loves breaking bones as much as he loves breaking the fourth wall and does very little to make itself look dumb. This is pure adult fun, and I mean adult, there is a reason “Deadpool” is rated ‘R’, it earns it in its sex talk, F-bombs, gory deaths, and an extensive sex scene that while really funny, is in no way made for the kids who may like the comics. It also takes a page from the Guardians of the Galaxy cookbook by blending catchy music with its many action sequences.
I hope this ushers in a whole new sub-genre in the barrage of comic book movies, something that is not for kids, but for the adults who grew up reading these funny books and enjoy the occasional dip in the ultra hyper-stylized action hero ‘pool’, even if it does begin with ‘dead’.
–Robert L. Castillo