By Thomas Simpson
When a film is sentenced to Developmental Hell you can usually give up your dreams of ever seeing it on the big screen. As early as 2003, Ryan Reynolds expressed an interest in adapting Marvel Comic’s Deadpool for cinema however the project never got off the ground. He would get a chance to play the “merc with a mouth” in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and although Reynolds was praised for his performance, the final interpretation of the character was criticized and any talk of a spin-off was shelved.
Deadpool just wouldn’t die and in 2014 “someone” leaked director Tim Miller’s test footage of a motion captured Reynolds. This created huge demand for the film with fans demanding it be made. Just 24 hours later, it was green-lit. Now, in 2016, Deadpool has finally been released, but has it been worth the wait? Of course it has.
There has been much criticism regarding superhero films over saturation of the film market. Make no mistake, Deadpool may be a comic book movie but he is no superhero, at least not in the traditional sense. Tim Miller’s presents an R-rated foul mouthed mercenary whose penchant for wisecracks are only matched by his love of violence.
Wade Wilson (Reynolds) is a mercenary with a conscience and even bigger mouth. His life takes an unexpected turn when he meets and falls in love with Vanessa (Monica Baccarin). His happiness is short-lived when he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. A shadowy organization offers to cure his disease by mutating his cells and unleashing enhanced healing powers. Unfortunately for Wilson the procedure leaves him horrifically scarred with his only hope for treatment in the hands of his new worst enemy Ajax (Ed Skrein). Cue the music.
Reynolds was born to play this part and it’s rewarding for all involved to see him finally fulfill his dream of squeezing into red spandex. He’s clearly having a ball in the role as he pokes fun at his own film career as well as a few friendly pot shots at Hugh Jackman.
Deadpool differs from other comic book characters that we are accustomed to in many ways, the most notable is that he is aware he is the fictional protagonist of his own movie. He often breaks the fourth wall and is hilarious in doing so. The technique is no mere gimmick with Miller inserting it seamlessly into scenes. This is a comedy masquerading as an action film yet it does both genres brilliantly thanks to the conduit in the red suit.
The plot is a little formulaic but the unpredictability of the meta universe created allows for a few surprises, found mostly in the witty dialogue. It’s a game changer, a term not used loosely as 20th Century Fox is already looking to make more R-rated superhero movies with reports that the third Wolverine film will be aimed at a maturer audience.
Deadpool doesn’t insult its audience, instead it invites us to laugh with it and enjoy it for what it should be. It’s exciting and thrilling but most of all it’s pure fun, even the opening credits are hilarious. Leave the kids at home for this one and treat yourself to some quality entertainment.
Thomas Simpson is a writer and filmmaker based in Glasgow, U.K. Find him on Twitter: @Simmy41.
Image, Fox Movies