There is no doubt that comic book films are coming back are over saturating the cinemas. The public is starting to cry out against this. But then something like “Deadpool” comes along. This is going to usher in a new era of R rated comic book films. The studio position is that PG13 films are the best sell and marketable to a huge mass. Fox took a gamble and didn’t steer away from the “Merc with a Mouth”.
And what a foul and hilarious mouth it is. The plot reads like a by the numbers action picture, based on a comic book character, but that is just the surface. The script for this film is very well written and that foundation lets the audience in on the journey. This movie is fun. Remember when R rated comedies were fun? The jokes are well written, and every character is given ample time to shine.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes changes when the evil Ajax (Ed Skrein) tortures and transforms him into the titular character. The rogue experiment leaves Deadpool with accelerated healing powers and a twisted sense of humor. With help from mutant allies Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), Deadpool uses his superhuman abilities to track down the man who destroyed his life.
Right from the start, the opening credits are very self referential, and the first time the character breaks the fourth wall, and directly addresses the audience, it is comedy gold. Ryan Reynolds, still smarting from his Green Lantern fiasco, and ironically, his last attempt at Deadpool in Xmen: Origins Wolverine, is in top form, and perfectly captures the role.
In a way, it’s a reboot, yet within the film, an action figure from that train wreck of a film is shown. It’s very meta and something that one sees in the comics quite a bit. The character is very popular and this film will certainly bring new fans to the mix.
Two Xmen make very welcome cameos. Warhead appearing with Colossus is a highlight of the film. I personally have always been a fan of armored characters, and my own “Iron Detective” was influenced by Colossus, who has the ability to transform his body into “organic steel” granting him superhuman strength, stamina and durability. With a character like that in the film, he is given a nice cameo along with Warhead. Who wouldn’t want to see him in a full on fight? In fact, I would love to see a spinoff with Colossus and Warhead being the featured characters.
The Xmen franchise is very present in this film, and it essentially is the studio attempting to build a shared universe. Wolverine is referenced and appears in the film, although, not in the way one would expect.
As for the R rating, the film doesn’t pull any punches. People are shot, mutilated and dismembered with an almost video game like sensibility. There is ample sexuality in the film, including a sex scene, raunchy humor, and a strip club scene. “Deadpoo”l is a film for grownups, and a PG13 film based on it would be robbed of any of the elements that make the film worth watching. It’s definitely not for kids. The last successful mature comic book film that comes to mind is BLADE, with Wesley Snipes as the foul mouthed vampire hunter. I smell a reboot with the renewed financial interest in R rated comic book properties. “Deadpool” is very much in a niche of its own. I feel many films will try to copy the formula, but this film has cracked the formula, with a sequel already in the works.
As Wade Wilson would say “Bring on the the f*cking chimichangas!”.