The smash hit of Valentine’s Day. This is an origins story of the merc with a mouth, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds). When he gets diagnosed with cancer, he tries an alternative treatment. It is successful, as it gives him superhuman healing powers, but it horribly disfigures him, so he adopts a costume and the persona of Deadpool and sets out to get his revenge on the man who did this to him. There was some test footage shot early on, prior to actually filming this, and it was good, but I never imagined that they were going to go through with the movie as a feature. For one thing, they screwed up this character so abysmally in the studio mess that is X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I thought that they had passed the point of no return. Well, it’s a good thing nobody listened to me, because they have made what is the funniest superhero movie to date, and they’ve got a giant hit on their hands.
Hey, what are retcons for?
Now this very much earned it’s R-rating, and if you are foolish enough to bring your preteen children to this, you better be prepared to have a very uncomfortable conversation afterwards. I’m willing to bet you that almost all of the studios are going to miss the point completely of the first wildly successful R-rated superhero movie, and there are already movements on a (probably pointless) R-rated cut of Batman v. Superman. But I digress. Deadpool may be crass, it may be over-the-top, but honestly, this is the movie that the superhero genre needed. So many of these movies are over-serious, and even with lighter movies like Ant-Man, it still made me feel like they were holding back on committing to comedy because they have to fit the constructs of the superhero movie template (although to be fair, Guardians of the Galaxy managed to deftly walk that fine line). Deadpool rockets past that line of political correctness and just does whatever it wants, with the mindset of the crazier the idea, the better.
Deadpool is the new poster child for anti-heroes.
There are so many jokes that are packed into this, and this could even use subtitles because you’re likely going to miss some of the jokes because they caught you laughing from the previous one. It’s meta and self-aware as can be, and there are jabs made about X-Men Origins as well as Green Lantern, showing you that it is all in good fun. They even have a recurring joke about my hometown Jacksonville which I absolutely appreciated. Ryan Reynolds is trying like it’s his last chance in Hollywood, and I’m glad to see him finally get the hit he’s been so desperately vying for. It does hit the same beats of a superhero movie, but it’s the insane comedy they infused that makes this so one-of-a-kind and successful. Also, this has the best post-credit sequence to date for Marvel movies, so stick around.
Deadpool (2016) ****
– Critic for Hire
Want to see where this fell in my list of best films of the 2016? See for yourself here.