Saturday, February 13, 2016

Movie Review: DEADPOOL

Deadpool.  The merc with a mouth.  The regeneratin' degenerate.  I mean, what can I really say about Wade Wilson and his brand new movie?  IT WAS F$@#ING AWESOME!!!

Ok, now that I got that out of my system, let's get down to business.  The brand new FOX/Marvel film, Deadpool, which hit theaters this weekend, managed to deliver everything it's spectacular marketing campaign promised, plus a whole lot more.  This film is everything I could have hoped for.  It's a high-octane action film, a hilariously witty comedy, a classic "superhero" origin story, a riveting tale of revenge, and a heartfelt romance, all rolled up in one with a whole lot of F-bombs and nudity mixed in.  Plus, it has two great end-credit scenes, one of which gives some insight into what to expect in the forthcoming sequel.

Deadpool follows the harrowing tale of smart-ass mercenary, Wade Wilson, who discovers he has terminal cancer, and in an attempt to find a cure, joins a program that turns him into the hideous, immortal Deadpool.  He must then use his newfound powers, along with some help from X-Men members Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, to rescue his girlfriend and stop the man who disfigured him.

This is the feature film debut for director Tim Miller, who, in my opinion, blew it out of the water with this film.  As a huge comic book fan, Miller knew just how to give the fans exactly what they wanted.  The pacing was perfect, the action sequences were beautiful and savage at the same time.  I don't think anyone could've done a better job.  But none of this would've been possible without the incredible script, written by the very talented team of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the writers behind the highly successful horror-comedy, Zombieland.  Their quick-witted humor and ability to tell a compelling story truly showed though here.

The dialogue in this film is so witty and sharp, even amongst all of the vulgarity, and the storytelling was wonderful.  It utilizes a Man of Steel-type of technique to this origin story, starting with him as Deadpool and then jumping back and forth between past and present to show his origin while keeping it in context with the rest of the film.  Paul and Rhett also did an amazing job at "breaking the fourth wall" (which is when a character acknowledges the audience) and gave some hilarious pop culture references and shout outs to various movies, including the X-Men films, Green Lantern, and many more.

Now, I've talked about the great direction of the film, I've talked about the superb writing, but with those you need great acting to really make a great film, and this film had that in spades.  Ryan Reynolds tore the house down in his second crack at playing this character, and you can tell that he was absolutely meant to play Deadpool.  Ryan Reynolds IS Deadpool, no ifs, ands, or buts.  However, he wasn't the only shining star of this film.

Playing his gorgeous-yet-crazy girlfriend Vanessa is the beautiful and talented Morena Baccarin, of Firefly fame.  She showcases her ability to not only play an insanely sexy woman, but also someone who can hold her own and kick a lot of ass, something she did very well on Firefly.  The chemistry between her and Ryan was unlike any other I've seen in the multitude of comic book movie out there.  All it took was a short montage (National Women's Day, anyone?) to make the audience fully believe in their relationship and why it would drive Wade to such rage when she is taken.  Another great relationship in this film is between Deadpool and his best bud, Weasel, played by the insanely funny TJ Miller.  Their back-and-forth and comedic timing with one another was perfect.  There are so many quick-witted, memorable lines between these two, especially during the scene when he first shows Weasel his disfigured face.

And if we're going to talk about Deadpool's friends, I can't forget to mention Wade's sassy roommate, Blind Al played by the hilarious Leslie Uggams.  Her banter with Deadpool was just as good as, if not better at times than, his banter with TJ Miller.  Some of the funniest scenes happen between Deadpool and Al, the baby hand scene being one of my favorites.  And don't forget about his reluctant partners in this tale, X-Men members Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played by Stefan Kapicic and Brianna Hildebrand, respectively.  Again, Reynolds seems to have this natural ability to mesh well with just about anybody, and these two are no different.  They played perfectly as the foils to Deadpool's penchant for destruction, allowing him to do his thing, while not hesitating to give a little lecture, at least in Colossus's case anyways.  Hopefully we'll see both of these characters in future X-Men films, and possible even see Colossus in the planned X-Force film.

The villains of this film, Ajax and Angel Dust, were played by Ed Skrein and Gina Carano.  Skrein was fantastic, bringing real personality to his character.  He showed how brutal he can be, while still being able to keep up with Deadpool's wit.  Carano, an actress known for kicking ass rather than being a thespian, did exactly what she does so well...kick ass.

This movie is by far the best superhero film I've ever seen, and one of the best comedies I've ever seen.  It did so much right that it's difficult for me to find any real flaws.  The only thing I was really able to pick out that I thought they could've fixed was the fact that we really never find out much about this shady organization that takes Wade and changes him.  We know that they are making "super slaves", but to what end?  We never really learn their purpose, but to be completely honest, it didn't really bother me.

Deadpool is filled with throw outs to the X-Men universe, which it makes extremely clear this film is a part of.  From referencing Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy, seeing an action figure of the Deadpool from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, seeing a picture of Hugh Jackman, and even visiting the Xavier School, this film shows that it is firmly planted in the X-Men universe.  However, FOX's Marvel Universe isn't the only one they referenced.  We also get nods to the Disney Marvel Universe, with a shout out to Nick Fury and even a fight scene on the ruins of, what looks like, a crashed (and coincidentally unmarked) helicarrier.

Do yourself a favor, and go out right now and see this film, if you haven't already.  And if you have seen it, then grab some friends and go out and see it again.  It's hilarious, action packed, and totally worth seeing multiple times in the theater.

The Merc's Score:  9.5/10

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