Deadpool (2016): Marvel for the Big Kids (Review)

Deadpool and Colossus

It has been along time coming but at long last Hollywood, or more accurately FOX, have made a  Marvel action film  for the big kids. The ones who can get into a ‘R’ rated feature without being carded.  Deadpool, aka Wade Wilson, joined the super anti-hero verse in the 1990s so this fourth wall breaking sensation is a new kid on the Marvel block.

Deadpool the movie opened to great box office and better than average reviews and has already been greenlit for a sequel and possible crossover with Spiderman in 2017.  This should come as no surprise as the film delivers as many laughs as it does action and obliterates the fourth wall completely.

The character of Wade Wilson goes beyond referencing pop culture in an accepted sense. He also references his own  as the actor who plays him;  Ryan Reynolds.  On the way to his cancer treatment, which will give him superpowers, the future Deadpool insists that his superhero suit not be green or animated. (Green Lantern, Reynolds’ previous superhero film that  failed to live up to expectations is the punchline here.)

Other  in-joke references includes  Deadpool’s response to Colossus, of the X-Men, who handcuffs the antihero to his own wrist and says they will speak with the professor.  Wilson asks, “Which one? McAvoy or Stewart?”  Later, back on the X-Men theme, Deadpool goes to the professor’s college.

He asks Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) for help rescuing his lady love, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin).  As an aside he ponders why they are the only two X-men in the facility. He muses that one would almost think that the studio could not afford more of the heroes. 

Reynolds chortles, chuckles and wisecracks his way through the film and he is what makes the whole thing work.  Although, disturbingly, without his mask, after his character’s transformation,  Wilson looks like John Malkovich with a bad skin condition.  

There is much more to the film than the tongue in cheek humor, in jokes and annihilation of the fourth wall.  Action, some brilliant fight scenes and actors who all know what they are doing take this films to great heights.  (London actor Ed Skrein plays his character dead straight (pun intended) and it works brilliantly in contrast to Reynolds’ comic interpretation of Wade.) 

Skrein does appear to channel his inner Vinnie Jones though and this too works well for the film.

That Deadpool was made for the big kids who love the Marvel verse is obvious by all the self referential humor.  The focus on IKEA and Stan Lee in his Marvel cameo as the emcee of a pole dancing club where Vanessa works points to giggles for the older audience members. (Although not too old as that demographic favor The Avengers and  and Iron Man…)

In many ways the film is a parody wrapped in a satire wrapped in a “Three Stooges” movie. Deadpool often veers into Bill and Ted territory with the odd detour into  “Dude, Where’s My Car?” although, once again this mix works well.

Everything about the movie works. The comedy routines, even the crackhouse bit at the end where Vanessa picks out that Deadpool lives in a house, all hit the nail on the head.  The music,  a splendid mixture of rap and ’80s pop, is perfect and makes each scene flow beautifully.

Tim Miller does an excellent job directing  his first feature length film and is already penciled in to helm  Deadpool 2.

This is a 5 star effort that proves  comedy works even if the picture is rated ‘R.’  Deadpool, aka Wade Wilson may be a newer member of the Marvel verse but he was designed for the big kids to enjoy.  Check this one out, it is streaming on a multitude of sites an is well worth the time spend to watch it, over and over.

Cast:

  • Ryan Reynolds  –  Wade Wilson/Deadpool
  • Ed Skrein  –  Ajax/Francis
  • Stefan Kapicic  –  Colossus 
  • Morena Baccarin  –  Vanessa
  • Leslie Uggams  –  Blind Al
  • Gina Carano  –  Angel Dust
  • Brianna Hildebrand – Negasonic Teenage Warhead