Monday, February 15, 2016
Violent, vile, irreverent, and generally self aware, "Deadpool" has got to be the sort of film that fans of the Marvel comic book were looking for. Not being a comics guy myself, I can't say how true the film is to the spirit of the character, all I can say is that the film character makes me want to read the comics. This film was a blast from the start to the finish and it will make some people want to accalim it the greatest film ever and others predict the end of civilization as we know it. While it is substantially different from anything that has come before it, I can say that the spirit of the movie is in line with "Kick Ass" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World". It is not quite a parody of comic book films, but it does act as if those movies are there to be mocked, inspired by and definitely commented on.
Ryan Reynolds is playing this character for a second time. In "Wolverine Origins" he played the mercenary Wade Wilson. I saw that movie one time and I have a vague recollection of it, but I do know that a lot of people thought he was cast right and they immediately started lobbying for a stand alone "Deadpool" film. After the misbegotten "Green Lantern" it's a wonder that anyone let Reynold near another comic book character. Then he was in "R.I.P.D." and came close to never being in anything again. Someone had faith however and their faith has been rewarded. Reynold seems the perfect match for this comic icon. He starts as pretty boy gorgeous, and is transformed into mildly hideous, but only someone as good looking as he was could imagine that his true love would not be able to stay with him with the disfigurement caused by his mutation being released. Wade Wilson was not a good guy, but he was less bad than others and aware of his own faults to the point that he had a loose code of conduct. The condensed romance that serves as the background for most of the film is centered on the warped personalities of the two lovers more than mere physical attraction, and that is the ultimate payoff at the end of the story here.
The movie is filled with violence of the type that we have come to expect in a hard "R" rated movie. You will see dismemberment, decapitation, splattered brains and torture of a wide variety. If that does not appeal to you, stay way. If on the other hand those things are selling points for you, get ready for a steady diet of satisfying money shots with bad guys getting pummeled and the hero going full James Franco for one scene. All the while, Deadpool provides his own commentary track on the film and the actions. He is the one to make a reference to "127 Hours". He actually names the two main actors who have played Charles Xavier in the X-Men films. This character makes no pretenses toward being real or serious, he is a send up of all those other mutants that populate the Marvel Universe. His real super power is not that he is indestructible, it is that he can't shut up. Thank goodness because a steady stream of trash talk and sarcastic self reference keeps this moving along at a jolly clip.
Instead of getting into the plot, you can know all you need to know about the film by hearing about the opening credits. The actors are not listed by name, they are described by type "Villain with British Accent" for instance. Reynolds own cover of "People" magazine naming him as the "Sexiest Man Alive" is used as a throw away visual reference to his being in the movie. The writers give themselves the credit as the real heroes of the story. I laughed out loud from the very beginning of the film. The opening scene is actually a middle of the story event that we flash back and forth to several times during the film. The character, speaks to the audience as active observers and reminds us of points that have been made or will need to be returned to. The script is a miracle of filthy talk, childish humor and clever cultural references. It is delivered with a sardonic cynicism that plays exceptionally well to an audience overwhelmed by the number of super hero movies they have been subjected to in the past few years. "Deadpool" is a palate cleanser of sorts, designed to have all of the action of a comic movie, but built to entertain people who are jaded by those very action motifs.
Attitude is what this film is all about, bad attitude. You will be hard pressed to find a two minute segment where something is not offensive to someone. I did see several people bringing kids to the film and I wondered how they will explain the doggy style sex jokes to them when asked. There are references to erections, testicles and vagina's everywhere. I don't know what the old folks are thinking, but they better not complain because everyone was warned early on that this was not a safe X-Men movie. It still has a sense of fun for the non-vile people out there as well. Wait through the credits and you will get a Samuel Jackson joke and a tribute to 80s films as well. This may not be everybodies cup of tea, but I would certainly be happy to put on another pot and sit down to further afternoons with this irresponsible jerk, who is as funny as hell.