2016 is a memorable year for comic book films. Especially the likes of Deadpool.
Thanks to Ryan Reynolds and Tim Miller, Deadpool is one of the biggest surprise hit films of all time.
The plot is thus: Wade Wilson meets Vanessa and falls in love. It sure reads like a sappy love story, right?
Wade gets terminal cancer and becomes desperate. An experimental treatment gives him healing abilities. However, it also leaves him with a scarred visage, which can’t be healed.
Unable to face Vanessa, Wade decides to seek out Ajax and have him reverse the process. He becomes a vigilante and takes up the name Deadpool.
Reynolds gives the performance of his career as Deadpool. Having shot to fame doing comedy, the role seems tailor-made for him. He’s not afraid to hide his good looks behind prosthetics. At one point, he quips, “You think Ryan Reynolds got this far on his superior acting talent?”
As Weasel, T.J Miller serves as a good straight man to Reynolds’ wisecracks. He does get in a few great moments, such as describing Deadpool’s face as “an avocado had sex with an older, more disgusting avocado.” His deadpan one-liners make him the perfect foil to Reynolds.
The rest of the cast does well. Moreno Baccarin is a fine love interest as Vanessa, and her witty banter with Reynolds is a major highlight. As Blind Al, Leslie Uggams is one of the biggest surprises, because she is as just as profane as Deadpool. One such scene involves an argument over Ikea furniture. If Fox ever makes a mutant sitcom, Deadpool and Blind Al would be the perfect subject.
Where Deadpool succeeds is the tone. Neither grim or farce, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Instead, the director embraces the slapstick humour and black comedy. Nor does the movie shy away from its comic origins. We get the mercenary background and the Weapon X treatment. In fact, there’s a brief cameo by a certain henchmen named Bob, who appears in the comics.
Deadpool takes time to make fun of everything. Reynolds mocks action cliches, reality tv, and the X-Men series. In one amusing moment, the actor spoofs his past Green Lantern role by asking for a costume that isn’t CGI. He even gets in a dig at Hugh Jackman by wearing a cut-out of the Wolverine star’s face.
The film also incorporates more of the X-Men mythos. Colossus provides a nice contrast to Deadpool. In a sense, he acts as a foil to Wade Wilson, urging him to join the X-Men. Brian Hildebrand’s Negasonic Teenage Warhead provides a nice amount of deadpan snarky humour. One can only hope that we see her in future films.
Deadpool is one of the best comic book movies of all time. Fox could have the new face of the X-Men franchise on their hands. Since Jackman is retiring, it would be wise to keep Reynolds around.
Not bad for a mercenary who can’t keep his mouth shut.