R | 108 min
Director: Tim Miller
by Jason Koenigsberg
Comic book fans have been waiting a long time for this. Deadpool has finally arrived. From its opening moments the audience knows exactly what they are in for. Deadpool delivers just what it promised. A violent, graphic, foul mouthed exciting ride of escapism for two hours in the theater. It is unapologetically and refreshingly politically incorrect and intelligently self-referential with some very vulgar tongue-in-cheek humor. This is one of the best comic book movies of recent years, the best Marvel movie since Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and the best star vehicle of Ryan Reynolds’ career.
It opens up with one of the funniest and most clever credits sequences you are likely to ever see in any film, thrusting you right into the action and setting the tone for this most unconventional Marvel movie. Without ruining any big surprises, the opening credits lampoon Ryan Reynolds’ Hollywood image as People magazine’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ and his previous foray into the superhero genre, as well as making a mockery of credits and stereotypes in motion pictures in general.
One of Deadpool‘s biggest strength’s is its constant self-awareness of it being a comic book movie as well as a commentary on movies in the twenty-first century. There are many moments that break the fourth wall and our title character even makes mention to it as he narrates some moments of backstory to the audience. The film as well as the Deadpool character have a hip and juvenile attitude that adds to the raunchy charm of the film, it never detracts from it. It never takes itself too seriously and that makes it more fun than the average comic book movie.
Also, another one of the biggest reasons that Deadpool works so well is the performance from Ryan Reynolds. Honestly, I was not expecting much and I hate to admit a bias, but I have never liked a film Ryan Reynolds has made. In fact I have stated that his best acting was his ten second cameo in Ted (2012) where he does not even speak. That has all changed after seeing him in Deadpool. This is not only his best acting but I am convinced it was a role that he was born to play. They tailored it perfectly for him and he delivered every dirty line of dialogue with the perfect pitch never deviating from the films playfully violent tone. He helped make Deadpool a great guilty pleasure for the masses. Reynolds plays the character Deadpool as the ultimate anti-hero. The acting from everyone else is fine, but Reynolds steals the show. He owns this role and therefore owns the entire movie.
This is a film that points out its flaws and celebrates them. It is escapism for adults at it’s finest. For those that are sick of all the superhero movies that have invaded movie theaters for the past decade or so, Deadpool is kind of like a deep cleanse that you can soak yourself in for two hours, and if you are a comic book geek and love all the Marvel movies then you will love Deadpool‘s deadpan sense of humor and pick up on all of its references to other films from its sub-genre. One of the films best moments comes when Deadpool says that he is not a hero and he is tired of all the goody two shoes superheroes from other comic book movies. Ultimately, beyond Deadpool being a great meta-superhero film and creating an anti-hero that would make Batman and some of the Watchmen look like PC pansies, Deadpool is an exciting roller coaster ride of a movie. It is a lot of fun and that is the reason we go to movies like this in the first place.
Instead of embedding the trailer, here is Deadpool’s theme song. Ironman has AC/DC. Deadpool has DMX and it fits perfectly.
Word of caution, Deadpool is rated R and that rating should be adhered to. Just because it is from Marvel does not mean that it is for children. It earned its R-rating. I strongly suggest parents avoid taking their children to see Deadpool for every reason you can possibly imagine. The dialogue, violence, nudity and sexual content are all on full display and are all graphic. This is simultaneously a great movie and a guilty pleasure for adults only.