Vulgar, violent, and vivacious – Deadpool delivers what you want from a light-hearted superhero-action flick.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ½
Not since Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine or Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man have we seen an A-list powerhouse fit a role so perfectly. Ryan Reynolds has shown he is fully committed to the comic-book anti-hero of Deadpool/Wade Wilson; pushing for a cinematic version for the better part of a decade. After the travesty of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the character is back with a vengeance on the big screen.
Deadpool may just be a Fast Five-level surprise – an exhilarating experience acknowledging preceding instalments whilst improving the franchise tenfold. Despite the X-Men series’ topsy-turvy quality, Deadpool’s inspired marketing and promotion campaign reassured us of a return to form. Thankfully, the movie delivers on everything it promises.
The plot itself is relatively simple, with Reynolds strapping on more skin-tight spandex as yet another big-name superhero in a familiar dilemma: former gun-for-hire Wade Wilson (Reynonlds) is diagnosed with body-spanning cancer and given months to live. A secret organisation, headed-up by Ajax (Ed Skrein) and Angel Dust (Gina Carano), offers him a second chance at make-a-difference badassery before betraying him.
Deadpool is the final lifeline for Reynolds as an action star and leading man. Wallowing in a slew of bad movies, the charismatic A-lister needed to redeem himself from Blade: Trinity, Green Lantern, and almost everything in between. Leading the charge, Reynolds and co. make a silly, slimy, and sarcastic riff on the superhero-action genre. Screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese tap into the saying-what-we’re all-thinking style of comedy; its sense of humour insults and pays respect to every noteworthy Avengers/Batman v. Superman-sized blockbuster out there. Throughout, the lead character pulls out all the stops – breaking the fourth wall, ironically discussing Reynolds’ career, cussing out the X-Men franchise and dishing out fifty shades of sexual references.
First-time director Tim Miller delivers everything the fans asked for throughout development. The movie’s visual flair elevates each action sequence, with the film’s pacing, snarky humour, and thirst for violence amplifying each set-piece’s visceral and sensory impact. Despite its prominence in the trailers, the freeway chase/shootout sequences showcase Deadpool’s enviable array of abilities.
Deadpool’s cast – noticeably made up of one star and a bunch of character-actors/no-names – makes the most of the invigorating, exciting material. Reynolds clings on to his pet project, determined to see it live up to the hype. Silicon Valley star T. J. Miller becomes a solid sparring partner alongside Reynolds, matching the lead’s comic sensibilities point by point. Firefly actress Morena Baccarin portrays Wilson’s sassy, care-free love interest with the right amount of chutzpah. Like every other Marvel property, the villains are reduced to clichéd one-liners and familiar abilities.
Deadpool is a fun, refreshing take on the superhero genre, tearing a new hole in more ways than one. Finally, Reynolds has delivered an action flick worthy of future instalments from now until his hip gives out.
Deadpool is available in Australian cinemas from February 11th
Images courtesy of 20th Century Fox