Coming from Fox just in time for Valentine’s Day is the latest superhero to hit the silver screen and he is unlike any hero you have ever seen before. Created by Fabien Nicieza and Rob Liefeld, Deadpool premiered in New Mutants from Marvel many years ago and ever since his popularity has only grown exponentially. A number of factors have contributed to that, one being violence and his very carefree attitude with another being his ability to break the fourth wall on a continuous basis and talk to the reader, not to mention the comedy that usually accompanies all of it. So with Fox trying to compete with Marvel Studios using some of Marvel’s very own characters thanks to a complicated deal being reached between the two companies from years previous and only having a limited well to draw from, Deadpool, one of Marvel’s best-selling books, was the go to.
The movie could have been one of the biggest bungles of all time depending on what approach the makers decided to take. One only has to look at he first Wolverine solo film to see how utterly wrong they got the character. It was such a poor portrayal that they waited six years before trying again, hoping that the monstrosity that appeared in that film would be forgotten (it was not). Thankfully they brought a team on-board that understood the character, namely writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, director Tim Miller and lead actor Ryan Reynolds, who actually starred as the aforementioned creature in the previously mentioned film and was given a second chance as Fox realized that nobody else could ever do it any better. In the end, the film was a flat-out success and has now become the highest grossing R-rated film of all time while remaining true to the source material – something that was extremely important if the film was to succeed.
When it comes to the comic book, Deadpool is not everybody’s cup of tea. Sometimes the breaking of the fourth wall – those moments when the titular character speaks directly to the reader – is a little much and breaks the story a little. In the film, it works perfectly and is one of the better devices used by the Miller to get the story across. The real star of the show though is Reynolds who is loaded with charisma and charm, despite being a killer and a man that is more anti-hero than superhero. The man clearly has a passion for the material and you can see it in every frame and hear it in every word that he says. Nobody else could have done Wade Wilson the justice that he received here courtesy of Reynolds. It was not only present in the film, but in all the promos leading up to it and in all the interviews given and when you see somebody as invested in a role as Reynolds was for this one, you know that you are going to be seeing something exceptionally good.
Funny does not even describe how humourous this film was. With moments that made you laugh out loud to scenes that featured subtle in-jokes that only comic book readers would get, the movie continually provided a way to keep a smile on your face throughout its running time. The soundtrack was perfect featuring songs from Neil Sedaka to Wham! to Salt-N-Pepa, adding even more mirth to an already ludicrous time. Throw in all the visual cues and gags like the title sequence, an action figure of Deadpool from the X-Men Origins film, the Green Lantern photo and more, not only were your ears busy, but so were your eyes which were always on the lookout to see what else was slipped into the film. Add to all of that, Reynolds and the makers of the film taking pot-shots at various studios, the budget and more, this was by far the funniest Marvel film to debut yet.
With Hugh Jackman set to retire as Wolverine, who was also lampooned in this movie, Fox needed something, someone, to take his place. It is a safe bet to say that they have found that someone now in Deadpool, as strange as it might seem. With one incredible marketing campaign, bit parts from Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead and a female lead in the lovely Morena Baccarin, the picture fired on all cylinders. You have to know that a sequel is in the works and it is one that will reportedly star his partner in certain crimes, Cable. Whether you are a Deadpool fan or not, you will be after this movie and that sequel cannot come fast enough.
5 out of 5