Dog’s Movie House: “Deadpool” Filthy, Funny, And Fantastic!
Howdy folks! It’s The Kendog!
Science fiction geeks like myself can easily forget the wonderful time in which we live. For the first time we can see comic book heroes realized as never before on the big screen. Modern special effects and the movie studios’ visions of dollar signs in their heads have led to a renaissance of very good to great comic movies. That said, we can’t stop complaining about the little things that bother us about comic movies nowadays. The biggest complaint I hear is that there is a certain “sameness” (whatever the hell that means) about comic book films, specifically with the ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Apparently we aren’t satisfied with the state of things in the world of Comic Book Movieland and something is desperately needed to shake things up. Well thank goodness for Ryan Reynolds and “Deadpool,” a blissfully violent and funny R-rated romp that serves as not only one of the most entertaining comic book films in some time, but also one of the most entertaining movies in some time, period!
“Deadpool” details the life and times of one Wade Wilson (a brilliant Ryan Reynolds), a freelance mercenary who finally finds happiness in the arms of a beautiful hooker he picks up at the local mercenary watering hole (played by the lovely Morena Baccarin). After a whirlwind romance, Wade and Vanessa are set to get married when tragedy strikes. Wilson is diagnosed with third-stage cancer in multiple parts of his body. As a last ditch effort, Wade volunteers for a top secret program that will not only cure him of his cancer but make him into a super powered soldier. The cure, however, comes with a price, leaving Wade disfigured and partially insane, causing Wade to dress up in a mask, call himself Deadpool, and go after the villain who is the cause of his current predicament, the mutant known as Ajax (Ed Skrein, miles better than his role in the latest “Transporter” movie).
Now the revenge plot/origin story is old hat by now, but where “Deadpool” excels is in the details. The script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick so perfectly that Wade Wilson could have leapt from the pages of the comics. All of the “The Merc With A Mouth’s” trademarks are there and put to terrific use. Deadpool doesn’t shut up during the course of the entire film, throwing out jokes with such abandon that it’s gonna take a couple of showings for fans to get them all. Most of the jokes are spot on and some of them are fall-down funny.
“Deadpool” also features the most unique feature about this particular character: Deadpool’s breaking of the fourth wall to directly address the audience. As in the comics, Wade Wilson’s brand of insanity leads him to believe he’s in a movie. He’s the only one who believes this, of course, and on several occasions makes quips involving everything from the continuity flaws in previous X-men movies to the current film’s apparent lack of an A-list cast or budget. It’s like he’s the ultimate geek insider expressing the frustration we all feel with certain tropes of the comic book movie universe.
It’s difficult to believe that “Deadpool” was helmed by a first-time director, but it’s true that this is Tim Miller’s first gig behind the camera and he knocks it out of the park. Miller and his writers have constructed “Deadpool” like a comic version of “Pulp Fiction” with multiple flashbacks and non-linear storytelling (until the last third of the film, at least) that keep the film moving at a breakneck pace. The action is crisp and bloody and extremely well-choreographed and the script, for all its humor and intentional silliness, manages to develop a compelling story that makes you care about the fate of Wade Wilson and his relationship with Vanessa.
All the behind the scenes stuff, however, would mean little if the folks in front of the camera aren’t up to the task of bringing these crazy, damaged characters to the screen. For starters, Ryan Reynolds IS Deadpool. After a few years of comic book movie misfires like “Green Lantern” and “RIPD,” Reynolds has found his signature role. Reynolds is so good that his has instantly become an iconic performance much like Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Seriously, I can’t see anyone else playing this role: he’s that good. For the most part, Reynolds is hilarious, but he also manages to capture that anger and desperate need to reunite with Vanessa, making him more than a one-dimensional joke machine.
It also helps that Reynolds is surrounded by a terrific supporting cast. Baccarin is every bit Reynold’s equal as the feisty and loyal Vanessa. Her interplay with Reynolds early in the movie results in some of the film’s funniest set pieces. (You’ll never think of International Women’s Day the same way again.) Skrein and MMA actress Gina Carana are effective villains and T.J. Miller is hilarious as Wilson’s barkeep friend Weasel. Brianna Hildebrand is effectively sullen as the appropriately named Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and Leslie Uggams has some wonderful chemistry with Reynolds as his cranky roommate Blind Al.
But my favorite character (other than Deadpool) has to be Colossus. Voiced by Stefan Kapicic and motion captured by a combination of five actors, this is the first time in the multitude of X-men films that the filmmakers get the character right. Not only does he have the right look (he’s massive), but he has thick Russian accent and gentle personality that makes his interactions with Deadpool absolutely hilarious. Colossus also has an equally funny fight scene with Carana’s Angel Dust that definitely illustrates the downside to behaving civilly during a fight with a supervillain. I hope they keep him in this iteration for future X-men movies.
To sum up, “Deadpool” has quickly become one of my favorite movies. It’s funny, action packed, and delightfully adult. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path in the realm of comic book films, then “Deadpool” is the film for you. But be warned: this is a hard R rating. DO NOT TAKE YOUR YOUNG CHILDREN TO THIS unless you’re willing to explain to them the meaning of the term “chrome plated cock gobbler” among other things. 4 ½ Out Of 5 On Kendog’s Barkometer! So Sayeth The Kendog!
“Deadpool” is Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity.