Definitely Ryan Reynolds in this shot.

Deadpool — Review

‘Deadpool,’ as you probably know, is the new addition/sort-of-spinoff to Marvel’s cinematic X-Men universe, and more significantly for us, it’s a very popular ‘R’-rated, foul-mouthed, gleefully sadistic superhero movie that’s already made a lot more money than ‘Kick-Ass.’ It stars Ryan Reynolds, who I’ve never found particularly interesting as an actor, and he even makes a joke to this effect at one point, in a performance, that, like it or hate it, as far as I understand pretty much captures the spirit of the titular character of the Marvel comics.

Besides Reynolds, and a typically funny deadpan T.J. Miller (as somewhat redundant but still welcome comic relief in a movie that’s already part comedy), no one else stands out too much in the cast. Gina Carano wastes her talent (if you like action movies and haven’t seen Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Haywire,’ check it out) playing an unmemorable heavy. Hunky but not particularly striking Brit actor Ed Skrein plays the bad guy, and was cast here I imagine for the same reason he was cast as the lead in last summer’s ‘Transporter’ reboot: because he’s cheaper than Jason Statham.

Speaking of cheap, a lot of this movie kind of has that appearance. The two big action set-pieces occur in somewhat mundane settings (a freeway and a junkyard) and were clearly filmed on a studio lot with green screen backdrops (Though big box office returns should mean a slicker-looking sequel) and much of the CGI is about up to ‘The Mummy Returns’ standards. Similarly, I find it ironic that Deadpool makes a joke about not making his suit animated (a crack at 2011’s ‘Greenlantern’) when this one might as well be, and our anti-hero is obviously replaced by a digital double for most of the crazy slow-motion jumping and shooting stuff.

The idea of a self-aware superhero who knows he’s in a comic book movie and talks directly to the audience about it is kind of fun, and for a lot of this movie it works to amusing enough effect. Though when it goes as far as Deadpool cracking jokes about Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy playing Professor X and (quite a few about) Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine, for this nerd at least that’s pushing this stuff a bit too far, making me wish these guys would either go full parody or have some goddamn stakes in this movie.

The story is some standard origin/revenge story crap, so that’ll be all I say about that. Deadpool himself is (appropriately I understand) very annoying while running his mouth (which is all the time), but thankfully a decent number of his jokes produce laughs. In summation, ‘Deadpool’ is completely absurd, quite vulgar, kind of forgettable and most of the time pretty damn entertaining. I’d also be lying if I said I’m not a bit worried about the rip-offs its success will bring us. Though that ‘R’-rated Wolverine flick sounds alright…

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