Originally posted 2016-02-13 13:33:10.
Comedy is subjective, everyone knows that. What some might find hilarious will leave others stony faced and confused, which is what made the screening of Deadpool I attended so unique. The film’s sense of humour is not going to be for everyone, but I can’t remember the last time I was in a cinema where the crowd was collectively laughing together so often, or so loud that you can’t hear the next line of dialogue.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a good heated mercenary who loves his work, his life and his finance Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). But when a terminal diagnosis leaves him with just months to live he is forced to take a chance on the radical cure offered by the sadistic mutant Ajax (Ed Skrein). After discovering that the ‘cure’ is a front to turn him into a weaponised slave he manages to escape, and sets out to gain revenge for his now hideous scarred visage. But when Vanessa is kidnapped Wade pulls on his red spandex suit and sets out to get her back, armed with two swords, an accelerated healing factor and a psychopathic sense of humour.
Since Rob Liefeld
ripped off DC’s Deathstroke plunged the depths of his imagination to create Deadpool for a 1991 issue of Marvel’s New Mutants the character has developed a cult following. Known for his warped sense of humour, over the top violence and frequent forth wall breaks, Deadpool has been embraced in a way other comic book heroes can only dream of. And after the backlash over his depiction in the 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine, fans can rest easy in the knowledge that director Tim Miller has knocked this one out of the park.
Deadpool takes the typical origin story format and twists it on its head, jumping between the past and present to great effect and poking fun at the typical tropes in a very meta fashion. Jokes come so thick and fast that there’s barely time to catch your breath, and the whole film moves along at a breakneck pace, cutting the humour with some suitably gratuitous fight scenes. The action is a million miles away from the big budget superhero output from the likes of Marvel and DC, more Kick Ass than The Avengers, but it suits the overall tone of the film perfectly. The film is packed with in jokes and references to the wider Marvel universe, and also features the best Stan Lee cameo we’ve seen thus far.
A big reason why this approach works so well is the performance of the lead; Reynolds is himself a huge fan of Deadpool, and his passion for the character shines throughout the film. His natural charisma and comedic timing work perfectly. He bounces between one liners, heartfelt moments and gun fights with aplomb, aid by stellar performances from the entire supporting cast. Baccarin and Skrein in particular play the feisty love interest and snarling villain to perfection.
It’s tough to find much to criticize, but there is one issue. The film’s super aggressive marketing campaign has released so many trailers that there were times when it felt like I’d already seen large stretches of the film, and in particular the opening fight. It’s a relatively minor gripe, but if you’re in two minds about whether to see this film I would advise going without checking out the trailers first. There are a few jokes which were already completely over exposed by the time we got to see them on the big screen.
Once again, it should be reiterated that Deadpool will not appeal to everyone; the violence is brutal, the language is coarse and the jokes are usually puerile, but it is also one of the funniest and most faithful comic adaptations we’ve seen hit the big screen in a while.