It’s a love story – NOT!!!!!
You take a wisecracking, nearly nigh-invulnerable assassin who knows THE DAMN HELL he’s just a comic-book character and unleash him onto the big screen – by the gods, you oughta be careful what you wish for, muchacho!!!
You get a shit-load of over-the-top violence, sex (with toys – see, this is one Marvel movie that you never take your li’l whippersnappers!!!), nudity (no points for guessing where You-Know-Who’s cameo turns up) and more 80’s pop-culture references than you can unscramble a Rubik’s Cube to.
Deadpool (or Mr. Pool, as Dopinder – aka the Indian Doiby Dickles – refers to his favourite passenger) was created in a Dark Age when superheroes had to adapt an x-treeeeeeme vibe to catch the attention of the cola-buzzed, pimple-faced nobodies seeking to validate their empty lives by heading out to the comic-book store. It was a time when Rob Liefeld’s impossibly-muscled creations strutted their superheroics in multi-pocketed belts and cargo pants while wielding impossibly big freakin’ guns, carrying names that had some form of “blood”, “death” or “kill” appended to it.
The movie – starring Ryan Reynolds, who also happens to be a co-producer (ha ha, sneaky!!!) – manages to run the field with the character’s meta-textuality without running it to the ground. It gets going from the onset, opening with a (reference-heavy) gratuitous slo-mo shot from the middle of an action scene, delivering the character’s requisite origin story in segments of alternating tones of seriousness and raunchiness, before cutting to the chase in detailing Deadpool’s revenge against Ajax (the scientist who runs what appears to be a underground facility that appears to be forcing mutation onto
poor schlubs like you and moi normal human beings).
Rising-star mercenary Wade Winston Wilson was promised by said facility a cure for his terminal cancer – the one big dark spot in his idyllic life with Vanessa (the awesomely sexy Morena Baccarin). It gives him accelerated cell-regeneration powers, but its side effects also include Freddy Krueger skin (if Wolverine’s adamantium claws were also thrown in, one can imagine a multi-million-$ lawsuit waiting to happen). Since then, Wadey has pursued his desire for revenge across the length and breadth of the Marvel Universe – (cue *vwwwrrrp* sound of a vinyl record being forcibly stopped) – I mean, to kick Ajax’s arse to the gates of Hell as he kidnaps poor Vanessa and threatens to turn her into Lady Deadpool.
This feature from first-time director Tim Miller – a VFX specialist whose CV includes the criminally underrated big-screen adapt of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – is wacky, irreverent and unapologetically bloody, with Reynolds practically owning the film with his portrayal of the Merc with the Mouth. Not only does it take potshots to the current Marvel Cinematic Universe (with a second-tier X-man making an Avengers-esque entrance, Ajax using the hull of a junked SHIELD-issue Helicarrier as his last stand, not to mention – spoiler alert – Feige’s Famous Pizzas) but also Blade II (remember, Blade is also a Marvel character) as well as the Distinguished Competition’s Green Lantern (just don’t make my suit green – or animated!!!) and even the goddamned Batman.
The streamlined cast – including Ed Skrein (atoning for his attempt to restart Jason Statham’s Transporter franchise) playing Ajax with the requisite dash of stiff-upper-lip villainy and veteran comedienne Leslie Uggams playing the lovably foul-mouthed Althea “Blind Al” Alfred – thrive well in their respective roles. Yet Reynolds perfectly harnesses his comic timing and physiciality as Wade “Deadpool” Wilson, fitting his well-toned behind in the character’s trademark red-and-blacks and snarking witty airballs to leaven out the ensuing carnage. He even gets to use his co-producer clout to push for the hard-R rating that would otherwise be the death knell for superhero movies since it means goodbye to toy lines and fast-food tie-ups.
The music also works to its advantage by reflecting the film’s general air of anarchic irreverence, whether it’s the score by Tom “Junkie XL” Holkenborg (Mad Max: Fury Road) or the grab-bag of tunes from the ’60s to the ’80s randomly scattered around. Who’d even imagine that Neil Sedaka’s cloyingly-cheerful “Calendar Girl” can be employed to sum up a quick 12-month montage of sex scenes (see, I told ya that this is NO movie to take the li’l ankle-biters to!!!!)
Or Chicago’s gratingly-sappy “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” and Juice Newton’s sickeningly-sunny “Angel Of The Morning” backing gratuitously slowed-down action shots.
Even the widely talked-about opening credits reflect the Deadpool character’s annoying levels of self-mockery (Vanessa’s referred appropriately as the “Hot Chick”, and again, NO points for guessing who makes the “Gratuitous Cameo”). Meanwhile, the end credits feature a tip of the hat to a touchstone of ’80s cinema.
To quote a Pampangueño friend of mine, “if you don’t watch Deadpool, then YOU are a Deadpool”