DEADPOOL
Author: JoAnne Hyde
Date: February 11, 2016

SYNOPSIS: Based upon Marvel Comics' most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

At the preview screening of Deadpool, I sat amongst three 30-something Marvel fans who were afraid the film wouldn’t get the character “right”. They also carried a bit of a grudge against Ryan Reynolds for the Green Lantern debacle. Since I really liked Deadpooll, I hoped it would pass muster with hard-core fans. When the final credits rolled, they and the rest of the preview audience were clapping and cheering. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an enthusiastic response!

As much as I liked the film, I advise you to take the R rating seriously. This film is not for kids or those “more sensitive” viewers who are always being warned off of moderately offensive television fare. Me? I enjoy a raunchy good laugh now and again. Seriously, though, the film has blood-and-brain matter gore by the bucketful, some very creative foul language, sex, and nudity. FYI.

As the film begins, mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) takes whatever jobs come his way and hangs out in a bar frequented by a motley bunch of other mercs. T. J. Miller does an admirable job playing Weasel, the bartender there. Wilson hooks up with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), a high-priced lady of the night, and they fall in love. Life is looking good until Wade learns he has terminal cancer, and then his life takes a very unexpected turn.

The dejected Wilson meets a creepy “recruiter” (Jed Rees) who tells him of a miracle, experimental cure. Of course, it’s something else. Enter the villain – Ajax (Ed Skrein) – along with his henchwoman Angel Dust (Gina Carano). Yes, they are mutants, and Ajax is trying to identify other mutants to use for no noble purpose. His “experimental treatment” will either kill you or bring out the mutant genes in you.

Of course, we know that Wilson becomes Deadpool, so obviously, he has mutant genes. His super power? Being able to heal from anything, no matter how extreme the injury. Unfortunately for him, this power comes only after he has been horribly disfigured at the hands of Ajax. He’ll spend the rest of the film searching for Ajax to exact his revenge.

So how bad is it? If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen him. As Weasel says, “You look like an avocado that had sex with an older avocado.” Deadpool can’t bear the thought of Vanessa seeing him like this, so he moves in with an aged, African-American former crackhead, Blind Al (Leslie Uggams). That’s right – Leslie Uggams, the perky singer of 1960’s renown. I mean, who knew?

I won’t reveal how Deadpool comes out in all of this, but I will say that I have rarely laughed as much. His quips and put-downs come rapid-fire and much of the humor comes when he breaks the “fourth wall” and speaks directly to the audience.

The film’s tone is set during the opening credits – you’ll have to see those for yourself – and that sardonic tone never lets up, even in the most violent scenes. Reynolds redeems himself quite well, so there’ll be no more talk of Green Lantern! Skrein makes a deliciously evil villain, and T. J. Miller is the perfect foil for Reynolds wisecracks. Two other X-Men mutants also make appearances. Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) is constantly trying to recruit anti-hero Deadpool for the X-Men, and Negosonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) brings just the right amount of bored sullenness to her role.

If you enjoy a bit of mischief from time to time, and can take the film for what it is (satirical farce), then you’ll have a great time.

And remember…

Deadpool is a comic book character. Don’t overthink it! - JoAnne Hyde

GRADE: A


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