Deadpool was never a character I knew much about or was very interested in. My only introduction to the character had been the whole two minutes that Ryan Reynolds was on-screen as Wade Wilson in Wolverine: Origins (one of the best parts of that movie), and then what I’ve learned from my forays through the Internet in the years since. Honestly, it’s a testament to Reynolds’ acting that I was 100% willing to watch a Deadpool movie after that scene alone.
Although I wasn’t totally sold by the trailers–I was worried it would be too violent for me–I WAS sold by the marketing. Billboards made entire of emoji and a release date, posters that made it look like a romantic comedy–honestly, every bit of marketing for this movie just proved that the people behind it understood the utter ridiculousness and off-the-wall nature of Deadpool’s character.
So while yes, it is a violent movie, it’s also absolutely hilarious, and it’s so different from other comic book/superhero movies that it’s like a breath of fresh, expletive-laden air.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a mercenary, a bad guy who does bad things to worse guys (his own description of his job). When he’s diagnosed with terminal cancer, he agrees to a very experimental program that promises to cure him. The program cures him, all right, but only after weeks of torture which leave him horrifically scarred. Wade makes it his mission to find the man who did this to him and make him fix it so he can go back to his girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin).
As pretty much everybody expected going into this, Ryan Reynolds is dead-on perfect for Deadpool. He’s fast-talking and snarky, crass and foul-mouthed, using humor to cope with all the terrible shit being thrown his way. He’s fucked up and he knows he’s fucked up, but he’s also very single-minded in his determination to get revenge in the bloodiest (and most hilarious) way possible.
The thing about Deadpool is that it’s a very simple movie with very simple goals. Wade wants to be healed, he wants revenge on the man who tortured him, and he wants to be with Vanessa. That’s it. Sure, stopping the bad guy would have the added benefit of shutting down his Evil Operations (TM), but that really doesn’t factor into Wade’s motivations. It’s nice to watch something that doesn’t have the fate of the world or the city or even a neighborhood riding on it.
Originally, I worried that the violence would be too much for me, but it manages to be roughly as violent as Daredevil (the Netflix series, not the movie) while being far less gritty. Often, the violence is the punchline to a joke, in addition to being over-the-top, which made it much easier for me to handle.
And honestly, this movie has one of the better romances that I’ve seen recently. Wade and Vanessa don’t end up together because they’re an attractive man and an attractive woman and Movie Logic tells us that it must be so. They end up together because they fit, in a way that maybe shouldn’t work but really, really does. You’re just rooting for those two crazy kids to make it.
Like most Marvel movies, Deadpool isn’t the only familiar character we see. Colossus has a large role, which is wonderful considering he’s been relegated to cameo status in most of the X-Men movies. His genuinely good, kind older brother personality is such a contrast to Deadpool that it’s hilarious to watch them together. There’s also Negasonic Teenage Warhead, a teenager with a name so awesome Deadpool has to comment on it the moment he meets her. Together, they make an unlikely–but delightful–team.
One of the things that surprised me was the lack of nudity. That’s not to say there isn’t any–there’s a scene in a strip club, and one where Wade fights completely naked (although it’s shadowed so you don’t see much)–but it seems more incidental than intended, if that makes sense.
There’s no long, slow pan up a naked woman’s body with a focus on boobs (which is usually what happens with R-rated movies). When Vanessa and Wade are having sex, we never see her breasts, and when he’s in the strip club later, the camera stays on him and any half-naked girls are in the background, just doing their jobs. I didn’t expect it, but I certainly appreciated it.
Deadpool isn’t for everyone, but it knows exactly what kind of movie it is and embraces that with absolute zeal, and that makes it one of the funniest and most entertaining movies I’ve seen in a long time. Seriously, I started laughing with the opening credits and pretty much didn’t stop until the end. If it sounds like something you’d enjoy, definitely catch it while it’s still in theaters.