After the fan favourite character Deadpool was butchered in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, comic books fans were clamoring for decent take on the character. Ryan Reynolds short role in that film as Wade Wilson, showed that he could pull off this character, especially since he was a fan himself. And when some CGI test footage of a possible Deadpool film was “leaked” (I’m still not 100% convinced its was unintentional). the overwhelmingly positive reaction gave fans of the Merc’ with a Mouth a new hope. Once the trailers started showing up and the frankly brillliant marketing started (posters marketing it as a Valentines Day film? Genius.) it finally looked like Deadpool would get a worthy representation on screen. So, did he? Yes, a thousand times yes.
Okay, lets get the obvious part out of the way. Ryan Reynolds was BORN to play Deadpool. Hell, even in the comics before they were planning this film they make reference to the character looking like him…
See? Ryan Reynolds totally manages to bring the character to life, his fantastic comic acting making almost every scene he is in absolutely hilarious. I found the way he played Deadpool quite similar to the title character from the hilarious animated show Archer, a lot of his lines delivered in the same deadpan style. Reynolds machine-gun like delivery of one liners and quips is almost tiring but thankfully its hilarious enough that you won’t care. One of the worries I had for the film was how they would work the characters way of breaking the 4th wall and addressing the audience, since in the comics Deadpool is fully aware that he is in a comic book. Thankfully its not overdone, they only use it a few times in the film and they don’t make a big deal of it. It’s used particularly well in the after credits scene, which I won’t spoil here. It’s not all laughs from him though. His acting in the scenes when he’s diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, portraying the denial and desperation of someone dealing with this soul destroying news, are very convincing. And underneath all the jokes and quip is this bubbling anger at the people who have wronged him. Its a brilliant performance all round from Reynolds.
The rest of the cast, for the most part, fare pretty well against Ryan Reynolds, not being overshadowed by his performance. T.J Miller in particular is very funny as Deadpool best friend Weasel, especially the scenes where he sees Deadpools hideously scarred face for the first time. Morena Baccarin is also very good as his love interest Vanessa, a woman almost as messed up as Deadpool himself. Special mention as well should go to Leslie Uggams as his elderly roomate Blind Al. In their few scenes together you get the sense that, even though they seem to hate each others guts, there’s a sense that they do actually care about each other. And since this is set in the same universe as the X-Men films we get an appearance from a couple of them, the super strong, metal skinned Colossus and the awesomely named Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Played, respectively, by Stefan Kapičić and Brianna Hildebrand, there interactions with Deadpool provide some entertaining scenes. I think the only ones who didn’t fare so well were Ed Skrein and Gina Carano as the villains Ajax and Angel Dust. There was nothing wrong with their acting, it’s just the characters seemed a bit one dimensional and generic. All in all though, it was a pretty well acted film.
One thing I lived about the film was the non-linear way they told the story, flashing back and forward between Deadpools origin and his hunt for Ajax. It was a lot better than the normal way the do superhero (sorry, probably shouldn’t call him that) films, where they spend half the film on the characters origin then rush in another plot to fill out the second half. Deadpool was perfectly paced and didn’t drag at all. True. the plot may have been your standard “good guy out to save his girl and get revenge” but when a film is hilarious as this it more than makes up for it. And thank fuck they didn’t aim the film at kids! This really worked in the films favour, enabling them to go for the really crude jokes and extreme violence. Its refreshing to see more adult blockbuster like this and Mad Max: Fury Road making a comeback. Hopefully with the success of films like these, we’ll see more of them in the future. To wrap things up, I’ll just say go and see Deadpool, even if you’re not a big comic book fan. You won’t regret it. Bring on the sequel!