Review – Deadpool
This is going to be difficult.
Somehow as a reviewer I feel as though I should be providing heavier critique, and maybe that’s just because I’ve read/listened to enough reviews that I feel like a critic should be more… well, critical of films, especially when they’ve had this much hype surrounding them. I don’t actually recall the last time I saw this much hype surrounding a film, and it easily matches the anticipation and drive behind this project, and no one fought harder than the lead actor, Deadpool.
I suppose if I have one major criticism it would be that once and for all this has proven that Deadpool can’t act, and this whole “Ryan Reynolds” thing he’s been on for the last however-many years really hasn’t proven a great deal.
All right, never mind. Reynolds nailed the role of Deadpool as easily as we all knew he would, from the sarcasm, to the pop-culture bombardment, and the way he addresses the audience. Missing were yellow box and white box, but the character loses nothing for the loss of what should be a fairly major feature by the reckoning of most fans. On top of that there were plenty of jokes about the Marvel universe, jokes about the production, jokes about other super-hero films (mostly Green-Lantern).
We have all had those film experiences where the whole theatre laughs at the same time, even to the point where no one hears the next line, but it’s been a long time since I was in a film that managed it from minute one, and never from the first few seconds, and this being a Marvel film there are still laughs to be had once the credits have stopped rolling. You can probably all guess the nature of the end-credits scene, but still worth watching. My greatest fear whilst I immersed myself in the hype was that the best jokes might have been in the trailers, turns out I was royally wrong. I’ll save a few juicier spoilers for later on.
It is quite true to say that once you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen pretty much the whole film, the scene on the bridge is actually most of the story, cut with flashbacks that fill us in on how we got to that point. Flashbacks work fine when used sparingly, but when they form the structure of your narrative you’ve either got to be very clever with how you set it all up, or be a ridiculous comedy… which all works out rather nicely for Deadpool!
The story is there. It’s not a big deal really, much like any comedy, and much like any action film the story is a necessary addition to make sure that all of the blood, violence and gunplay are there for a reason, and to give the jokes context, but the fact is that it all fits rather neatly across the trailers is hardly a surprise, but not exactly a devastating blow to the quality of the film.
The rest of the cast are… well they’re ok. Our villain, Ajax, played by Ed Skrein, is typically British-type with a mean streak, and plays the crazy science-torturer role rather well, and having read a little of his interactions with ‘Pool from the comics they hit the nail rather soundly on the head. Crowning jewel of the supporting cast has to be Deadpool’s roommate Blind Al, played by Leslie Uggams, brilliantly cynical, and a fantastic comic-counterplay to Reynolds, the banter between them makes every scene they share absolute gold, funnier even than T.J. Miller as Weasel. As for Morena Baccarin, I’ve never been a huge fan, from Firefly to Gotham, and her bit-parts in the Mentalist, I’ve always found her acting to be a little too average to make for a strong love interest.
Spoilers coming up, summary to follow…
HYDRA Bob makes an appearance! You cannot imagine how happy I am that they managed to work in HYDRA Bob and it wasn’t completely awkward. On the subject of cameo appearances, Stan Lee is the DJ in a strip club, and here’s the thing… in Britain we got a rating of 15, and suddenly I’m wondering what’s on the list to get an 18. Violence and swearing abounds, drug references aplenty, and more nudity and sex than I was expecting for the age rating. Maybe because the sex and nudity were in separate scenes? Not just boobs either, for the man-fans expect some Reynolds-dong, and then some. Hooray! Gender equality!
Anyway, off that subject, there’s a brilliant mini-plot with the cab-driver, in which Deadpool proves his heroic side, helping the guy recapture his love by kidnapping his cousin. The punchline is one of the funniest moments in the film, and that is saying a hell of a lot.
The short version is that this could not have been a more perfect Deadpool film. I can’t even bemoan the length because had it been much longer it probably would have overstayed its welcome. There is a sequel in the works that will almost certainly be done as well if not better than the first. Well done Sony, you finally got a Marvel film right. Maybe if you start to listen to the fans a little more often you’d start getting places with the property.
Also, I spotted no fewer than three Spider-Man jokes, anyone spot any more, let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.