Directed by Tim Miller
Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, Stefan Kapicic, and Brianna Hildebrand
Length: 1 hour and 48 minutes
Genre: Action, adventure, comedy
MPAA Rating: R
Description from IMDB:
“A fast-talking mercenary with a morbid sense of humor is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers and a quest for revenge.”
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), a former-soldier-turned-mercenary, meets the love of his life, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), at a bar where local mercenaries and seedy characters hang out. After a montage of love-making, it is clear that the two are compatible in the way that puzzle pieces fit together, and their brief moment of happiness is interrupted when Wade finds out he has stage-four cancer. In a bid to seek a cure, he is contacted by a representative for the mysterious Ajax (Ed Skrein), a.k.a. Francis, who offers him the chance to become a superhero and have his cancer cured. After agreeing, he finds out that this was a Faustian deal, and he is horribly deformed by his mutation. Seeking revenge on Francis, Wade takes on the moniker Deadpool and hunts down the man who destroyed his life.
The story in Deadpool (2016) hops around in time. We meet Deadpool on the way to kill Francis, but then have to backtrack to how he met Vanessa, was diagnosed with cancer, got deformed, and then found Francis. Montages help to show time passing and allow for the plot to keep its pace without getting bogged down by the backstory. These flashbacks are interspersed with the main timeline that eventually catches up when Wade loses Francis after the intervention of Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) from the X-Men.
The action and violence are highly stylized and brutal. One of the most iconic scenes, due to Deadpool leaving behind his ammo bag, finds him taking on multiple enemies with only twelve bullets. As he takes them down one by one, he counts each shell, regardless of whether they make a kill or not. The CGI, which this film uses heavily, is very well-done so that it is often difficult to see the transition between it and live action. A lot of the film was also shot on green screen, which makes sense (I mean, they only paid for two X-Men, why build an entire mansion set that would be used in two scenes?).
In the original comics, the Merc with a Mouth is known for his wise-cracks and jokes, as well as breaking the fourth wall and commenting to readers in his comments. This is kept up in the film, which leads to many moments of levity and an understanding of Deadpool’s character. We see all of the torture he undergoes, his relationship with Vanessa, and his line of work so it all makes sense when he goes on his revenge murder spree. However, he also struggles with his past and penchant for violence, knowing that he cannot be a stereotypical hero despite Colossus’s attempts to bring him into the fold.
Deadpool (2016) was an absolute box office smash when it came out two years ago, and its sequel did just as well. Though there have been R-rated and gory comic book movies in the past, none ever rose to the prominence in popular culture as this revenge tale with a twist. It is a testament to what can happen when casting, writing, and directing all work in conjunction with a character who is outrageous and likeable despite his flaws. Though it is technically a superhero movie, it combines comedy, violence, drama, and tragedy in such a way as to create a compelling story that was executed with maximum effort.
Verdict: 4 chimichangas out of 5
Recommended for: Fans of Deadpool, people with an immature sense of humor, jaded superhero movie fans, comic book geeks, fans of fourth-wall breaks, and people who didn’t enjoy Green Lantern (2011).
Not recommended for: Francis, children, the squeamish, those who dislike blood and gore, overly-mature people, people who dislike Ryan Reynolds, jocks, and people who enjoyed Green Lantern (2011).