The idea that Marvel was not only going to be introducing a rather unique crime-fighter to its already plentiful collection of movie superheroes but also was going to give the film itself an R rating made Deadpool instantly appealing as a project.
The casting of Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson made sense despite a shaky attempt at bringing the disfigured anti-hero to the screen in Wolverine: Origins and having starred in the hugely unpopular Green Lantern movie. A promising leaked trailer led to a legion of fans demanding to see the full movie and... here we are! The playful yet violent tone of the film is introduced right off the bat as the opening titles show a paused car crash with credits replaced by piss-take descriptions of the cast and crew. What follows is a narrated, fourth wall-breaking journey inside the mind of the mouthy, twisted superhero who is hunting down bad guy Ajax (Ed Skrein) in order to get him to fix his mutated body. Along the way, we're taken back to Wilson's pre-Deadpool days, which show how he joined the shady Weapon X program following a cancer diagnosis and also introduce his beloved girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin).
Humour-wise, you can expect an unhealthy amount of dick jokes, tons of pop culture references, X-Men teases, in-jokes and cartoonish randomness. Clearly the film is proud of its R rating and therefore every scene is injected with raunchiness and/or foul language, which is both refreshing and tiresome. Yes it feels good to see a Marvel film finally not giving a crap about how violent or rude it is and, frankly, we need more superhero films like this. Then again, you really do get the feeling that Deadpool tries a little too hard to either shock or simply go all out. Had the film put this much effort into developing its story, visuals and action we could have had one hell of a superhero movie. As it stands, Deadpool falls just short of greatness.
The film wastes too much time on this one bridge-set action sequence which the trailers pretty much spoiled entirely a year ago and, although it has its spectacular moments and Deadpool's failed attempts at taking on Colossus are admittedly very amusing, it really doesn't go anywhere and you wonder what the police is doing this entire time. Plus we keep cutting to flashbacks, some of which could have probably been told through a stylish montage. In fact, the film uses montages to skip through stuff which could have probably been extended to entertaining action scenes. The finale has a decent scale and is entertaining but we could have done with less talk, more spectacle. The CGI on Colossus, I should point out, also stands out as distracting in a film which is otherwise rather gritty.
On the plus side, whatever spectacle the film does have is well done and Ryan Reynolds proves himself to be right man for the job delivering his best performance to date and obviously having the time of his life throughout. While Deadpool leaves you wanting more, it works very well as an introduction to the character and it gets you appropriately excited for the sequel. Plus seeing glimpses of the X-Men universe promises some nifty crossovers worth getting excited about. Fox may have just unwittingly stumbled onto the true solution to their Fantastic Four-style failures: keep making solely R-rated comic-book movies since few others are doing that and it serves as a welcome alternative to what Marvel Studios and DC are doing.
Deadpool doesn't exactly nail the anime-style hilarity of the 2013 video game and the overall tone of the comics but it's a superhero movie like you've never seen before and for that it's definitely worth watching. Fans of the character will have a ball with this movie and everyone else should at least leave the cinema wanting to see Deadpoool in further, better adventures.
Uneven but fun.