After the debacle that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it seemed like Wade Wilson would never get his proper due on the big screen but thanks to the never say die attitude of Ryan Reynolds, the Internet’s love of the character and some amazing test footage that leaked, Deadpool has finally arrived in theaters in all of his snarky, violent glory.
Reynolds plays Wade Wilson, who in the movie is a mercenary who falls for a hooker named Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) but finds out he has particularly aggressive cancer. He’s given the chance at a cure by a shady group that turns out to be turning people into mutant weapons through the torture of the ruthless Ajax (Ed Skrein) and Angel (Gina Carano). Wade escapes horrifically deformed but with incredible healing powers and seeks revenge on everyone involved. The movie tries to shake up the usual origin story plotting by picking things up in media res with the full live action version of that great test footage as Wade attacks a convoy of goons on the freeway and then it cuts back from time to time to show Wade’s backstory. If I had one nitpick, it’s that there is a lot of backstory in the movie and I would have preferred slightly less of that and more of the full on Deadpool action we get in the second half but there are some fantastic bits in the past like a year long sex montage between Wade and Vanessa or Wade working his way up to Ajax by taking out various goons while also figuring out his suit, all set to TeamHeadKick’s “Deadpool Rap”. The plot is really secondary though to just the non-stop machine gun blast of jokes that begin from the second the movie starts with some great parody credits and it makes it so if one doesn’t particularly land for you, there’s another coming right behind that probably will. All of Wade’s fourth wall breaking and obsession with dick jokes and pop culture arrives fully intact and Reynolds is the perfect vehicle to deliver them all. The soundtrack also does a great job enhancing the comedy as well, whether it’s “X Gon Give it to Ya” or wildly inappropriate uses of songs like Mr. Sandman or You’re the Inspiration.
Deadpool also nails the fact that Wade is a battle hardened merc behind all the snark and when he kicks into action mode, it’s fantastic as well with tons of awesome acrobatic moves and creative kills from DP. There’s an amazing bit early on where Wade realizes he only has 12 bullets for his pistols and then proceeds to count them down while fighting off Ajax’s goons. The finale is excellent as well and makes great use of co-starring X-Men Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, with the former finally getting his due after being in the background for most of the proper X-Men series. Colossus stays metal for the entire movie and has his trademark Russian accent and makes a great comic foil to Deadpool with his goody two shoes attitude. Ed Skrein is great and slimy as Ajax, especially during the flashbacks to his torture of Wade, and Gina Carano is solid as his henchwoman Angel, who can go toe to toe with Colossus thanks to her super strength. Morena Baccarin and TJ Miller are both great and hilarious as well, especially Baccarin whose Vanessa gamely matches and then one ups Wade’s craziness (their “meet cute” involves them trying to top each other’s tragic childhoods). The only person who didn’t really have much impact was Wade’s roommate, Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) and I would have maybe preferred less of her in favor of more with Weasel (Miller) or Colossus and Negasonic.
If you’re a fan of Deadpool, his debut on the big screen is basically everything you could have hoped for. His raunchy sense of humor, penchant for violence and awareness of his medium are all fully on display and the supporting cast around him is great as well along with some excellent action. Grab a chimichanga and get to a theater as soon as you can.