Cinema: Deadpool (2016)
Marvel: the first name in comic books. An institution that has given the world the likes of Spiderman, Punisher, Hulk, X-Men and The Avengers. Some of the most enduring characters in popular culture and as box office returns have shown us over the last 10 years, probably the most popular names in modern cinema. The transition from page to screen has caught up in an incredible way. Every year we get at least 2 -3 new comic book movies and Marvel are ruling the roost. Back in 1991 Marvel writer/artist Rob Liefeld threw a new villain into his X-Men New Mutants series. ‘The merc with a mouth’, an assassin in a red and black suit with self healing abilities and exceptional fighting skills. Over the next few years ‘Wade Winston Wilson’ would go on to become the antihero for a new generation of comic book fans. Deadpool was born.
Deadpool is that rare character that is not only exciting, funny and horrifically violent he also has a lot of pathos and frequently breaks the 4th wall… literally no other Marvel or DC character has this M.O. He is unique. He is a phenomenon and now, in 2016, after one ill fated attempt to bring his tale to the screen, we have a solo Deadpool movie, one that has already broken box office records on its opening weekend alone. I can testify that it is fucking excellent.
Star Ryan Reynolds has nurtured this project for years, since he played Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009. This was not Deadpool, it was a bit of an insult to the character and most importantly to the fans, I mean they sewed his mouth shut…. literally cutting his balls off right there.
His perseverance paid off however and with a modest 53 million dollar budget, the writing team behind Zombieland and a fresh, new director from a visual FX background (Tim Miller) Reynolds finally gets to play his dream role and he nails it harder than a virgin on prom night.
Deadpool is an origins story; it opens with an ultra violent action scene and bounces back and forth throughout its lean 100 min running time showing us how Wade goes from a poorly paid mercenary to becoming the Freddy Kruger of Marvel heroes. His transformation is horrific and his back-story touching and tragic, seriously this film really moved me in some scenes. Plot wise it’s a pretty basic revenge film but it’s all about character here and literally no other actor could have done this as brilliantly as its biggest fan. This is a perfect performance.
The reason Deadpool works so well is that Marvel (probably against its better judgement) let the film gain an R rating or a 15 in the UK. That used to mean poor box office as younger kids couldn’t enjoy this in the cinema. But Deadpool isn’t a kid friendly character, he’s a fucking badass! Ryan Reynolds says ‘mother fucker’ more times than Joe Pesci after stubbing his toe, there is brutal violence, decapitations and even Wades swinging dick (take your girlfriend and say you get to see Ryan Reynolds cock… she’ll be there) the 4th wall breaking is used just enough throughout and the pacing is spot on. In the same vein as Blade and The Crow, we once again have a more ‘adult’ comic book movie to revel in and after the incredible financial success of its opening weekend, going forward we may see a few more in this style…Wolverine can finally spray the screen with some bad guy blood? Go see Deadpool. Twice. I will.
Make sure you stay for the post credits scene too as it joyfully lampoon’s an 80’s classic.
Review by Ramrod (co-host of 60 Minutes With)