Rating: 3.5 Stars
The following review contains spoilers.
Deadpool is basically what if Bugs Bunny murdered people and made dick jokes.
Tip to toe, this is a Deadpool movie. For better or worse. If you love Deadpool, watching this movie is probably an incredibly gratifying experience. I’ve never been a big Deadpool fan, and so I respect this movie a bit more than I enjoy it.
Though Deadpool is the star, my favorite characters were Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. I grew up reading X-Men comics, and have been disappointed with the way they’ve been portrayed in most of the live-action films (X-Men: First Class as the biggest exception). Colossus and NTW, even in their limited screen time, just felt like X-Men characters in a way that’s nearly always missing (particularly from the Bryan Singer-directed films). From superficial details like their costumes and Colossus’s Russian accent to the less tangible things like the way they interact with each other and other characters, and the creative ways they use their powers. Colossus just feels like an X-Man in a world where the comic book X-Men exist, and NTW feels like a “new mutant” trainee X-Man that Colossus has taken under his wing.
The final action scenes at what appears to be a dry-docked helicarrier work great. I liked Deadpool forgetting his giant duffel bag of guns, both as a joke and as an excuse to make the next few scenes more exciting than just a gun fight. The choreography in the Colossus and Angel Dust fight worked incredibly well, considering Colossus arguably doesn’t exist and I have no idea what Gina Carano was punching. Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s powers were fun to watch, and used creatively. Deadpool spelling out FRANCIS in dead bodies was a great gag, and I loved him seeing the little cartoons when he had a knife in the brain. His actual fight against Ajax was also well-choreographed.
The hardest I laughed was probably in the initial freeway scene when Deadpool sticks his head up from behind an overturned car and just says “Hey!” I don’t know why that got me, but it got me.
Ryan Reynolds is perfect casting as Deadpool. T.J. Miller is perfect casting as Weasel. I’m glad that Blind Al was a presence in this movie even though I wish she had more to do.
I don’t know if it’s really “Best Stan Lee cameo ever!” but Lee as a strip club DJ is certainly audacious in a fun way.
Bonus points for any super hero movie where the main character is pegged on International Women’s Day.
“Deadpool. Captain Deadpool.”
The middle of this movie drags. I’m not saying I hate every movie with an origin story or that I never want to see an origin story again, but an origin story better be damn interesting if you’re going to take up a lot of time with it. And I don’t think Wade Wilson’s origin story is really that interesting. And I think they sort of realize that because they intercut a lot of it with the present day action sequence on the freeway, but to me that’s just a band-aid on the real problem. And given this is a Deadpool movie, you could get a little crazier with it: make it animated, or a pop-up book, or a montage set to an unusual song choice – I don’t know, I’m not a screenwriter – but just something faster, funnier, and more visually interesting than what we got.
I’m not saying it’s wrong for Deadpool to be R-rated (though I don’t think it had to be R-rated, as the comics themselves don’t exactly contain a lot of swearing or full-frontal nudity), but I do think that playing tennis without a net can be too easy. There are so many instances in this movie where they just go for another dick joke or pepper in a bunch of swear words as a substitute for actual clever joke writing. I laughed several times in this movie, but given the volume of jokes, there were way more misses than hits.
Again, as with the origin story, if you’re going to have the villain kidnap the hero’s wife/girlfriend, it better be damn interesting. I’ve seen more than enough damsel-in-distress action movie climaxes to last a lifetime. I guess you need Vanessa present at the climax to realize Wade’s alive and to have the opportunity to accept his deformity, but a more creative solution could have been found. Deadpool was going after Ajax anyway, so it’s not like Ajax needed to kidnap her to lure Deadpool out.
Wade Wilson is a cold-blooded mercenary assassin who only kills bad people and takes jobs from sweet high school girls. Sure, okay.