20th CENTURY FOX (2016)

Director: Tim Miller

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Leslie Uggams, Brianna Hildebrand

‘Angel of the Morning’ screams out during a crazy opening salvo that explodes the movie into life – in slow motion we have men with bullets ripping through them, wedgies, heads in groins, cars flipping, blood splattering – what is going on? Deadpool (Reynolds) will always be on hand to explain…

 

After years of trying, and a character busting appearance in 2009’s Wolverine origin movie, Ryan Reynolds finally managed to get the character of Deadpool to the big screen properly. As star and producer of the movie, it’s clearly a labour of love and he sure had a lot of fun in the movie, and so did I.

Right off the bat, the movie sets out its stall with the opening credits not listing names, instead descriptions of who is starring and who are the creators – Some Douchebag’s Film, British Villain, A Hot Chick and Directed by An Overpaid Tool to name but a few. Appearing over the opening slow-mo carnage packed with action and laughs was a great opening to the movie, and the interaction with the taxi driver set the tone and level for the rest of the proceedings. Reynolds seems born for the role of Deadpool and is great throughout, in the scenes as Wade and suited up as the antihero, he carries the film with a snarky, confident attitude.

 

The gags keep coming throughout; whether through violence, wit or clever interactions the movie delivers on its promise of being different to the norm. Deadpool’s black sense of humour is brilliantly delivered by Reynolds and plays out more like an action-comedy than a straight up comic book movie. It isn’t just Reynolds who gets the fun lines, Leslie Uggams as Blind Al has her fair share and the interactions with Weasel (Miller) are great throughout. The self-awareness of the humour is what shines through, poking fun at the movies and mediums it is based on, and treating everything as ultra meta. Obviously, the fourth wall shattering throughout the movie brings a unique flavour to the movie and sets it apart from it’s contemporaries also.

 

The decision to have Deadpool in the movie right away, and then begin to segue into the origin story was a justified decision – too often, the hero/star of the show is held back and not shown as much as expected. To have the main attraction blasting off from the start really helped the movie. The parts of the movie that fell flat for me were the scenes without Deadpool in – mainly in the movie’s middle acts. It’s not that these scenes were bad necessarily, it’s just that with a character like Deadpool, you’re always wanting more, and moving from crazy comedy to solemn origins was a bit of a jolt. The comedy and action does gloss over what is a very thin plot – action, escape, kidnap, rescue, and the origin story pads out what’s left, so I am intrigued as to what the announced sequel will hold in store and whether it will continue in the same vein or if it will become a more conventional big scale comic book movie (EDIT: Miller has in fact left his post as director for the sequel over this exact reason) – at times, this movie showed hints of being just what it was poking fun at.

 

After an admittedly brilliant marketing campaign (the 12 Days of Deadpool being a highlight) and the stories of the black humour, action and fourth wall busting, does Deadpool actually stand up and deliver? Yes it does, and that’s thanks to the titular character. Overall, this is a great, enjoyable action film full to the brim with gags and humour, though these cover over a thin plot and a plodding middle act, the unique style of the movie makes it effortlessly entertaining – you’d have to be off your chimichangas to miss this.

November 3rd 2016

© 2016 Matt Hudson / What I Watched Tonight / Essex

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