It is essential to go into Deadpool with a mindset that is different than the one you would go into any other Marvel movie with. Unless you’ve read the comics, or are at least remotely familiar with Deadpool’s character and personality, you will not be prepared for this movie, especially if you are a comic book movie buff like this reviewer, who has seen every Marvel movie worth seeing. You can watch any of the X-Men or Marvel Cinematic Universe movies without much prior knowledge of the source material. They’re all fun, exciting movies. Deadpool is also fun and exciting, but you will be immensely disappointed if you think you’ll be seeing a typical X-Men movie, even though Deadpool is a mutant. Calling it an X-Men movie, or even a superhero movie at all, is a stretch. And therein lies the disappointment.
Deadpool almost feels like a parody of superhero movies, while still remaining within the confines of the X-Men universe. The titular anti-hero, portrayed by Ryan Reynolds, constantly breaks the fourth wall, cracks jokes at the expense of other superheroes, Reynolds’ past excursions into playing superheroes, and even the studio itself. That’s all good fun, as is Deadpool’s incessant quips and one-liners, and the constant onslaught of comic book Easter eggs that fanboys and girls will eat up. But the good fun stops there.
Deadpool spends a lot of time delving into Wade Wilson’s backstory, which is typical when a superhero is featured in its first feature film, but this one in particular seemed to drag on for too long. Wade Wilson was just a generally uninteresting person in his pre-Deadpool life. The whole scenario seemed so trite. Guy meets girl, guy gets girl, guy gets cancer and leaves girl to join an underground government program that will cure him and give him a random mutation… Okay, maybe it’s not an entirely unoriginal concept, but too much of the movie was spent on building the character and his motivation. I get that exposition is important, but as a result of its length, the actual action sequences felt rushed and unsatisfying.
One of the few bright spots was the acting. Reynolds got another shot at bringing life to the character after Fox spewed out the debacle that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This time around, he nailed it. He was truly hilarious, delivering jokes at every turn, and forming great chemistry with every character he came across. To put it simply, Reynolds brought Deadpool to life the way he deserved, and ended up giving one of the best performances of his career.
Opposite Reynolds was Morena Baccarin, best known for the TV series Firefly, as the equally cynical Vanessa. Most of her appearances come in flashbacks, but she is just as funny and mentally twisted as Wade. For such a lighthearted movie, their relationship is almost heartbreaking. A match made in heaven? Absolutely.
Does a movie that is essentially comic relief need a supporting actor to provide it anyway? Probably not, but TJ Miller, of Silicon Valley, does it regardless as bartender and Wade’s best friend Weasel. Most of his scenes take place in a bar, and that’s for the best. Weasel’s usefulness is relegated to a slew of one-liners, because he is a fairly flat character with not much room for character development.
Overall, the best way to put a positive spin on Deadpool is to call it a comedy that happens to have a superhero lead. A superhero movie this is not, and given all the hype that preceded it, that is a major letdown, more so for comic book movie buffs than anyone else. 7/10.