Deadpool is rough around the edges, riotously rude and outrageously entertaining.
It’s also a bit of a miracle that it even exists, especially since Fox already bottled the Wade Wilson character in 2009s X-Men Origins Wolverine. They’ve even allowed it to exist in the same universe as their X-Men series, albeit a darker vision than ever before.
Reynolds has been aboard the Deadpool hype train for over 10 years and with the film finally finished its easy to see why – this is the perfect role for the 39 year old. It’s his energy that powers every frame of the film, and his own unique sense of humour brings Wilson to life in a way no other actor could.
The film also has personality to spare, with the title sequence a great summary of the gags to expect from the next 108 minutes. It’s also a great primer for audiences – if these opening frames don’t raise a giggle or two you might not be totally on board for what comes next.
I was and Deadpool is a riot. There’s plenty of action, zinging one liners, random nudity, sight gags, ultraviolence, dick jokes, movie references and shout outs to the audience. If one joke doesn’t work for you there will be another along in a moment, as the film runs headlong into every attempt to entertain.
It’s kind of endearing, even if it sometimes feels like it’s working too hard. Regardless, it’s a breath of fresh air next to the cavalcade of comic book epics which try to make you care about the world ending yet again thanks to some dull supervillain. In Deadpool our (kinda)hero just wants to get his girlfriend back, and he’s not especially picky about his methods.
First time director Tim Miller benefits from keeping things small, with the main action sequence being a finely constructed freeway fight that straddles much of the film. That set piece is wound around a flashback structure which both serves the narrative and gives the film a way to comment on itself, something which Deadpool manages to do without feeling pretentious.
These reflexive moments are evenly spread throughout the piece, and they’re mostly hilarious as they skewer everything from the film’s budget to Ryan Reynolds, other X-Men characters and, of course, Green Lantern.
The much vaunted R-rated is also in full effect, with plenty of bad language, off colour humour and bloodletting. Deadpool’s comic appearances are mostly of the PG-13 variety, so it’s all the more impressive that this kind of content was encouraged by the studio.
So, I thought Deadpool was a hugely entertaining, irreverent and gloriously silly film – and a perfect antidote to the current comic book crop. However it’s the kind of flick which won’t appeal to everyone, partly because of its often crude humour but also due to how it stretches the conventions of the genre.
It’s more of a ride than a film, a series of fun moments with little real interest in building a narrative or creating a connected multiverse to sell toys. That works in its favour but maybe take a look at some clips before you decide whether to check it out. Or everyone go see it anyway, because I’d really love a sequel…