CGB 100th Review: Deadpool (2016)

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day!

This is my review of Deadpool!

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Deadpool is the film adaptation of the Marvel comic book antihero Wade Wilson/Deadpool.  Wade starts off as a rogue mercenary who helps downtrodden souls deal with the difficult people in their lives (Ex: Say you’re being stalked and want to get the stalker off your back.  You call Wade and he’ll get him/her to leave you alone via intimidation and other unorthodox methods).  When Wade and his girlfriend Vanessa discover that he has cancer, Wade is offered a chance to be a part of rogue experiments that will cure him.  However, the experiments leave Wade scarred with a ghastly appearance and he sets off to find Ajax, aka Francis and make him pay for the disfigurement.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: Deadpool is NOT for children.
That is all.  Onward with the review!

The Hits
Ryan Reynolds has been dying to play this character and it shows.  He is having the time of his life being the crass, wise-cracking Wade/Deadpool.  While excessive swearing is not a desirable talent, Ryan Reynolds’ delivery of a plethora of expletives is convincing.  I really like his relationship with his girlfriend Vanessa; the idea of two hardened outcasts finding and committing themselves to one another is not only endearing, but also brings dimension to Deadpool’s character.
Finally a movie that knows how to correctly portray the lovable jerk character!  The humorous and foul-mouthed Wade Wilson/Deadpool doesn’t take life too seriously and always has a sarcastic response to everything, but he is dedicated to Vanessa and is considerate of her concerns after his cancer diagnosis all while masking his own panic with witty banter.  His sardonic comedy makes him extremely likable, while how much he values Vanessa makes him relatable and easy to root for.
I think it was a brilliant move to tell the story in non-chronological order.  We get Deadpool’s origin story out of the way while having plenty of time to watch him do superhero stuff.
This may a bit weird, but I found the lowlife bar that Wade hangs out at to be strangely charming.  There’s one scene towards the end of the second act where Ajax and his cohorts comes looking for Wade and when Ajax’s consort threatens the main owner, all of the bar attendants pull out guns, ready to defend the owner.  The subtle brotherhood of the bar patrons is an appreciative touch.
This movie pushes the envelope in terms of its depiction of violence.  It unapologetically earns its R-rating.  If a film achieves what it sets out to do, then it is worth commending.

The Misses
At times, the action gets a little overwhelming, especially when an action scene would go on for a long period of time.  This creates audience fatigue and can negatively impact the viewing experience.
So after undergoing Ajax’s experiments, Deadpool becomes an immortal killing machine…and this is a bit of a problem.  One of the ingredients of a great action hero is vulnerability.  If we see our hero/heroine feel pain and look afraid, we can identify with them and care for them.  We need to be concerned that they could die.  When a character cannot feel pain and has no chance of being killed by a bullet to the head, they don’t feel human and the tension of action sequences is lost.  “Why the heck are Ajax’s guys shooting at Deadpool?  He can’t die, so it’s pointless,” I said to the people I saw the film with.  An immortal antagonist is frightening and a legitimate threat; an immortal protagonist lacks vulnerability and is hard to care about.

For The Record
Is this movie a “hard R” flick?  Personally I didn’t think it was offensive to the eye, but then again, I have seen foreign language films that get far more graphic than Deadpool.  This isn’t like the Revenant where we watch Leo DiCaprio disembowel a horse, but it is definitely not PG-13 content.  If you are concerned, I would recommend going on Deadpool’s IMDB page and looking up the Parental Guide segment so that you can make an informed decision.

I have seen Deadpool twice and I loved it both times.  The crude, tongue-in-cheek humor is well-written and solid delivered by everyone involved, the action is fun and engaging, and Ryan Reynolds is captivating as the titular antihero.  This is definitely a comedic movie to go see with a bunch of friends at midnight.  If you’re looking for a good time at the movies, then this is the popcorn flick for you!

Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us.

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2 thoughts on “CGB 100th Review: Deadpool (2016)

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