“The Merc With A Mouth” Comes To The Big Screen With “Deadpool”
By Scott Kurland
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Ed Skrein, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano, and Leslie Uggams
Rated R (As if all the R rated controversy hadn’t made headlines…obviously)
Director: Tim Miller
There’s some comic books that practically beg to be given the film treatment. It is for that reason we have so many “X-Men”, “Superman”, “Batman”, and “Spider-Man” films. These are the so-called "golden-gooses" of the comic book world. When it comes to more obscure comic books, this is where studios have to gamble. Before “Guardians of The Galaxy” appeared on the big screen, very few people knew of its existence. Now, you can say the name "Rocket" without even adding the words "Racoon" and people will know who you are talking about. Even so, no one could have predicted that "Gaurdians" would have done as well as it did at the box office. The reason for this cautious approach to green-lighting films is simple; they deal with characters who are less well known and, some might say, less beloved than other spandex-clad vigilantes. I think this is why Fox was iffy on making a “Deadpool” movie. They knew it would have to be a hard R, they knew it would have to be violent, and they knew that they'd alienate most of their normal demographic of ages 5-16. However, some genius (I’m using genius non-ironic or sarcastic. I’m serious about the genius comment) leaked the “Deadpool” test footage two years ago. That brings us up to date. This week’s film is indeed the long awaited “Deadpool” movie. Let’s find out if it’s any good shall we?
“Deadpool” is the story of Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), a mercenary for hire who has a sharp tongue, quick draw with a gun, and a beautiful foul-mouthed girlfriend named Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). Wade sadly gets diagnosed with terminal cancer. Going to extremes, Wade enters a program run by a mysterious man name Ajax (Ed Skrein). The program allows Wade to cure his cancer and make him a superhero. But things don’t end up the way they should. Wade is cured, but also deformed in the process. Now he’s Deadpool; a fast talking, sassy, gun-for-hire in a red spandex suit who knows how to break the fourth wall. When Vanessa is kidnapped, Deadpool must "make the f#@!ing chimichangas" with the help of Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) to take on Ajax and his associate Angel Dust (Gina Carano). Will he do it? Or is he too busy talking to the audience to notice?
Let me start out by saying: “HOLY COW THIS FILM IS AMAZING, THEY NAILED THE FORMULA”. Ok, now that I got that out of my system, I can continue. “Deadpool” has always been my favorite mutant character in the Marvel “X-Men” universe. I was skeptical at first, but I knew this film was in good hands. The screenwriters are Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. These are the guys who created “Zombieland” which means they know how to do zany. They also know how to do heartfelt. Strangely, there are moments in this film that are really sweet and genuine.
Reese and Wernick make a good team, and you can tell they have a lot of love and appreciation for this character. What makes this film work is indeed the script. Director Tim Miller allows this script to come life on the screen. That might be because this is his directorial debut. It could also be that he got his start in visual and digital effects and he knows his forte isn’t in writing dialog or changing the structure. This film is gorgeous to look at and the CGI never looks fake. There’s so much texture and detail appearing throughout the film. Miller could retire now because he made a great comic book film, but I won’t say that because I want him to direct the film’s sequel.
The real star of “Deadpool” isn’t the screenplay, or Miller’s great direction and effects; it’s Ryan Reynolds. For far too long, Reynolds has been in terrible comic book film after terrible comic book film. Now, he gets his reward for being such a trooper. “Deadpool” is a dream role for any actor, and Reynolds embraces the role; driving it home at full force. “Deadpool” is easily Reynolds’ best role in years, though, considering those previous films are “RIPD” and “Green Lantern” (I love the character of Green Lantern so panning that film pains me.), it isn't that hard to do. Reynolds has always been a great comedic talent, but he’s got the build of an action star. Finding great roles that he fits into is hard. I think a lot of actors have this problem, but Reynolds was the IT boy many years ago. Sadly, it never equated to anything big. I feel like 2016 A.D. “Deadpool” will be the year of Ryan Reynolds.
“Deadpool” is a terrific film filled with so many great performances, especially those of Ed Skrein, Gina Carano, and the biggest surprise was Leslie Uggams. If you’re wondering when was the last time you saw Leslie Uggams in anything, I can tell you, it was in 1979 when she hosted “The Muppet Show”. This is a strong comic book film with a hard R-rating for a reason. Nothing is held back, they push the envelope with the dialog, and there’s a lot of sex in the film…I mean A LOT. I bring this up because, a few weeks ago, a mother went on twitter asking for Marvel and Fox to recut the film so her 8-year-old could see it. I found that to be sweet, but when Marvel and Fox said it couldn’t be done because the film would be twenty minutes long, this women verbally attacked the studio. I don’t know if she knows how hard it is to edit a film, but it’s no easy task. To create a PG-13 cut in three weeks before the film’s release is an impossible feat. I think it’s good thing that there’s an R-rated comic book Marvel movie for adults. “Deadpool” brings the excitement, action, and so many laughs that you’ll have to see the movie more than once to catch all of them.
“Deadpool” is by far my favorite “X-Men” based Marvel movie by Fox. The opening titles alone are worth the recommendation. Keep in mind though, this is a graphic, violent movie that earned a hard R from the MPAA. If you’re squeamish and hate blood or guts spilling out, this isn’t the movie for you. If you love comic book films, a great dialog delivered by a great cast, and the best Stan Lee cameo ever….. well then, you need to see “Deadpool” as soon as possible. This is a must see action movie.
REVIEW RATING: A-