There are as many trends in films and movies as there are in fashion; what’s “out” one year is “in” the next.
We’ve gone through our vampire obsession that began with “Twilight” and lasted until it became popular to make fun of the idea of sparkly vampires (hit right on the nose in the animated film “Hotel Transylvania”). Not too long after, zombies started becoming popular in movies, not to mention on TV (nodding at you, “The Walking Dead”). And followed pretty closely after that was the start of the dystopian teenage-angst movies that are all about “fighting the system” and avoiding becoming another pawn in “their” game (“The Hunger Games” and “Divergent”).
Though their comics have been around as early as the 1930s and ’40s, the obsession with getting every superhero his or her own movie is the newest movie obsession. This began tentatively with characters like Superman, Batman, Blade and the Hulk ever since the 1970s and 80s. These movies have gone through good and bad periods, with some portrayals of these superheros getting better over the years (in “Batman,” “The Avengers,” and “X-Men”), and others getting worse (“Man of Steel,” and “Fantastic Four”). Sometimes these bouts of good and bad luck are due to the studios that fund them or the directors that constantly are getting switched around. Any way you look at it, we are most likely going to be stuck in the Superhero Phase of popular movies until the end of the decade. Maybe even into the 2020s, if Marvel and DC Comics get their way.
In this bloated battle between Marvel and DC Comics to make the better superhero movie or show, however, comes the one film that will put all of their other movies to shame. This film knows what it is capable of representing and knows how to make fun of itself in the most clever way possible. This movie is “Deadpool.”
Directed by Tim Miller in his debut, “Deadpool” is the R-rated superhero movie that is exactly what this generation needs: a superhero that is definitely “super,” but not necessarily a hero, and wants it to stay that way. We enter into the film in the most humorous series of starting credits that’s ever been seen, introducing actors and actresses crudely and exceptionally on-the-nose.
In the meantime, Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, is in the middle of a slow-motion car accident/chase/battle with a group of assailants. Then the film backtracks a little to allow the audience to see Deadpool heading toward this fight, sitting in a taxi and talking to cab driver Dopinder (Karan Soni). The film continues from there, and all the while Deadpool’s attitude and language are as crude as his fighting skills are quick, precise and deadly. As shocking as his actions is his disregard for the “fourth wall,” meaning that Deadpool knows he is in his own movie and addresses the audience directly, interacting and joking with them. Through his direct narration, we begin to learn who this masked fighter is.
The audience learns that Deadpool’s real name is Wade Wilson, an ex-Special Forces operative who finds himself in the situation of being a “mercenary-for-hire,” basically beating up bad guys for those who pay him. However, as the film plays out we discover more than just the fact that he has a potty mouth. He is capable of falling in love with his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), with whom he stays for nearly a year before finding out that he has terminal cancer in multiple organs.
Soon after finding this out, a strange man comes to him and says he can help cure Wilson’s cancer by making him into a “superhero.” Wilson is doubtful at first, naturally, and wishes to just spend his time with Vanessa, but her love for him pushes him to abandon her in order to get better. What he doesn’t realize is that the mutated man named Francis, who calls himself Ajax (played by Ed Skrein), and his accomplice Angel Dust (Gina Carano) take desperate people like Wilson and basically turn them into super, mutant slaves, using their powers for Ajax’s own benefit. They do the same with Wilson, mutating his DNA so he cannot die and making his cells able to regenerate quicker than normal.
When Wilson escapes and makes Ajax think he’s dead, he plans his revenge to kill Ajax, whom he calls by his real name. This revenge story is what pushes Wilson, who calls himself Deadpool, to perfect his fighting skills by looking for Ajax, and killing anyone who gets in his way. His friend Weasel (TJ Miller) and the old blind woman Deadpool rooms with named Al (Leslie Uggams) help him along the way, and other superheroes from the X-Men universe come to give aid.
Not wanting to give too much away other than the basics of who and what Deadpool is I won’t say anything more. What I will stress, though, is how important it is to go and see this movie. Apart from the fact that it is absolutely hilarious throughout, due to a well-written script, this movie about a mutant superhero will give you everything you’ve ever wanted to see in a superhero movie. Funny comebacks, well-shot action scenes, few but well-made CGI effects, romantic moments and something that is more powerful than many of these things: a sense of reality.
Deadpool doesn’t plan on becoming part of a super awesome group of crime-fighting heroes, like the Avengers or the X-Men. He doesn’t even want to be a hero; he just wants to “do right by someone else,” that someone being Vanessa.
Reynolds is also perfect for this role. I’m pretty sure without his interest in portraying Deadpool the film would not have been made. There is no one else who could have handled such a raw character as Wade Wilson other than him, and he knows this as well. His cocky attitude, however, does not take away from the film or annoy the viewer. It only makes them want him more.
Other honorable mentions in the films are Baccarin as Vanessa and Stefan Kapicic, who plays Colossus. Baccarin is wonderful as Wilson’s girl, mostly because of her chemistry with Reynolds and how she keeps up with his fast-paced humor. Kapicic’s character is the sweetness to the orgy of raw bluntness of the rest of the film’s characters. His massive body matched with his sweet demeanor is adorable compared to everything else going on, and it perfectly balances out the movie’s edge.
The only real critique of this movie that can be said is not even about the film itself, more so about the marketing. Most of the advertising for “Deadpool” was done incredibly well; it was very clever and humorous, making the audience see how different of an experience this film would give. However, a lot of the action in the major trailers is seen in the beginning of the film – the car chase scene where Deadpool reveals his skills to the audience and takes people out without even a second thought.
That major fight scene in the trailer is one of the major action sequences in the film, and to me it was a bit disappointing that it gave away a lot of what we would see in the movie right away. Obviously there are more action sequences that are later on and are far better than that, but I did leave the theater wanting more from what I saw, and I think that is both a negative and a positive, but probably more of a positive.
If the language does not appeal to you or you don’t feel like seeing a different kind of comic book character come to life, go on ahead watching the old standbys that are either pretty good or really bad. Nothing will compare to the awesome “Deadpool.”