OP-ROB RATING: ALL-STAR
Quite frankly, Ryan Reynolds hasn't been in too many good movies. He has never been able to land a role that really maximized his strengths. It's ironic that Reynolds' greatest film achievement was called "Buried", in which he was stuck in a box for the duration of the movie. Now, Reynolds finally has gotten his chance with "Deadpool". All of that pent up snark and pizazz has been let loose, and in a Marvel superhero movie of all places. Reynolds stars as Wade Wilson, an ex-special-ops soldier turned mercenary. Wilson's life takes an unexpected turn when he meets Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin) and they fall in love. However, he is soon diagnosed with terminal cancer and confronted by a shady businessman (Jed Rees) who offers a cure to his cancer.
After initially dismissing him, Wilson accepts the offer and is brought to a ramshackle clinic in a dingy city basement. Quickly, Wilson realizes he has been tricked into taking part in a private experiment to turn humans into mutants. And so, through a gruesome process Wilson's "mutant genes" are brought to life. He becomes incredibly strong and immune to any kind of injury; he heals like Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in the "X-Men" movies, but much more rapidly. However, the procedure leaves Wilson looking like he has third-degree burns covering his entire body. Wilson breaks out of the prison clinic and decides he can't reunite with Vanessa because, "looks are everything", and he is now ugly. Infuriated by the loss of a future with his girl, Wilson takes on the superhero name "Deadpool" and seeks revenge on the people who made him what he is.
The plot in “Deadpool” isn't all that special: it is a basic revenge story where the hero must confront some inner demons and win back the girl. But "Deadpool" is so much more than just another superhero click added to the Marvel canon. This film is R instead of PG-13. There is bad language, sex scenes, and plenty of blood and gore. This is the MTV of superhero movies. Reynolds totally immerses himself in the character and it is so much fun to watch. One of Deadpool/Wilson’s trademarks in the movie is characterizing everything using drawn out descriptions full of references. In the opening scenes he describes living in a life without love as "two hobos fucking in a shoebox full of piss". That doesn't make sense, but Reynolds delivers each strange qualification with such energy and enthusiasm you just have to shake your head and laugh. In another scene, Deadpool calls Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart) a “creepy, bald, Heaven’s Gate-looking motherfucker”. I’m not advocating vulgarity for the sake of vulgarity or gore for the sake of gore, but in “Deadpool” those things contribute to the overarching prank on Hollywood superhero flicks.
Besides the hilarity of the jokes, "Deadpool" is refreshing because it feels more real. Deadpool/Wilson isn't an eccentric billionaire living in a bat-cave or a Malibu mansion, instead he resides in a run down apartment with an elderly, blind, African-American woman named Blind Al (Leslie Uggams). Instead of traveling to fight the bad guys in an X-Jet or a Batmobile, Deadpool has to take a taxicab. Perhaps the greatest irony of Deadpool is the fact that he is gross looking. Superheroes aren't supposed to look like a horror movie monster just like Ryan Reynolds isn't supposed to be able to act without a pretty face.
The director of this unconventional superhero movie is Tim Miller, who is accredited in the opening scene as an "overpaid tool". I would disagree. Before "Deadpool" started I saw six trailers. One was for a franchise produced by J.J. Abrams. The next for a CGI fueled film called "Gods of Egypt", which looks like Gerard Butler cashing in on the last fumes from "300". And the next four were for these movies: "X-Men: Apocalypse", "Captain America: Civil War", "Suicide Squad", and "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice". Notice anything excessive? I had to laugh a little because after all I was about to see a superhero movie. But "Deadpool" isn't just a movie about a good guy in a costume fighting bad guys. Miller has created a spoof of the superhero fad that is dominating the theaters. And it's not only good in its own right as a superhero origin story; it's uniquely hilarious and entertaining from start to finish. Deadpool might not be able to fly or shoot lasers from his eyes, but at least he has the freedom to call his worst enemy a "wheezing bag of dick tips" and actually watch him bleed. In an America where the next president might be Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump, we need a superhero that speaks his mind and doesn't care; Deadpool is that hero.