Saturday, February 13, 2016

Deadpool - Movie Review

Deadpool is a Marvel Studios production directed by Tim Miller based off of characters created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza. The movie stars Ryan Reynolds in the title role along with Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, Gina Carano, Michael Benyaer, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Jed Rees, Leslie Uggams, and Stan Lee.

The Story:
Wade Wilson (Reynolds) is a local gun for hire who uses his wisecracking mouth as much as he uses his muscle to complete jobs. Just when Wilson thinks his life is taking a turn for the better, mostly thanks to his girlfriend Vanessa (Baccarin), he learns he has terminal cancer and his only option is to enter an experimental program that will not only save his life but give him enhanced abilities as well. of course, there is always a catch and, after realizing the outcome has had some unfortunate side effects, Wilson begins hunting down the one man he believes can help him. The same man who has put him in this predicament in the first place. Thus, Deadpool, "The Merc with the Mouth", is born.

The Review:
First let me clarify a couple things. While I loved reading comic books as a kid and I am a huge fan of the Marvel movies, I never knew who Deadpool was until I first saw him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and what was apparently a bastardization of the character. In that movie, I just thought he was a strange yet intriguing villain and had left it at that. It wasn't long after that I learned of the ensuing outrage over this injustice and that something had to be done to rectify the situation. For years Ryan Reynolds tried to get this movie made while at the same time making a not so wise decision to play Green Lantern which is probably the worst mainstream super hero movie ever made. I only mention this because Reynolds himself keeps reminding us over and over, even in this new movie, about that fact which, to me, has always seemed unnecessary. Even the marketing campaign for Deadpool had constant references to both the Origins movie and Green Lantern. Dude, just move on.

This brings us to the release of the movie which I am very happy about but only because the exhaustive and overbearing marketing campaign will finally begin to slow down and fade away. A campaign which did nothing to make me want to see the movie because one, I had no personal investment in the character and two, it showed off what seemed to be an immature and overly indulgent crack at bringing the character to life which, I guess is why we are supposed to like it. Or something. Clearly, the way I am writing this, I wasn't sold and, while I was not looking forward to the movie, I remained hopeful and willing to keep an open mind. The reason I am telling you about all of this is because I actually did end up enjoying the film even with all of that going against it. The movie is fun, it's brash, and it contains a decent enough story that you won't get bored.

Sure, that's not a ringing endorsement, but there are reasons I won't go much farther than that. Underneath all of the things that qualify it as an R rated super hero movie (blood, sex, swearing, violence), it is actually a pretty basic origin story that, to me, suffers from a lack of originality, even when it comes to the hard edge it keeps trying to drive home. Have we so easily forgotten that Kick-Ass already went down this road just a few years ago? Deadpool is pretty much a mash up of Wolverine and Spider-Man with lots of cursing, which is okay I guess, it just prevents the character from truly standing on his own.

As much as the movie pokes fun at Marvel, mutants, and super heroes in general, it is also totally dependent on living in that world, especially since the character is part of Fox's X-Men cinematic universe. While the inclusion of Colossus was pretty cool, I feel like they missed the mark with him when it comes to who the character is and the CGI really didn't look that good. As a matter of fact the computer effects overall were not up to par which is surprising because I saw Weta Digital in the credits and they are known for always doing quality work. Speaking of the credits, stay all the way until the end.

One of the things I thought was executed really well was the breaking of the fourth wall or, having Deadpool talk to the audience because he is aware he is in a movie. I thought this was going to be overused and just another cheap trick, but it was actually done really well. I was actually disappointed they didn't go farther into Deadpool's world with that kind of stuff because his reality is a lot more twisted and fluid than what we do get to see. Maybe we'll get to see more of his insane world now that the origin story is out of the way. Something else I'd like to see more of is Morena Baccarin since she was really awesome and, in the comic books, her character Vanessa has powers, too at some point. I guess that's kind of spoilery but not really.

The Verdict:
Fans of Deadpool seem to be loving this movie and I get it. The hardcore fan base is being given a movie they have always wanted to see and it's a pretty decent one to boot. The more casual fan has seemed to buy into the marketing blitz and has been sufficiently convinced this is the movie they have been waiting to see. For me, it was reasonably entertaining and I am happy to report that I did have a good time watching it. On the plus side, it's a raunchy comedy wrapped up in a super hero outfit but, outside of that, it's nothing we haven't already seen.

I did not see the movie in IMAX and I do not plan on it. The movie contains zero scenes where IMAX cameras were used so you are wasting your money if you go for the gratuitous upgrade.

If you have kids, do NOT take them to see this movie. Seriously. Don't do it. No matter how much they want to see the weird, funny guy who kind of looks like Spider-Man. Even Ryan Reynolds himself has gone all over the internet asking you to keep your kids away because the content of the movie absolutely deserves its R rating.


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