After spending over a decade in development hell, Deadpool finally hits cinemas following a glorious marketing campaign. Directed by first-time director Tim Miller and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who most notably wrote Zombieland. Can they undo the damage of Deadpool’s first outing in X-Men Origins: Wolverine back in 2009?
The time Deadpool spent in limbo may have actually been time well-spent, now more than ever the superhero genre is dominating the box office and becoming tired in the process. That’s not to say the film doesn’t fall into the same predictable territory at times, but with opening credits that read “starring a British villain” and “an entirely CGI character”, you’re in on the joke from the get-go.
We’re thrown straight into the mix as the film opens with the confrontation that featured in the trailer, from there the narrative leaps back and forth, between Deadpool’s origin story and present day. The character Deadpool has a vast fan base, but for the less comic book savvy (that’s me) an origin story, in this case, was welcome. Unlike Batman or Spider-Man who have gradually leaked into pop culture with their origin stories becoming tired in the process, Deadpool’s story hasn’t yet been told (properly).
Ryan Reynolds is Wade Wilson/Deadpool, a mercenary who is diagnosed with terminal cancer soon after proposing to his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). Desperate to live, he decides to accept an offer made to him by a recruiter (Jed Rees) from a secret programme, offering an experimental cure for his cancer. Although curing him and rendering him immortal, he is left severely scarred. With the help of two X-Men mutants, Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Colossus (Stefan Kapičić), Deadpool begins hunting down Ajax (Ed Skrein), the mutant responsible for his disfigurement.
With its adult rating, there’s been a lot of emphasis on the smutty nature of comedy (in which there is plenty of) but there are a variety of laughs to be had. From slapstick physical comedy and fourth wall breaks, to witty one-liners and playful jibes towards the superhero genre. While exchanges between TJ Miller’s Weasel and Deadpool fell flat for me, the laughs are pretty consistent and hit providing you’ve seen a superhero movie or two.
Although Deadpool does feature genre clichés, the film is aware of it and is already two steps ahead and cracking a joke about it. Ryan Reynolds undoubtedly steals the show and is clearly revelling in bringing an authentic Deadpool movie to our screens. Which is thoroughly entertaining whether you’re a fan of the source material or uninitiated like myself.