In Deadpool, the eponymous hero (if one could call him such) finds himself on a quest for vengeance against those who wronged him. When a terminal cancer sentence robs Wade Wilson of his chance of a happy life with the woman who is to become his wife, the former mercenary of sorts volunteers for a program that is not all that it seems. However, the abuse at the hands on his captors unlocks his mutation, giving him the ability to grow back lost limbs and recover from virtually any injury. During his quest to exact revenge on his former captors, his former lover is kidnapped, prompting him to team up with members of the X-Men, in an effort to get her back. Although as anyone who has read his comics knows, the approach here to what sounds like a formulaic, paint-by-numbers plot is anything but.
Let me start this review by saying that if you are looking for a conventional superhero/comic book movie, Deadpool most certainly is NOT one. This is an R-rated fracas of political incorrectness, sexual jokes, and over-the-top violence. Our “hero” breaks the fourth wall on a regular basis and is well aware of the fact that he is in a movie. Nothing is off limits when it comes to our wisecracking protagonist here, from an opening credits sequence that is a parody unto itself, to the battle scenes that fuse stylized action violence and quips that will have you in hysterics.
Even though there seems to be plenty of similar talk on various websites and in the media, I need to say this straight up – this is NOT your typical superhero fare, and certainly not a film for kids. While I do tend to find myself at odds with the MPAA’s rating system, I can safely say that this is a film that DOES earn its R rating. The violence is not the overly sanitized version you and your kids are likely used to from the PG-13 Marvel movies. There are full-on sexual escapades and even a scene set in a strip club with fully nude dancers. Leave your children at home this time around. You will thank me later.
Now that we have that out of the way, should you actually go see Deadpool? If you are a fan of superhero/comic movies that go against your preconceived notions of what should be, or you just want to laugh really hard, this might just be what you have been looking for. If swords, heads, and body parts are not flying, the laughs most certainly are. No one and nothing is off limits here; Deadpool (both the film and the character) holds absolutely nothing back, and this “no limits” approach works in the movie’s favor. Aside from a brief stretch in the middle of the movie that got a little too action-packed and dramatic, there are no major weaknesses with the final product; the laughs seldom stop, and even when they do, it is not for long.
It is not totally clear exactly how this movie is meant to tie in with existing X-Men films, if at all. As it was released by Twentieth Century Fox (as opposed to Marvel Studios), it is NOT part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Two other mutants appear, though at the same time Deadpool himself cracks fun at the X-Men film series on more than one occasion, so it is not clear if this will be a canon part of that universe. Ryan Reynolds had previously portrayed an alternate version of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, though this version of the character seems to have completely retconned that reviled version that fans would rather forget. The film does not take itself seriously, and you should not waste too much time thinking about these fairly trivial things. You will be laughing too hard to care anyway.
As of this writing Deadpool has been an unexpected success, and may pave the way for mature, R-Rated superhero movies, which could end up being a great long term development. The film is an extravaganza of over-the-top, stylized violence and everything politically incorrect under the sun. A laugh riot from start to finish, you do not want to miss this one!
And if you do go to see the film, there IS a post-credits sequence.
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