Directed by: Tim Miller
Written by: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T. J. Miller, Gina Carano
Some actors are born to play certain roles. You just see a character and you know if this particular actor does not portray them then an injustice has just been done. The dream casting does not always occur, but we get one of the better ones with the combination of Ryan Reynolds portraying the merc with a mouth in Deadpool. A film willing to allow this character to blossom with all of his profanity all scrambled within a lovely romance.
Suffering from terminal cancer, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) sees no positive conclusion to his life and would hate to see his fiancée Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) see him suffer. He accepts a proposal to try an experimental serum where his body can heal itself, but things go wrong, including the horrible disfigurement of his face. Before he can go back to Vanessa, Wade vows to get the cure from the man behind it all, Ajax (Ed Skrein).
Long-awaited and delivered in fashion, Deadpool has been a character many comic book fans have wanted to see on the big screen for several years. They received a bit of a tease of what this character could look like on film in the troubled X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which failed the mercenary in a hilarious fashion. Now, this 2016 film arrives with the same actor and it meets all of the expectations. Even as someone who has never read a single comic book, I know about the tendencies of Deadpool, how he breaks the fourth wall, and uses naughty language. It makes for a character who can seamlessly fit into films and it worked so well.
Coming in with an R-rating, Deadpool held nothing back in showing the gratuitous violence usually associated with this character. From the chopping off of limbs by the character’s swords and shots that can blow through three guys at once, the filmmakers behind this movie had plenty of fun bringing this character to life. It certainly walks the line of how much violence one can take with the comedic spin the film puts on it. Some viewers might be turned off by the level of blood for character teens would be attracted to watching but all of this comes with the character and it remains important to know what you’re in for when watching a movie about this ultra-violent and comedic mercenary.
Even with all of the jokes and violence, Deadpool finds its home in the romance between Wade and Vanessa. A happenstance meeting of a mercenary and a prostitute, the love they build together drives the entire film in a heartwarming way. Wade seeks out this experimental treatment without her knowledge because he did not want her to take care of his suffering and he wanted to come back as a healed man. A guy like Wade has lived with such shallowness for a long time that he does not realize the amount of love she has for him. Their relationship does not follow what would typically be involved with this tone of storytelling, which makes it unique and fun.
This film finds itself in an interesting position where it includes characters from the X-Men films but shares relatively no connection to the movies with the crazy lack of continuity. I say relatively because the film likes to play with the idea of these connections, especially with the appearance of Xavier’s mansion. The two members of the mutant group sent to interact with Wade are Colossus (Stefan Kapičić) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), who serve as the moral guides for Wade. As the story progresses we learn their intentions of wanting Wade to join the group and not be such a ruthless killer. The battle for Wade’s morality can be guessed fairly easily if you know anything about this character, but they serve as a good grouping to show the apathetic and ruthless nature of the titular lead.
Casting Ryan Reynolds as Wade proved itself to be a match made in heaven. An actor who has built his career in being sarcastic and funny matching with a comic book character with the same style made this pairing undeniable. The work Reynolds put into making sure it all came together deserves some admiration, as we could have easily never seen the full potential of this combination of actor-to-character. He matches the tone and presence of this character perfectly because he understands what makes Wade work and has made him loved by many fans.
Sporting stellar action sequences, meaningless villains, but a fun story, Deadpool does what felt like a wish and dream in bringing this character to the big screen. It lives up to the expectations with all of the comedic fourth wall breaks and gruesome violence. The film got almost too cute with the pop culture references, especially when observing the other failures of Reynolds in superhero films. Overall, a tremendous introduction to this character, which confirms that perfect casting does exist.