Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool/Wade Wilson
Morena Baccarin as Vanessa
Ed Skrein as Francis Freeman/Ajax
Leslie Uggams as Blind Al
Stefan Kapicic as Colossus
Brianna Hildabrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead
Gina Carano as Angel Dust
Before this film, I had virtually no exposure to the Deadpool character. It’s not that I never read comic books, just none about this endeared yet more obscure character. Do I really have to read about every character? If his first movie is any indication, I can see why he has such a loyal cult following.
Wade Wilson is no hero. He’s a flawed person whose interests include beautiful women and gambling. Also, unlike nearly every superhero, he will make the occasional kill. Unfortunately, he gets terminal cancer. However, he is approached by Ajax, who is running an operation that can give people extra fast healing, fast enough to cure any disease. With nothing to lose, Wade agrees. But the plan is for him to become a mindless slave to Ajax’s organization. Wade manages to escape but a side effect of the treatment leaves him with a disfigured face. Believing his girlfriend, Vanessa, won’t want to be with him now, he sets out to pay Ajax back with a mask and dual identity: Deadpool.
While this seems like a pretty generic plot, the humor adds to it immensely! Jokes like crediting an “overpaid director” in the intro and Deadpool interrogating someone with a Zamboni but becoming frustrated with how long that kind of vehicle takes to get to someone are really funny and greatly improve the viewing experience.
Performances are strong. Ryan Reynolds turns in an excellent performance as Deadpool! Everything he does is just right. Other actors are similarly good. We have Morena Baccarin as a less than perfect girlfriend to match our less than perfect protagonist, Ed Skrein as a decent villain, Stefan Kapicic as a legit hero trying to pull Deadpool from the… grey area, and Brianna Hildabrand being convincingly carefree/world-weary as the teenager of the film.
That reminds me. Even though I know next to nothing about Deadpool, I believe he has some contact with the X-Men. Two of them, Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, are trying to bring him to Professor X’s school for reeducation. In the end, though, circumstances have Deadpool and his heroic pursuers on the same side. All this helps differentiate who Deadpool is as a character from the majority of characters in these comic book movies.
All said, I view Deadpool as a true action comedy classic. One can only hope it creates a subgenre. Just one disclaimer: don’t let the kids watch with you. The language and violence are quite graphic.
Overall: 9 out of 10