Deadpool, aka Wade Winston Wilson, and performed by Ryan Reynolds, was last seen on the big screen in the rather tiresome X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie in 2009. And whether released properly through Marvel, or sometimes done as a half-arsed 20th Century Fox movie where they can’t tie-in properly with the Marvel franchise – hence why they had a different actor playing Quicksilver than in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age Of Ultron, a lot of these movies are an overlong two-an-a-half hours that could easily be cut down to two hours max.
Since then, the lead actor has been trying to get a movie made for this character and, at first, the thought of paying to see a movie where Ryan Reynolds is the lead actor was something I wouldn’t think could ever happen in a zillion years. But then I saw the first Red Band trailer (below). Whereas the usual Marvel films feel very sanitised, this one had violence, this one had profanity, and this one had some decent action.
I was sold on it; and moreso than any other Marvel film I’ve ever seen. Ryan Reynolds has pulled a rabbit out of the hat and stuffed it up Hollywood’s arse, with a grenade up its own arse. The resultant explosion at the top of the box office proves not only its success, but also that there IS a market for films at with 15-certificate rating (generally, an R rating in the US), so let’s hope we don’t have to suffer too many 12-certificate superhero films in future, although I expect we will. That said, the third Wolverine movie is expected to be an R when it’s released, which would mean a 15-cert over here… unless Fox slash it down to a 12-cert like they did with A Good Day To Die Hard.
But back to Deadpool, and the thread-bare plot centres around reality crashing in, just as Wade and his stunning girlfriend Vanessa (Homeland‘s Morena Baccarin) are about to get engaged, since he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Hiding away a potential cure from her, Wade somehow trusts a recruiter (Jed Rees) to put everything right. Alas, it’s also in the hands of Ajax (The Transporter Refuelled‘s Ed Skrein), who turns his visage so ugly that, as his bar owner friend Weasel (TJ Miller excelling in his stoner-friend-to-the-lead-guy role as he did in Transformers: Age Of Extinction as Lucas, the stoner-friend-to-the-lead-guy role), “You look like an avocado fucked another avocado, and that avocado had herpes”. And so, on with creating a suit and there we have Deadpool. In fact, I’m so out of the loop that when I took a load of cosplay pictures at Play Expo 2014, I didn’t realise that one of them was this character. I just assumed it was a different outfit for Spider-Man.
Ultimately, it comes down to a simple battle between him and the pairing of Ajax and Angel Dust (Haywire‘s Gina Carano), but two against one isn’t fair, so he pops down to the X-Men mansion to enlist the assistance of Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). Which one is better at sorting out Angel? You’d be surprised.
Along the way, the movie is very self-referential to the point where the lead is even referring to some actor called Ryan Reynolds, at one point, and it breaks the ‘fourth wall’ on more than one occasion. Plus, there’s so much dialogue that I will have to see this again, not only just to enjoy the action and comedy again, but also to pick up on every last word uttered. But then that’s what the subtitle tracks are for on Blu-rays and DVDs.
Even from the off, there was greatness, with spoof opening credits, where no-one’s real name is mentioned and it states it includes “A hot chick” and “A CGI character”, plus it’s “some douchebag’s film” and was “produced by asshats”.
That said, there were moments – generally, during the origin sequences showing how Wade became Deadpool, where I got a bit restless and felt like I was waiting for the world to turn, only because it all started with as much energy as the trailers, so when things slowed down a bit, I was feeling cheated, as I expected this manic behaviour to continue throughout. Still, now we’ve done the origin bit, the sequel won’t need to concern itself with that.
So, will there be a sequel? Well, the filmmakers, themselves, put out a picture of Deadpool pleading with parents NOT to take their children to see this movie in cinemas (since in the US, you can take your little ones to an R-rated movie, even though you shouldn’t), since complaints will lead to it being cancelled. However, the budget for this movie was $58m. The budget for X-Men: Days Of Future Past was $200m. So it’s quids in there, and in addition, it’s topped the box office in the UK and US on its first week out.
A sequel is assured. Ryan Reynolds, I salute you. Not only for making a great film – and also a great film that’s a Marvel film which managed to run LESS than two hours, but also for making a great film that stars Ryan Reynolds.
And yes, there is a cameo from Stan Lee!
And there’s also post-credit sequences… and I’ll wrap a spoiler tag around this…
Running time: 108 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Released: February 10th 2016
Director: Tim Miller
Producers: Simon Kinberg, Ryan Reynolds and Lauren Shuler Donner
Screenplay: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (based on the character created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld)
Music: Junkie XL (Tom Holkenborg)
Wade/Deadpool: Ryan Reynolds
Ajax: Ed Skrein
Vanessa: Morena Baccarin
Colossus: Stefan Kapicic (voice)
Negasonic Teenage Warhead: Brianna Hildebrand
Angel Dust: Gina Carano
Weasel: TJ Miller
Dopinder: Karan Soni
Recruiter: Jed Rees
Jeremy (Pizza Guy): Style Dayne
Warlord: Michael Benyaer
Gavin Merchant: Kyle Cassie
Meghan Orlovsky: Taylor Hickson
Teen Girl #1: Ayzee
Teen Girl #2: Naika Toussaint
Buck: Randal Reeder
Boothe: Isaac C. Singleton Jr
Oncologist: Donna Yamamoto
Arcade Ticket Taker: Justyn Shippelt
Strip Club DJ: Stan Lee
Colossus (Facial Performance): Greg LaSalle
Colossus: Yevgeniy Kartashov (voice) (uncredited)
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.