Wade Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool, is a Marvel character that many comic book fans have been waiting to see for years. Ryan Reynolds had some very high expectations to live up to. The “merc with a mouth” is a legend among nerds, and if not done right, would have caused outrage among the nerd community. The X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie certainly caused a stir when writers stupidly turned the comedic badass into a puppet with his mouth sewn shut, rendering the character of Deadpool little more than a mutant killer. That was no Deadpool at all.
However, this is something that the movie did not mess up this time. The merc had his mouth, and though the origin story worked a little differently than in the comics, we got to see all of the trademarks one might expect from a Deadpool movie: fourth wall breaks, humour, mockery, awesome and clever fight scenes, gore, amazing visual effects and supernatural mutant powers. Not to mention the original actor for Daario Naharis from Game of Thrones, minus the wig, and Anara from Firefly playing the sexy love interest with just as much sass as the protagonist. There were also a number of references to the existing Marvel franchise, in the form of a figurine of the Wolverine movie’s Deadpool, the DVD for Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern, comments like “Only two minor X-Men? It’s like the studio couldn’t afford the main cast!”, and remarks from Wilson about Ryan Reynolds’ good looks being what got him through previous movies.
All in all, I really enjoyed it. I’m not much of a comic book fan (and certainly more of a DC fan, to be quite honest). Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this film; it was entertaining, and more than once it left the entire movie theatre laughing hysterically, which is not something you see very often. The fight scenes were clever, and though fight scenes can never be totally original, they didn’t quite feel like something you’ve seen a million times before, thanks to the mixture of guns and Wilson’s signature dual-wielding of katanas, and the witty banter throughout.
From a story-telling perspective, it was also a well-crafted storyline. Everything needed for a well-rounded story was present: interesting characters, a love story, a fight against “The Man”, and the ability to evoke emotion in the audience. I’m not saying there were tears, but you really felt the frustration, anger and hatred of the protagonist, and really felt for him during his low moments, and rooted for him in his better moments.
And, as always, there was an end-of-credits-scene. I’m always amused to watch as non-nerds exit the movie theatre before a Marvel credits scene – you can really tell who the dedicated fans are. And this movie was no exception, as hints were dropped regarding the sequel.
Overall, I felt that it was a £10 well spent. I went in expecting little from Reynolds in the way of serious acting, and was pleasantly surprised by the way he embodied the character. Perhaps because it wasn’t a character – a recent article spoke of how on the last day of filming, after he had been told that he couldn’t keep the suit, he walked off-set with it and kept it, stating “I’ve been waiting 10 years for this role, I’m keeping the suit”. If that isn’t Deadpool, I don’t know what is.