Deadpool Plot Summary:
When a wise-cracking, violent mercenary (Ryan Reynolds) is diagnosed with cancer, he undergoes an underground mutant treatment to save himself, but is betrayed by his maker (Ed Skrein). Leaving him disfigured, but with new regenerating abilities, Wade Wilson takes on the moniker Deadpool in a quest to get revenge, and protect the woman (Morena Baccarin) he loves, all while keeping his twisted sense of humor.
Sometimes you know right away whether a movie is going to be great or not. This is one of those movies. The opening credits instantaneously endear you to the sick and twisted world that is Deadpool, one of the most popular X-Men characters in existence. Deadpool makes good on everything it promised us in the trailers, posters, TV spots, and just about everything else its brilliant marketing campaign unloaded in the past few months. It’s bizarre. Hilarious. Bloody. Violent. Self-aware. It’s Deadpool. There was little doubt I would get what I wanted out of this film, but what elevates this to the upper echelon of superhero movies is everything else it was able to deliver on as well.
Deadpool actually tells a genuine story that isn’t afraid to get serious at times. Now everybody, relax. I’m not saying this is The Dark Knight or Man of Steel. Let’s all calm down. Deadpool is first and foremost an action comedy. You get plenty of fourth wall breaking and off the wall hijinks, trust me. I was amazed at how well it was spread out though. If this movie was in the hands of Edgar Wright or Joss Whedon, it would be overstuffed with pop culture references, hyper-activity and constant one-liners. They succeed in making Deadpool an actual character. He’s not a cartoon. I sympathized with Wade Wilson. I felt pissed when he was pissed. You actually connect with the guy. That’s why when he does his whole Deadpool schick, it’s really, really funny. This is what some comedic directors and writers need to learn – it’s character over style. A big part of why Wade Wilson succeeds though, is of course Ryan Reynolds.
It’s not Ryan Reynold’s fault he got saddled with awful scripts such as Green Lantern and The Change-Up. The dude is talented. Deadpool is a great script, and what do you know, Ryan Reynolds turned in a stellar performance. He was born to play this character, I really don’t have much else to say. What impressed me most was how he acted behind the mask. Credit to the costume designer who created a lot of personality in that face, but when Deadpool spoke, or made subtle movements within the costume, you could really feel his acting. That’s very hard to do. In one of the first scenes in the cab, Deadpool makes a subtle grab for a brochure. The way he takes and stares at it just made me laugh, I can’t explain it.
While Deadpool is obviously the stand out, there’s no shortage of fantastic supporting characters. Reynolds and Morena Baccarin have great chemistry, which is crucial to the film. There’s a point where you almost enjoy this as a romantic comedy, which is what they were going for. Ed Skrein is a one note villain, but brings a lot of charisma to the role. Him and Reynolds have a great back and forth. T.J. Miller nails every line he gets, and is the perfect comedic foil. The movie is also peppered throughout with great bit players.
I said this was an X-Men film, so we are treated to two X-Men characters. Daniel Cudmore has always been Colossus, and while I’ve enjoyed him in the role, you can see why they went with Greg LaSalle (facial performance) and Stefan Kapicic (voice). Colossus serves as an unintentional hilarious moral compass for Deadpool. The accent was a little much at first, but you get used to it. Another X-Men character I want to see in future movies was played by Brianna Hildebrand, and I won’t dare spoil her name. Hildebrand is flat out awesome, hilarious and bad ass. I was amazed at how seamless this movie was able to fit into the X-Men universe. It’s clearly way off the beaten path than anything they’ve ever done, but it also locks in with the universe just fine.
Aside from the characters, the humor is extraordinary. Hilarious dialogue. Brilliant sight gags. Self-referential humor. Relationship shenanigans. Dark comedy. It’s like they took every type of comedic genre and wrapped it into one big ball of hilarity. There’s a brilliant joke about sexism, and a sight gag involving a hand that I’m still laughing at. The action is also pitch perfect, and the soundtrack will be my running mix for the next month. This soundtrack captures the mood and tone better than even Guardians of the Galaxy did. Oh, get over it, MCU fans.
My only big criticism is when they get into the origin stuff, where it definitely hits some lulls. This is a warped, bonkers filled adventure, but what separates this from stuff like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is you feel a real connection to the character, which makes Deadpool’s humor that much better. Director Tim Miller executed a brilliant balance. They don’t over stuff it, and all the Deadpool-isms come at the right time. Even if you know nothing about this character, you’ll have a blast. It’s pure joy at the movies.
P.S. Stay after the credits.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (Really Great)
Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.