Thursday, 24 March 2016
Review: Deadpool (UK Cert 15)
It's taken years for Deadpool to have his own film but, boy, has it been worth the wait.
It's essentially an origin story, but not told in the traditional way. Instead, we see in flashbacks how cancer-ridden mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) became the spandex-clad Deadpool via a clandestine operation overseen by the smarmy Ajax (Ed Skrein). Wade goes after Ajax for revenge. Carnage and fourth-wall-breaking ensues.
Watching Deadpool reinforces just how badly X-Men Origins: Wolverine misjudged the character. Deadpool is a gobby little sod- his nickname is the Merc with the Mouth, for God's sake- and Ryan Reynolds' glib rat-a-tat delivery gives the film most of its humour. You don't neuter a character like this by sewing his mouth shut (although that gets a nice sly dig when Wade and Ajax talk before the operation). For me, this is Ryan Reynolds' best performance- he's likeable, snarky and cool but also shows a tender side with Wade's relationship with Vanessa (an equally brilliant and totally kick-ass Morena Baccarin).
All supporting characters do well - Ed Skrein exudes just enough villainy as Ajax (or should that be Francis?) and Gina Carano is pretty menacing as his mostly-mute sidekick Angel Dust. Two X-Men turn up- a fact that is not lost on Deadpool and which gives rise to one of the funniest lines in the entire movie. These are Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and the brilliantly-named Negasonic Teenage Warhead (an assured film debut by Brianna Hildebrand). T.J. Miller and Leslie Uggams provide some great comedy relief as Wade's friend Weasel and his room-mate Blind Al and Stan Lee's cameo is just superb.
The script is achingly self-aware, crammed to the ginnels with pop culture references and the aforementioned fourth-wall-breaking. But it never feels quirky or try-hard, nor pandering to diehard fans at the exclusion of others. It's full of neat little Easter eggs which fans will get a kick out of but, if you don't know the reference, it won't impair your viewing.
Brash, loud, vulgar, cheerfully offensive, unremittingly violent and just downright bloody funny, it's a winner from start to finish.
Rating: 5 out of 5