“Deadpool” Raises the Bar

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By Thomas Gillen
Assistant A&E Editor

After 11 years of development, Marvel Comics character Deadpool, finally received his own movie, and it couldn’t be better. The lenghthy development time was due to revolving directors, the property being moved to different movie studios and footage of the movie being leaked several years ago. In a time when up to seven comic book movies are released per year, it’s refreshing to see a movie subvert the genre and stay true to its comic origin.

Photo courtesy of Foxmovies.com
Photo courtesy of Foxmovies.com

In the case of “Deadpool” that means a rated ‘R’ superhero movie that takes place in the same universe as 2014’s “X-Men Days of Future Past,” and shows the antihero, Deadpool, breaking the fourth wall by talking to the audience while saying and doing incredibly graphic things on screen.

The film stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, a former mercenary who is diagnosed with terminal cancer and agrees to take part in an experimental program to become a superhero. After going through the program, he gains mutant abilities and adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Deadpool’s powers include healing factors, which makes him immortal and allow him to heal any injury.

Monera Baccarin stars as Vanessa, Wade’s girlfriend and later fiancé. T.J. Miller plays Wade’s friend Weasel and Ed Skrein plays Ajax. Reynolds is the standout in the movie, however; he is the perfect actor to play Deadpool due to his comedic timing and love for the character.

The plot of “Deadpool” is pretty simple: part origin story from the comics and part revenge movie. In the first half of the movie, the story cycles back and forth from past to present, with flashbacks showing how Wade became Deadpool and present day as Deadpool searches for Ajax. In the second half of the movie, Deadpool goes on a revenge quest to find Ajax and get back Vanessa.

While “Deadpool” may not have the most inventive plot for a superhero movie, it more than makes up for in its script and characters. The script is full of jokes, with several coming each minute.

Since Deadpool is the only character in the Marvel universe that breaks the fourth wall and knows he is a comic book character, it presents some great opportunities for different kinds of humor. One of the best jokes is when Deadpool makes fun of Reynolds for playing the Green Lantern in the 2011 film.

While Deadpool is by far the best character in the movie, the secondary characters are great as well. Since Deadpool takes place in the “X-Men” universe, several X-Men show up, including Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. The two have great banter with Deadpool and take part in some great action scenes toward the end of the movie.

The computer-generated images (CGI), are also one of the strongest parts of the movie. First time director, Tim Miller, co-founded a visual effects studio in 1995, and his experience shows. The action scenes look great with the help of CGI and the audience is able to see what is happening without multiple cuts being made throughout the scenes. Colossus is also entirely computer generated and fits in with the world Miller and the visual effects studios have created.

There are not many negative aspects in the movie. Besides a less than stellar plot, viewers not familiar with the character may be put off by the humor. Weasel and Deadpool’s roommate, Blind Al, also disappear for the last quarter of the movie.

In the beginning of the movie, Deadpool tells the audience that this is a different kind of superhero story, and he is completely right. Viewers going into “Deadpool” expecting a movie similar to “X-Men” or “The Avengers” might be disappointed with the content. However, viewers who are familiar with the character and his comic book series will not find a better adaptation.

“Deadpool” pushed the ‘R’ rating to its edge; it is possibly the truest movie adaptation of the character that fans will see until the sequel. “Deadpool” is now in theaters with a sequel currently in development.

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