Deadpool (dir. Tim Miller, 2016) – Left scarred by a rogue experiment, former Special Forces operative Wade Wilson sets out on the hunt after the man who destroyed his life.
The merc is back, thankfully with a mouth that spills gallons of fun and twisted wit.
Remember X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Me neither. But it happened, as much as we like to collectively pretend otherwise. And that was when we first met the notorious Merc with a Mouth… right before the film murdered his very essence to the horror of comic fans.
Cue painful memories of Wade Wilson losing his voice, then head, and us losing any chance to witness his return to the silver screen. Until the “accidental” footage leak, that is. Previously dead in the water, the former corpse gets a new lease of life seven years later and mostly intact.
Don’t stop believing, guys; Deadpool is back.
This time, he is everywhere. From newsletters infected with Comic Sans to quirk-filled Tinder profiles – a legend of a Marketing Team is having way too much fun. So is Ryan Reynolds, with his free-rein Twitter and talk show antics. Getting into character is effortless for the man of the hour, which spells great news on the casting front.
As its aggressive marketing would have us believe, Deadpool massively entertains. Charmingly inappropriate wisecracks arrive by the truckload. From the opening title sequence alone, it is clear that Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailers has their job cut out for them.
Jokes do not detract from storytelling that promises a simple, but stronger backstory. It begins with ex-mercenary Wade Wilson’s blissful romance before he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Desperation drives him to risk an experimental cure. In the hands of government operative Ajax, Wade survives a terrible ordeal that grants him accelerated healing powers and a collection of scars to match.
From love to torture, the jump from The Proposal to Martyrs takes place in seconds. While potentially jarring, the shift feels right at home with Wade Wilson’s personality to take nothing seriously. His wall-breaking and self-referential humour, even in face of death, comfortably cushions the sudden tonal shifts.
Words are his superpower and fortunately for us, they fill up almost every crevice. Humour is not his only weapon; Wade Wilson comes off sincere and genuine in his downtime with his best friend, landlord and partner.
Armed with charm in his affronts, Wade convinces two X-Men to join his side. The trio forms an unlikely makeshift team against Ajax and his Weapon X project. The new faces immediately fall into good books, excessive empathy and apathy defining the distinctive pair in no time.
With consistency, Colossus berates Wade for his language and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, his age. All goes dandy in the circle of crude insults, centred on the insecurities of these very likeable heroes.
Such effective humour accompanies blood that spews by the bucketful in violent carnage, where no body part is safe. Yet for a film that promises to push past boundaries, it is a shame to see the latter half fall back into anti-climatic conventions in the Big Bad battle and eventual romantic reunion.
A villain to be killed and a love interest to be saved, predictability takes over in a mundane finale, where darker R-rated comic properties (The Punisher, Wanted) have done much better. Perhaps, a bolder adventure awaits in its pretty much guaranteed sequel. But till then, we will enjoy this fantastic and refreshing break from Marvel’s monotonous conveyor belt of good-natured combatants.