Saturday, May 21, 2016

Movie Reviews: Deadpool

directed by Tim Miller

There are a few things which are apparent from virtually the beginning of this R rated comic book movie. (1) The titular hero is a snarky sarcastic jerk who is as adept at verbal combat as he is at the physical version. Deadpool's verbal energy is like that of someone who drank three cups of coffee, chased that with some Red Bull and then took some speed. (2) The film is going to "objectify" the male body just as much as other films do with female ones. So if you have been waiting to see plenty of shots of Ryan Reynolds' gluteus maximus then you are in luck as this movie has you covered. Or uncovered. (3) This film is going to live up to its R rating for violence and sex. There is male and female full frontal nudity, a fair amount of toplessness and a virtually limitless number of bad guys who get shot in the head, skewered, beaten to a pulp or otherwise disposed of in rather unpleasant ways. This is a comic book movie but it's not for kiddies by any means. (4) The film and actor are in on the joke as Deadpool routinely breaks the Fourth Wall to express his amusement, irritation, surprise or shock at what's going on. He's in on the joke you see. This is an origin story. I'd have to check with a few relatives to see how closely it stuck to the comic book on which it's based but I didn't care enough to go find out. This was a fun movie with only a few flat notes here or there. Reynolds carries the movie virtually single handedly not because of bad acting by other people but rather because his Deadpool is gleeful, profane, anarchic and energetic in every scene. He's like a more violent Bugs Bunny. With one or two exceptions, Reynolds blows away just about every other person who shares screen time with him. But he's not chewing the scenery. The other actors are not underwritten. Well maybe some of them are. It's just that Reynolds appears to be having a blast. Sometimes certain actors and certain roles just really fit well together. And that is the case with Reynolds here. He shouldn't do any other comic book roles besides Deadpool.

The plot is really not all that important. It's the same plot that is found in a number of different stories. Boy meets girl. Boy must confront crisis. As a result of crisis boy loses girl. Boy must overcome external and internal issues to regain girl. It's funny how many stories can be reduced to that very simple outline. I guess bottom line is that we all respond to pretty much the same things. That is both enlightening and maybe kind of depressing when you think about it. Do we all have buttons that are pushed that easily? As Deadpool says, this is all a love story at its core. Deadpool (Reynolds) is Wade Wilson, a mercenary for hire. Wilson is former Special Forces. He probably knows all sorts of ways to kill you with paper clips and slide rules if need be. Although he's not normally going out of his way to kill people he's not opposed to it by any means. Basically don't do bad stuff and don't end up on the bad people list. Because crossing names off that bad person's list is how Wilson makes his money. Happily living a life of paid brutality, random violence and hanging out in bars Wilson is motivated to add extremely kinky sex to his menu of night time activities once he meets the attractive escort Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). Because he's got it like that Wilson doesn't even have to pay and before long the two are in love. Well nothing good lasts forever does it. Wilson discovers that he has terminal cancer. A hooker and a merc don't exactly have hundreds of thousands of dollars just lying around. So Wade decides to trust the blandishments of some dodgy people led by the constantly smirking Ajax (Ed Skrein) who promise that they can cure his cancer with an experimental treatment. And wouldn't you know it but this treatment is free. And that is enough plot description.
Visually the film is crisp. The sound is good. You can always see and hear what's going on. There are a number of sight gags about Reynolds' former status as the sexiest man in the world. There's a fair number of slowed down and sped up action scenes but the special effects are not groundbreaking. It's just that as previously mentioned there is a LOT of action. This is like an adult cartoon. Despite Deadpool's cheerful violence he still manages to keep your sympathy and interest because he's funny. He's also not mean. He may shoot you in the head multiple times but he's not mean. He is obnoxious though. He won't stop talking. He won't stop joking. And even though you've seen this story before Reynolds' energy pulls you along for the ride yet again.
blog comments powered by Disqus