Deadpool tells the much needed origin story of Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) aka the 'Merc with a Mouth', and I say it's 'much needed' because most people know absolutely nothing about him. Wade Wilson is a mercenary who one day falls in love with the hooker with a heart of gold, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). Everything is going perfect for the self-proclaimed crazies, but Wade Wilson soon finds out that he has terminal cancer and he decides to up and leave Vanessa to undergo some radical new therapy/treatment that could cure his cancer. Wade was resigned to his fate, but he was tempted to volunteer for this clandestine program by the recruiter (Jed Rees).
Little did Wade Wilson know what he had signed himself up for when he found himself at the cold and sadistic hands of Ajax (Ed Skrein), and at the powerful hands of his right hand (wo)man, Angel Dust (Gina Carano). Ajax is manufacturing enhanced and controlled soldiers to the highest bidder, but the experiments often manifests wildly inconsistent results, and sometimes death. When Wade Wilson was subjected to continual torture at 'the facility', he's deformed and manages to escape from Ajax. With Ajax thinking Wade is dead, unaware of his abilities, Deadpool is just beginning to emerge as he starts to systematically track down all those people who are responsible for what happened to him, even though he did volunteer, but they did trick him into volunteering.
Deadpool is probably one of the most quickly dismissed comic book characters out there, seen as nothing more than a juvenile punchline, but the thing that always interested me most about the Deadpool movie was, 'are we going to explore the man under the mask?' I've always maintained that being able to 'get' Deadpool is all about being able to understand what he went through, but sadly, I feel like they failed in this regard. Very little time is spent in the facility where Deadpool was born. Admittedly they did show a little bit of torture, but it wasn't all that terrible or ruthless. We were given no sense of time while he was down there either, he could have been down there for one week, or one year, we simply don't know. It makes a difference as to how long his torture was prolonged. In the comics he was down there for years. So I think it's fair to say that the most defining moments for Deadpool happened to him while he was in the facility, but we never broached any of them in the movie, not really.
If you're familiar with the comics and his origins, I was surprised with how many liberties they took with the source material, especially considering how Ryan Reynolds was constantly praising the director and how slavish they were being to the source material. That wasn't the case at all. I suppose in very broad strokes they covered all the bases, very vaguely, but what should have been the most powerful, disturbing and irrevocably soul crushing moments for Wade Wilson were largely glossed over. Deadpool didn't start wearing his suit because he felt shy, he started wearing it because he had a total psychological breakdown and he detached himself from Wade Wilson entirely, he snapped. Wade Wilson 'died' for all intents and purposes in that facility, he didn't come out the same way he went in, and I'm talking more about him mentally, than I am about him physically.
I was worried about all the fourth wall shenanigans, and even Tim Miller admitted that's hard to know when to start and stop, and I think they went too far with the fourth wall. Deadpool does not know he's in a comic book movie, Deadpool only thinks he's in a comic book movie, and that's an important distinction to make with Deadpool to understanding his pathos. I honestly didn't think that Tim Miller would focus more on the 'funny' side of Deadpool, but he did. It was all very meta and self-aware, to an extent, not really to the degree that some people are saying though, most of the 'outside' references are shown in the opening credits, not in the movie itself.
The humor was extremely hit and miss for me, I was surprised that they used the lines from the trailers in the movie too, I thought they'd been done specially for the trailers, but no, that's the actual dialogue in the movie, the 'avocado's' joke, the 'brown pants' joke, it's all in there. To be fair, there were some impressive fight sequences to be had, but they were really few and far between. Colossus and Angel Dust probably take the cake as the best fight scene in the movie, although there was one pretty hilarious 'fight' between Deadpool and Colossus as well. I wanted to see more physical humor as well, and there was some in there, but not nearly enough for Deadpool, at least I didn't think so.
All the 'character' moments were too brief and short lived for me. Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Teenage Negasonic Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) got more screen time than Weasel and Blind Al did, and where the hell was Dr Killebrew? All staples of Deadpool, much more so than the X-Men were. The violence was good, although not exceptional, it still had a lot of close ups and quick edits in there, not all the time, but I did feel myself getting a bit frustrated with the lack of clarity and flow in certain sequences. There's a montage of Deadpool killing a whole bunch of people, we don't know who they are either, and the violence cuts away a lot, or is edited so quickly that it's hard to follow his movements.
I did enjoy the movie, but not quite as much as I thought I would. I heard that Collider is calling it 'the greatest comic book movie ever made' and I know opinions and all that, but no. Deadpool will serve as a thin primer for the uninitiated. It has its funny moments, it has its violent moments, though not as many as I would have thought beforehand, it has some brief sex scenes, but it wasn't really the in-depth character study of Deadpool that I wanted to see.
There were a lot of unique, exciting and refreshing aspects to Deadpool that I genuinely did appreciate, but it just didn't really come together in a wholly fulfilling way for me. I feel like it was a bit of a missed opportunity in some ways and the emotional beats were misplaced for Deadpool. I really don't feel like Deadpool should get such a happy ending either, that's not his style. Still an entertaining movie with some crazy sequences, definitely more good than bad, and it was great to see Ryan Reynolds finally play Deadpool as he wanted to play him and to move on from Origins.
Written by - The Sentry - 11/02/2016