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Deadpool Review: solid and crude entertainment

With Deadpool 20th Century Fox makes good on its leaked promise of profanity, crude jokes and toilet humour but it is by no means as game-changing and fantastic as everyone claims it is.

Deadpool follows the fourth wall breaking, childish and murderous story of Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) as he hunts down the Ajax (Ed Skrein), the man who ruined his face and kidnapped his girlfriend (Morena Baccarin).

Story – B-

Deadpool and his Katanas

For all the love Deadpool has gotten over the past month, it is simply a good and decent slice of solid and crude entertainment, nothing more. Granted, the ability to break fourth walls, make smart jokes and use its R Rating for some really dark moments sets it apart from other superhero films. But it is still extremely generic and trope-filled in its narrative. At the end of the day, this is yet another lost soul that has to rise to the challenge to save the damsel in distress. Pretty generic. At the end of the day, this is yet another superhero film that ends with a huge and explosive set piece.

Now, it may sound like I didn’t like Deadpool. Quite contrarily; Deadpool is a rollicking, surprising emotional and funny film that does some new things with the genre. However, by his nature, Wade Wilson is a wise-cracker and the writers try to make each and every one of his lines funny in some sort of way. The problem with this route is that his entire dialogue catalogue becomes a list of punchlines. Some of these punchlines hit, some miss by a mile. And what these writers forget is that if the set up for the punchline, if executed well, it can be even funnier than the punchline. The best jokes in the movie, and there are a lot, are long set ups with perfectly timed punchlines. The character of Blind Al, Dopinder and Weasel are all essentially set ups for multiple punchlines and they are the most enjoyable.

Wade and Vanessa in Deadpool

And one must also give extreme credit to the relationship between Wade and Vanessa. Often superhero films are absolutely absurd with their romantic sub plots. Jane falling in love with Thor in a matter of hours, Lois kissing Superman for no reason and Mystique hooking up with Magneto are also all examples of this. Pepper Potts and Tony Stark and Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey are perhaps the best and Wade and Vanessa join that group. Not only do Reynolds and Baccarin have great chemistry but we actually see the seasons pass, we see them love each other and we see them grow into a couple. That was a really nice touch.

Action – B+

Deadpool triple headshot

First time director but long time Marvel contributor Tim Miller directs Deadpool and he does a solid job. Not only does he make a mid-budgeted superhero film feel bigger than it has any right to be but he brings in unique action and cool visuals to the screen. Part of that is down the R Rated gore Miller was allowed to use but if stories are to be believed, he and Reynolds campaigned for the R Rating and it paid dividends.

This film really has three action set pieces but crafty direction and editing from Miller makes it feel like much more. He also does a good job with the smaller, more human scenes, which is deeply impressive for a first time feature director.

Deadpool isn’t the greatest superhero film, like many blinded fans are calling it, but it is a deeply enjoyable one. It has some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments and cool action but it is nowhere near as progressive as Guardians of the Galaxy was with the genre.

Score – B+


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