February 10th sees the release of Deadpool for the UK, and after leaked test footage was released online, Fox was forced to green light the movie. The film sees mercenary for hire, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) develop cancer, his girlfriend Vanessa (Gotham’s Morena Baccarin) is devastated and with a heavy heart and a sense of duty, Wilson sets out to cure his cancer. A minute into the film and the title credits present us with ‘made by some douchebags’ and ‘directed by an overpaid tool’. Immediately we know this film is like no other.
There’s no doubt that Deadpool is entertaining and different but the argument a lot of critics are having at the moment is the question of whether the film is actually ‘funny’?
There were definitely some hit and miss jokes, whilst some jokes flourished others died a death. I appreciate its attempts, it’s self aware and it doesn’t take itself seriously. It tries to subvert a typical superhero formula and a typical heroic archetype by flipping a straight cut narrative on its head and giving us something a little different. Whilst it can be argued the structure of the film is still as normal as any comic book film, it should be applauded in its efforts to challenge the superhero genre. R Rated heroes aren’t exactly ‘fresh’ with films such as Kick Ass and Watchmen out there but Deadpool is uniquely different in the fact that it is already popular.
Take for example, Deadpool’s marketing campaign for which Reynolds and Fox have been bothpersistent, tactical and funny. Deadpool has been present for Mothers Day, Halloween, Christmas and now Valentines Day.
The plethora of dirty jokes makes for entertaining viewing but unless you find this kind of comedy amusing it may not be the film for you, with the right person, this could be a film you only ever hoped and dreamed of but with the wrong person, viewing it could result in them coughing and fake clapping their way through joke 6/250. I say this with genuine caution, the plot is diluted and the film almost acts like sellotape for jokes, they keep rolling out and every so often you’ll get that piece of tape that creases up and you have to chuck away… Despite this, fans of Van Wilder: Party Liaison, such as myself will enjoy this for the unabashed, fun fest that it is.
With the addition of the fourth wall break that frequently stars, there are more pop culture references than you can shake a stick at, one running gag being Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s (Briana Hildebrand) comparison to Sinead O’Connor in the ‘Nothing Compares To You’ video. Others poke fun at other characters and actors such as Deadpool’s Aussie impression of Hugh Jackman and his sexiest man cover (for which Ryan is also on in the beginning of the film). Negasonic pokes fun at ‘Ryan’s’ age but so does he, he might not be Hannibal King in Blade Trinity anymore but he looks no different body wise. Jokes aside he looks near identical to his ripped body in 2002’s Buying The Cow. Constantly poking fun at his own career due to his looks, which personally is a somewhat ignorant thing to think, yes he is incredibly attractive and that has furthered his career but this notion is completely subjective. Reynolds has delivered some standout performances in The Voices and The Woman In Gold among others.
One standout character for me, who may be seen as irrelevant to others is Ed Skrein’s Ajax. Like a mix between Tom Hardy, Sam Claflin and Nicholas Hoult, he swears and smirks his way through The Workshop, subjecting others to hideous amounts of torture in the hopes of triggering mutated cells prevalent in the Weapon X programme. While he may be coined as ‘a British villain’ in the credits, he does so with a hilarious flair and every so often a witty comeback to match Wade’s. Gina Carano’s ‘Angel Dust’ acts as his right hand woman, doing his bidding in an eerily, silent fashion. And as we see later on in the film, her naturally strong build is the perfect opposition to Colossus’ steel frame.
Gory and wonderful, the film offers plenty of nudity, sex jokes and actual sex to quench any young teenage boys thirst. There is a slightly awkward selection of sex scenes after Vanessa and Wade meet which Reynolds describes as ‘an athletic sex montage’ to prove this point. Despite the typical ‘lad’ humour in this film, it will be incredibly enjoyable for any gender, I’m a woman and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the films main target audience. With a barrage of jokes about Liam Neeson (‘I dream’t I took his daughter and he was having none of it’), crocks and a pizza guy that actually looks like an ‘inbetweener’, there doesn’t seem to be a clear cut target audience on reflection.
It was funny without being too politically and culturally offensive or too crude that you felt uncomfortable. However, the narrative was very fragmented and although that can be seen as a strength it made the story seem pitiful in conjunction to the action and comedic elements. Due to the origin story we don’t get much of an exploration of other characters, it is also described as a ‘love story’ which in some respects, it really is. The chances of it staying that way are highly unlikely. However, fans of Reynolds’s will enjoy this for the sheer fun and warmth of his personality.
With a Deadpool sequel in the works and Ryan petitioning to get an X Force movie made, hopefully we’ll see the ‘Merc with the Mouth’ very soon.