There are superheroes and then there is Deadpool, who assures the audience that, while he’s super, he’s no hero. And with all the superhero films coming out this year, it’s a bit refreshing for a man with advanced abilities and suit to not spend almost two hours being broody and/or feeling the weight of responsibility on his shoulders. 20th Century Fox and Marvel Entertainment took a risk with this film (it’s rated R, unlike the rest of its superhero predecessors) and fortunately, it paid off. “Deadpool” is very meta, isn’t afraid to go where no other film of its kind has gone, and is as entertaining, if not more so, than any film you’ll see this year.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), a former Special Forces operative, finds the love of his life, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), but after a year or so he discovers he has stage four cancer. Not wanting to rot away and desperate for being there for Vanessa, Wilson agrees to being a part of an experiment that is meant to cure him. Instead, he is tortured and his body subjected to enormous amounts of stress that leaves him looking dried and shriveled. What he does gain, however, are super healing powers and after escaping, vows to go after the “British villain,” Ajax (Ed Skrein) who did this to him. Oh, and he’s helped by the only two available X-men: Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and “moody teenager,” Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). Yes, that is her name. And then, of course, there’s his wisecracking bartender friend, played endearingly by T.J. Miller.
The movie alternates between present day and two years ago, with Deadpool narrating his own story and breaking the 4th wall by speaking directly to the audience. As soon as the credits begin playing at the start of the film, it’s clear that this isn’t the traditional superhero venture. It’s directed by an “overpaid tool” and produced by “asshats,” so it clearly doesn’t take itself seriously. Reynolds really sells his version of Deadpool and even makes fun of his former “Green Lantern” days. He’s the “merc with a mouth” and the actor’s enjoyment of playing this character is palpable in every scene.
The entertainment value is extremely high. There are laughs to be had, people’s asses to kick in well-choreographed action scenes and stunts, and the most glorious aspect of “Deadpool” is that it’s enjoyment at its fullest. The plot is subpar at best and the writers don’t work overtime trying to make it outstanding or tie it seamlessly into the greater superhero realm. Director Tim Miller has his hands full, because being given a film of this magnitude as your first feature film is daunting, but he balances tone and good character interactions with action. And don’t mind my saying that it works out very, very well. “Deadpool” is a fun film that isn’t afraid to acknowledge the ridiculous and drop meta comments about studios, former films and characters, and hilariously, Hugh Jackman.