Ryan Reynolds and Fox got the character right this time
Even before the disastrous mouth-sewed version of titular antihero-superhero Deadpool was featured as a villain in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), this spinoff was already in development and it went on through hell for 10 years before it's finally made, all thanks to a test footage that got leaked and went viral with universally positive response. So did 20th Century Fox and Ryan Reynolds (Self/less, The Green Lantern), the same actor who played the role, get it right this time? The short answer is yes.
As the fans would expect, Deadpool is extremely violent, has a great sense of humour, cruelly pokes fun of almost anything and occasionally breaks the fourth wall and speak to the audiences. Reynolds, who's also the co-producer, is spot on for the role and his character spares no one in his hilarious joke deliveries, not even the actor himself. Marvel, DC, his own studio, Indians, Liam Neeson — he gives no fuck and say anything he wants. The film, too, doesn't care if the people are comic fans or had enough pop culture exposure would understand the references or not. Kudos to Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese (Zombieland, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) who wrote the script with the fans close at heart and in mind. However, although I get all the jokes, I don't necessarily find all of them good but it was, at least, funny in parts for me.
The level of graphic violence in this film is also up to expectation although the censorship here didn't allow me to see the full glory of it. The film definitely stays faithful to Deadpool's trademark mix of humour and violence. However, underneath all that, the film actually has a very formulaic superhero storyline — from origin story of Wade Wilson / Deadpool to saving the girl from underdeveloped villains (Ed Skrein as Ajax and Gina Carano as Angel Dust) with a crowd-pleasing ending — told in a non-linear narrative, which is smart, otherwise we'd probably be sick of Deadpool himself before the final act. The action sequences are quite unengaging as well, likely because most of the coolest parts are already shown in its promotional trailers. The CGI blends very well with the real-life sequences but the strange thing is how much cuts and shots there are even for scenes that do not have any action involved. Nonetheless, a decent job by first-time feature-film director Tim Miller.
It's hard to simply love a movie just because it got a character right but Deadpool has a bit more than that, for better or worse — a surprisingly well developed romance between Wilson and Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin). Probably the most convincing romance in Fox's X-Men film series to date. Great on-screen chemistry between the two although I would prefer to see Deadpool being single, flirting every where he goes and having flings with anyone of all gender and species like in the comics (Death please!). But understandably, it's probably impossible to also do that in live action adaptation such as this. Carlysle is not even Copycat here (yet, spoiler alert if it's happening).
It may not be a spectacular big-scale superhero flick, but it certainly is one fun action rom-com. There are plans to make sequels to build a franchise around Deadpool with the X-Force but these future projects would definitely need plenty of strong supporting characters for him to bounce his jokes off — like Colossus (Stefan Kapičić) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), who does not do enough in this film. Like the Minions (sorry, but it's good example), Deadpool is going to be far more effectively entertaining in smaller doses.
What I would've named the film: "Deadpool Origins: Valentine's Edition"
Malaysia censorship: Although it's not too bad, it is in fact quite heavily censored — bullets through heads, romance development through sex, and probably a few more violent sequences are all cut, even for the press screening. Vulgarities are fully intact and not muted.
Second opinion: (Sorry, none again. I will need to find a new press screening partner.)
Verdict: Popcorn flick that's simple, fun and hilarious in parts for today.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Based on: Marvel comics character "Deadpool"
Genre: Superhero, action comedy
Running Time: 106 minutes
Director: Tim Miller
Screenwriter: Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, Gina Carano, T.J. Miller
Malaysia Release Date: 11 February 2016
Local Distributor: 20th Century Fox Malaysia
Production: 20th Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment, Kinberg Genre, The Donners' Company
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