Let me begin this review by apologizing for its lateness. There are no excuses. It’s really just poor writer-ship. But if I don’t at least start off by listing some possible reasons for the belatedness of this piece, you’ll probably think I didn’t really care about the picture in question, which is 100% not true. So here I go… Number One: The film was so mind-blowing good that ever since I walked out of the theatre, the eloquence of how to describe such an experience has escaped me. Hmmm… too pretentious? Okay, well, what about Number Two: I was simply waiting for people to make up their own minds about the film, instead of forcing my views onto them. Yeah… okay, that’s just ridiculous. I’m a reviewer, that’s what I live for. Oh, I’ve got it! Number Three: The hype speaks for itself. At least that one is hard to argue with. But in all honestly, I’m not prepared to offer up a serious excuse for my delay, when Hollywood studio’s make us wait this long for a fun, edgy, and genre-defining superhero film. Thankfully, unlike both 20th Century Fox and myself, Deadpool (2016) has little to apologize for.
A rom-com, action-fuelled, superhero splice, Deadpool follows the much lauded tale of Wade Wilson, an acerbically sarcastic mercenary who fights crime, falls in love, and winds up facing a bout of terminal cancer. Yep, right in the liver, lungs, prostrate and brain. His last option presents itself in the form of a radical ‘treatment’ program run by a mutant-man named Ajax, so in a bid to stick around a little longer Wade undergoes a dangerous and painful procedure that grants him the ability to regrow limbs and withstand brutal punishment. There’s only one catch – it brings with it a face that ‘looks like an avocado had sex with an older, more disgusting avocado’. And that’s the kindlier version. Stuck with the facial features of Freddy Krueger, and channelling the horror veteran’s rage, the Merc with a Mouth adopts the moniker ‘Deadpool’ and sets his sights on a hazardous, yet hilarious, road to revenge.
Marvel’s mightiest (and mouthiest) anti-hero flick has a lot going for it. From its heavy-handed mocking of Ryan Reynolds previous superhero outings and career *cough Green Lantern (2011) cough*, to informing us we’re watching a Douchebag Film produced by Asshats, and directed by An Overpaid Tool, the film sells itself on its self-awareness. Breaking the fourth wall has never been so appealing and so thoroughly entertaining, throwing shade at anyone who ever dared question whether a second-chance character could excel in the hands of a first-time director. For what it’s worth, Tim Miller pulls the feat off with aplomb, helped along by the ‘real heroes’, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The duo craft comedic genius around every corner, reminding audiences that this is no Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Swearing is mandatory here. And with lines as glorious as ‘finish f**king her the f**k up’, you’ll be left wondering why Superhero films have never embraced the chance to stray from their staunch seriousness until now.
Perversity is the name of the game for Deadpool and our hero certainly plays to win, the film daring to reach for the same boldness encapsulated in its insane social media marketing campaign. You know, the one that featured giant billboards adorned with emoji’s of a skull and crossbones, poo, and the letter L. It manages to get there, if only just, working hard against the strain of a crude and at times unfortunately crappy storyline. The film’s biggest big black mark comes from its criminal under-utilisation of a raft of sidekicks and supporting acts though. A preposterous action when it featured fresh and funny faces like TJ Miller's Weasel, Stefan Kapicic's Colossus, and Brianna Hildebrand's cooly titled Negasonic Teenage Warhead. I mean, if you don't think comedic cab-driver Dopinder should have featured at least once more in the film's 108-minute runt-time, than that's fine, but you should just sit there in your wrongness and be wrong.
So while opinions remain divided, box office figures are not, with the film's $600 million dollar success spurring on a sequel and rumours of potential cross-overs in the X-Men cinematic Universe. And while we may never truly know who leaked the Deadpool test footage, fans everywhere should thank their filmic Gods that such illegality occurred. Because without it 20th Century Fox may never have put their money on the underdog. And for all the films (few) failings, it’s the risk we’ve all been waiting for.
Rating: 4 Giant Chimichangas out of 5
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