Director: Tim Miller
Starring: Ryan Reynolds; Morena Baccarin; Ed Skrein
By Michael McGale
In the year 2000, Bryan Singer brought the X-Men universe into the cinema. We got excited. We got a great film, a decent sequel and a not-so-decent sequel, followed by an even worse spin-off franchise which we all thought had killed the most refreshing and original character (At ease, Deathstroke fans) that Marvel could have unleashed on their audience.
Now 2016 seems to be a big year for comic-book adaptations, and even committed fans are growing weary of the consistent flow of super models named Chris wearing capes and fighting aliens and robots and Nazis and each other, and oh god I swear I used to love this stuff. Honestly, I used to get excited about all of this. Now I look at the list of planned projects that reach well into the next decade and I wonder just how long this machine can last before the gears wear down and audiences switch back to Westerns or Guy Richie movies. I got the news about the then-upcoming Deadpool movie and I shuddered; what was going to happen to my beloved Wade Winston Wilson? I loved the comics, I loved the character and the take on this particular world, and some bastard took away his mouth. What would they take from him this time?
Well that fear washed away within seconds of the opening credits. This film has been made with so much love you can feel its warmth from your seat. There was so much adoration for its source material that whole scenes had been taken out of the comics and put straight into the film. The dialogue flows beautifully, which is exceptional for a rated-15 comic book film that had an obligation to be gaudy. Maybe I’ve become too desensitized, but even the gore was charming once you can appreciate it through our main man’s white-eyed mask. For me, the most impressive thing that this film did was introduce a genuinely compelling romance. The ads weren’t kidding folks, this really is a love story and a damn good one at that, which is just so refreshing after years of great actors having to serve as objects of the protagonist’s desire rather than the protagonist’s partner.
Every actor approached their roles with enough charm to seduce a bull shark; every scene worked to combat the well-established conventions imposed on comic book films. Hell, the closest thing to a “heroic” speech was punctuated with our leading assassin shooting a man in the face just to annoy the speaker. Perhaps the most enthralling aspect of the whole project is that this was a film that a small group of people fought to get made and in true Deadpool style they celebrated their victory by holding a finger up to the executives that they had won against.
With many fans still angry over the turn out of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the issues being blamed for the most part on executive interference, there is a growing hope that Deadpool could spell change over the process that these films are subjected to before they can earn the Marvel stamp of approval, and who better to lead that charge than the anti-establishment antihero? The regenerating degenerate has his voice back, and this disenfranchised fan is more than ready to listen to every obscenity he’s got stored up for us.