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If you follow all things Marvel, you should be familiar with Deadpool’s arduous journey to get his own film. First, we haven’t seen any sign of Deadpool in any comic book film since he was decapitated and heading down the chimney of a nuclear plant in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He did not surface again until late 2014 when some leaked test footage contained a previous incarnation of Deadpool. The clip featured an oddly costumed Deadpool, complete with a ghostly white and black eyed Ryan Reynolds, which horrified 20th Century Fox executives but induced a fan reaction which ultimately got the movie green lit. It is also the second superhero movie in six months by Fox, who really needed it to perform considering its last big budget release was the disastrous Fantastic Four.
Ryan Reynolds and director Tim Miller have been fighting to bring the movie to the big screen since X-Men Origins, and because of the instances listed above, it had many odds going against it. After seeing it, Reynolds and the Fox executives can breathe a big sigh of relief, because it’s great.
The story of Deadpool is an origin story, told through flashbacks intercut with present time. Wade Wilson is a former Special Forces operative turned mercenary for a dive named Sister Margaret’s Home for Wayward Girls. He does good deeds for the less fortunate, but keeps insisting to the people he helps that he’s no hero. Soon after Wade meets a hooker named Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), and they fall in love in the most unconventionally romantic way possible. During Vanessa and Wade’s love fest, he faints, and finds out that he has late stage cancer.
Wade is discussing with his friend Weasel (T.J. Miller) when he awkwardly encounters a gentlemen who says that he can help him. The plot device is so obvious that Weasel actually refers to the meeting as a person who comes along to “further the plot.” The mysterious recruiter tells him that he can not only cure his cancer, but turn Wade into a superhero in the process. After considering his future with Vanessa, he takes the recruiter up on his offer. When Wade arrives there’s no recruiter, there is the evil British villain Ajax. Ajax puts Wade through a series of torture tests which ultimately almost kills him and destroys his appearance. It is then Wade wows revenge.
Deadpool is rated R, and it is a well-deserved hard R. The humor is raunchy and fast, the sex and nudity is gratuitous, and the violence is bloody. But all of these elements are well placed in the Deadpool universe. Ryan Reynolds is so quick in fact, that you can’t help but think that he improvised most of the jokes because they are well timed. The plot is kind of ridiculous, but Deadpool knows the plot is ridiculous and makes fun of it in his OWN movie. There’s only so many plots that an introductory superhero movie can have, so you can only pick one of maybe five different versions and film it. The difference between Deadpool’s story and other comic book origin stories is that it has the balls the say what all the other movies wish they could say.
Deadpool is funny, really funny. Ryan Reynolds and the supporting cast is great. The action sequences are great. It is a breath of fresh air from the many superhero films we have seen over the years. Deadpool is actually going to change the way superhero films are written, to the point where we may be around to see Captain America let out a swear word or two.