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Film Review

The merc with the mouth

2/17/2016

After six years of development hell, a small team of dedicated movie folk, led by director Tim Miller, has finally succeeded in bringing the least film-friendly mainstream comic book hero to the big screen. Deadpool, for those of you less versed in the comic book world, is your classic anti-hero. He is crass, vulgar and exceptionally violent. But more than that, he is the most absurdist character Marvel has ever put to the page. He breaks the fourth wall, makes in-jokes about Marvel brass and other comic storylines, and his pages are full of dark humor and pop culture references. For comic fans who know Deadpool, there is no character more beloved, because there is no character more fun.

“Deadpool” Rated R 108 minutes Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Monica Baccaran, Ed Skrein, Gina Carano

“Deadpool”
Rated R
108 minutes
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Monica Baccaran, Ed Skrein, Gina Carano

Deadpool starts life (and the film) as Wade Wilson, an ex-special forces mercenary who spends his time chasing low-level scum away for the occasional buck. He falls in love with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), a woman with a hazy past and a mind exactly as twisted and depraved as Wilson’s. When their torrid love is at its peak, Wilson is diagnosed with several types of malignant cancer and zero chance for recovery. It is at this point that a recruiter approaches him from a shadow organization looking for experimentation subjects. Wilson is told that they can cure his cancer in exchange for letting them play with his DNA in an effort to create man-made mutants. He agrees, hoping to be able to return to Vanessa and live out his life. After months of torturous experiments at the hands of Ajax (Ed Skrein) and Angel Dust (MMA fighter Gina Carano), Wilson’s genes mutate to give him a healing factor similar to that of Wolverine’s, but with the trade-off of horribly disfiguring his skin.

After discovering the dark truth about the organization he volunteered for, and deciding that their bargain is not worth the effort, Wilson escapes the facility in spectacular fashion, makes his own costume, assumes the Deadpool name and goes on a rampage to exact revenge on the folks who tortured him. Along the way, he gets assists from his blind septuagenarian roommate Al (Leslie Uggams), his wisecracking bartender friend Weasel (T.J. Miller), a love-struck cab driver named Dopinder (Karan Soni) and, occasionally, the X-Men Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand).

“Deadpool” is an aggressively crass film. Not only is it the first of film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to garner an R rating, but it was what folks in the movie biz refer to as a “hard R.” Meaning, there is absolutely no ambiguity or debate about why it got the rating it did. Make no mistake; this is not a film to take your 12-year-old to. The language, the humor, the over-the-top violence, the nudity — this is a film that revels in its vices like a toddler in a sandbox, and to glorious effect.

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“Deadpool” stands alone in the glut of superhero films as being the first completely perfect translation of a character from page to screen. Every iota of the character is exactly what fans of the comic will know and expect, with absolutely no punches pulled. And for as much credit as Miller deserves for bringing this idea to fruition, one can not overstate how important Ryan Reynolds was in the lead role. Deadpool is the character that Reynolds was born to play, and he dives into it with reckless abandon, playing it to the hilt. If you are on the fence about the Marvel films, Deadpool might be what puts you off. But for the fans and people who have been wanting with all their might to see this character brought to film, it’s everything you hoped for. CV

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