Right off the bat, Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool. This is casting that is so perfect, no matter what else he does, he will always be known as the guy who brought the ‘merc with a mouth’ to life.
It’s a good thing’ too, because Reynolds effortlessly carries this schizophrenic film on his shoulders’ which tries to be part X-Men film and part superhero parody. Deadpool walks that fine line of making fun of every superhero film that has come out in the past few years, including Fox’s X-Men property, while not being mean spirited about it.
Everyone who enjoys these types of films recognizes their flaws, cliches, and silliness, which is where this film shines. Deadpool adheres to the same archetypes, but then goes out of its way to underline that it knows it is doing it by injecting references to other films — especially if Hugh Jackman is in them as Wolverine.
You know you’re in for something special right from the get go with its Matrix-like opening credits, telling you that it’s directed by “an overpaid tool,” and starring “god’s perfect idiot.” From there we’re introduced to the character’s origin story which is probably the weakest part of the film.
There’s a difficult balance to maintain to make this film work. The character needs to be relatable and have a heart of gold while also being the worst superhero ever and a parody. In other words you have to believe in and be invested in a character who practically recognizes that he is a character in a film who needs to react in a certain way. It’s really odd because you can never tell when the character is being sincere or not or whether he can even be sincere in the first place.
In other hands, this film would have been a disaster. The action is well directed, the screenplay is hilarious, and Ryan Reynolds breezes past all of the possible story pitfalls without breaking a sweat.
The film also doesn’t pull any punches. It was written to be a hard-R rated film and makes no apologies for being as juvenile as it is. Deadpool is crude, hilarious, and brilliantly self referential to both itself and the superhero genre as a whole. In a sea of these kinds of films that take themselves seriously it is great that there’s at least one character who can take a step back and have a good laugh at it all.
Here’s the trailer: