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“Deadpool” Review: Ryan Reynold’s Return to Form

Photo Contributed By Gage Skidmore

If you have been on any kind of social media or watched a football game over the past five months, there is a chance that you might be aware of a little movie by the name of “Deadpool.” 

Of course, I say that sarcastically, as I couldn’t get through a thirty minute Spotify session without hearing at least four ads featuring the titular “merc with a mouth” letting loose a few non sequiturs about my mother with DMX blasting in the background and telling me to watch his movie. 

While some people ate up this random meta humor (and considering the box office numbers for the opening weekend, that’s more like EVERYONE), I couldn’t stand it at all. With every additional commercial and “skull poop L” billboards, the only thing “Deadpool” did was further cement the fact that it was essentially that one kid in school who acted like he was too cool to care despite trying annoyingly hard to get you to hang out with them, or me trying to get my friends to watch “Chopped” (it’s SO freaking good you guys).

Well then, Ryan Reynolds, if that’s what you were trying to do, then congrats! You finally broke this elitist film geek down. As begrudging as I may be, I did have a fun time watching “Deadpool.”

Chronicling the origin of the cult (and Hot Topic) favorite comic book character, “Deadpool” doesn’t waste a second in telling the audience what kind of insane and violent ride they are in for. 

Opening through a freeze frame of an incredibly violent car accident the titular character causes mere minutes into the movie, the film then introduces the cast by referring to them as “That Hot Chick” and “Some Overpaid Tool.” 

While this might not sound very heroic, that’s because the so called “merc with a mouth” isn’t exactly a hero. Telling the audience through a fourth wall break that he prefers the title of an antihero, Deadpool isn’t a stranger to murdering and decapitating anyone in the way of his goal to kill the villain, Ajax (played by Ed Skrein). Deadpool’s enemy left him horribly scared as the result of an experiment, but with a healing factor much like Wolverines to boot. 

As to be expected, other mutants like X-Men member Colossus aren’t fans of Deadpool, further slandering the mutant name any more than Magneto already has, and are on the tail of the crazed mercenary along the way.

But it isn’t solely a balls-to-the-wall action superhero movie — “Deadpool” is also a heartfelt, albeit crude, romance between Wade Wilson and his stripper girlfriend Vanessa. While some of the trailers did let on to this, I was actually caught aback by how genuinely sweet the scenes between the two were, which worked far better than most romance plots in blockbusters such as this. Not to mention, the seriousness of those scenes brought a much needed break to the near endless barrage of jokes.

While the humor is fairly hit and miss, as well as more crude than it probably should have been, when it does hit it is pretty funny. This is absolutely due to Ryan Reynold’s performance as Deadpool. He even made some of the jokes that sounded like they were written by a faux-edgy sixth grader in 1995 work better than they should have. 

With Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. being seen as the de facto choice for their respective heroes, Reynold’s has absolutely cemented his role as the titular hero in my opinion. The use of a CGI suit and character at points make the already fantastic action scenes work out much better than usual, as well as some of the visual gags, including one point when Deadpool makes the poor choice of sucker punching Colossus.

 That being said, the movie’s reliance on the standard superhero origin story formula that Marvel has popularized really puts a damper on the antihero’s crazy hijinks, while also proving a bit hypocritical in regards to Deadpool telling the audience that it isn’t that kind of a movie. Tagging along with the complaint of generic-ness is —surprise, surprise! — another boring and bland villain too, with Ajax and his super strong lackey being pretty uninteresting and unthreatening.  Pointing out and laughing at the generic mold that other superhero movies so commonly stick to is one thing, Mr. Pool, but actually shattering it is completely different. 

While this is more nitpicky, the low budget did hurt the overall quality in some ways too. Considering that it wouldn’t have been made if it asked for any more than a $60 million budget (for example, your average Marvel movie budget is around $200 – $250 million), it is more forgivable, but a lot of the gun fire looked hilariously fake, the locations visited really bland and the fact the soundtrack really only consisted of DMX’s “X Gonna Give it To Ya” and one fight song played on repeat did the film no favors in hiding that fact.

Despite my initial reaction, I was actually pleased and came out of “Deadpool” satisfied. Sure it had its issues, and a good bit of them at that, but Reynold’s passion for the project and character elevated it more than I expected it to. In an era increasingly filled with superhero movies and sequels, it actually makes me a little happier that I can look forward to the inevitable “Deadpool 2” with hope that they can perfect the character and finally embrace the maximum anarchy possible with a larger budget and more fans.   

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