Saturday, 13 August 2016

Deadpool - Sean Derbyshire

It is incredibly difficult to conventionally review a movie like Deadpool. It is a movie that is immensely self-aware, drenched in meta-humour, which takes several overused tropes and flips them on their heads. It is a comedy; it is a love story; it is a revenge story; it is even a comic-book origins story(ish). I think the best way to sum up this movie is with two very simple words: It’s awesome!
So lets get back to basics. The movie is directed by Tim Miller (Scott Pilgrim vs. the world) and stars Ryan Reynolds as Marvel’s ‘Merc-with-the-Mouth’: Wade Wilson AKA Deadpool, an anti-hero born of horrifically painful experimentation with a very personal score to settle. Right from the word go, this film sets the tone for what you are about to see, with the opening credits listing actors, directors and writers as ‘overpaid tools’ and the like, instead of their actual names. This all occurs over a gloriously realised still shot of carnage and hilarious action and to the melodic soundtrack of Juice Newton’s ‘Angel of the morning’ creating a fantastic juxtaposition of brutal, r-rated violence and hilarious comedy that prevails throughout the entire movie.
Tim Miller’s direction is absolutely fantastic especially considering the immense challenge he was presented with by telling the story of this particular colourful character: Deadpool breaks the fourth wall and speaks to the audience. The character is famous for doing this in every medium in which he is presented, from comic books to video games and it was difficult to imagine how this would translate to the big screen. Thankfully, Miller’s love and respect for the character shines through, as Deadpool’s fourth wall antics are gloriously realised, sparingly used and hilarious every time.

The editing in the movie is also masterfully done, with Miller (and Reynolds) able to tell a coherent narrative, while flipping between past and present to give the audience an understanding of who Wade Wilson was, how he became Deadpool and why he is seeking revenge.  

The cinematography is fairly understated but used perfectly, as fierce and brilliantly choreographed action scenes are not laden with frustrating shaky cam and the more intimate scenes of dialogue are not cut to death. This means that the audience is never taken out of the moment, lending clout to the violence and emotional weight to the rare quieter moments of the film.

The script for this film is as close to perfect as you can get. Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (The writers behind Zombieland) as well as Fabian Nicieza (Marvel vs Capcom 3) and more than a little input from Ryan Reynolds himself, the script perfectly captures the meta-humour and insanity of Rob Liefeld’s homicidal jokester to create what many have called the truest big-screen representation of a comic book character ever seen. With satirical references to Reynold’s earlier work in films like the critically panned Green Lantern and the god-awful previous representation of the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (only time I’ll mention it, I promise), the jokes all hit their mark and the characters are all perfectly realised.
Now for the real reason behind the movie’s undeniable awesomeness: the performances. All of the supporting characters in this movie are brilliant. TJ Miller (Cloverfield, Transformers: Age of Extinction) plays a hilarious role as Deadpool’s friend and bartender, with constant one-liners and great on-screen chemistry with the Merc-with-the-mouth. Morena Baccarin (Gotham, Serenity) plays the love interest, ‘Vanessa’ and gives a performance that actually makes the audience care about Deadpool’s relationship with her, while also being just as hilarious and crazy. Even Leslie Uggams as ‘Blind al’ with only about 7 total minutes of screen time shares fantastic chemistry with Reynolds and has some hilarious lines that really endear the audience to her in a very short time. It has to be said that the weakest performances are probably given by the Villains ‘Ajax’ and ‘Angel Dust’ played by Ed Skrein (Transporter: refuelled) and Gina Carano (Furious 6, Haywire) respectively, but even these aren’t really bad, just less memorable amongst such a fantastic cast.

Now for Ryan Reynolds (yes he gets a paragraph all to himself). Ryan Reynolds IS Deadpool; it cannot be said any plainer. The actor has wanted to create this film and play this character for close to 10 years and I am so grateful that he finally got his wish. He is absolutely perfect in this role, able to blend hilarious self-referential humour with believable rage and genuine emotion to create a surprisingly complex character that you cannot take your eyes off of. His use of breaking the fourth wall is so organic that, while being hilarious, it never actually takes you out of the movie or the story; a task I previously thought impossible. Ryan Reynolds will be playing this character for a good long time and I am so glad.
In summary, this movie is everything that it needed to be and more. It is hilarious; it is action packed: it breaks the fourth wall; it has a love story that doesn’t feel tacked on. All I can say is I WANT MORE DEADPOOL!!
Reviewed by Sean Derbyshire
Like Sean, I loved Deadpool for it's hilarity, incredible fight scenes and breaking down that all important 4th wall with the audience. Be sure to click here, if you like his work!

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