|Release Info: February 9th - August 12th, 2016
Based upon Marvel Comic's most unconventional anti-hero, "Deadpool" tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers adopts the alter ego 'Deadpool'. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, 'Deadpool' hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
'Deadpool' is a unique figure in the Marvel Universe. Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld created 'Deadpool' as possessing an often non-superheroic attitude. A sardonic foil to the holier-than-thou heroes and villains that populate Marvel’s other comics, 'Deadpool' constantly cracks edgy jokes and breaks the fourth wall. 'Deadpool' is also known as the 'Merc With The Mouth' and for good reason. A lot of comic book movies almost feel like you could watch them without sound and still get what's going on. 'Deadpool' is a comic book anti-hero. The film tells this story in a totally unorthodox way. The film occupies a space that no other comic book movie has, or can. You hear 'Deadpool’s' voice and his comedic commentary, so we really embraced dialogue. This is not one of those movies where the hero is silent for 15 minutes.
In fact, Director Tim Miller’s reality-based storytelling generates empathy for all the protagonists, particularly in the poignant love story between Wade and Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin), who fall in love because of their flaws, rather than despite them. Vanessa had a rough childhood and is living a life full of regret. She's a prostitute when Wade meets her, and together they embark on a quest to become better people. Vanessa is someone who totally owns her space, isn’t a damsel in distress, and when she does get into deep trouble, does everything she can to get out of that predicament and really kick ass. She’s a great combination of smart, sexy, cool and tough. She’s a guy’s girl, but also very much a woman. She’s also a fighter and it’s incredibly refreshing to see a female character in a superhero movie who's just as tough as the guy, has something to say, and has balls.
'Deadpool’s' nemesis is Ajax (Ed Skrein). Ajax is the architect of 'Deadpool’s' transformation. He runs the 'Weapon X Workshop' and is a sadistic bastard. Ajax takes special pleasure in torturing Wade during the procedures that transform him into 'Deadpool'. Ajax has undergone the same program that Wade came through. The powerful villain’s abilities include heightened agility and strength, as well as numbness to pain and human emotion. Ajax doesn't feel empathy or sympathy and has no qualms about tormenting someone as a means to an end. Ajax’s henchwoman is Angel Dust (Gina Carano), a statuesque beauty who possesses incredible physical prowess. She does the jobs that Ajax avoids, and loves every minute of it. Angel Dust’s superpower is basically accessing her adrenaline to create super-strength. It’s kind of like that horse that you want to let the reins go on a bit. Ajax has the reins and Angel Dust says, ‘Oh, I’m ready. Put me in'. Apart from her powers as a living, breathing nuclear warhead, which provides what may be the coolest superhero name ever, Angel Dust is in many ways a typically rebellious teenage girl. She’s too cool for school, standoffish and sarcastic.
Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), a CG creation, can change his skin into steel, and in "Deadpool" is moonlighting from his stint as one of the 'X-Men'. He has been charged with being 'Deadpool’s mentor. The film introduces a fun and idiosyncratic dynamic between 'Deadpool' and Colossus. Colossus is kind of watchdogging 'Deadpool', making him the straight-man to 'Deadpool’s' antics. It elevates Colossus to a place he’s never been before. The movie breaks away from it's rapid-fire action sequences involving these uber-powerful characters to showcase Deadpool trading wisecracks with barkeep pal Weasel (T.J. Miller). In spite of his motto of always looking out for number one, Weasel is a trusted friend to Wade. He’s also a savvy weapons dealer who loves money and guns. 'Deadpool' also relaxes by kicking back at home with his roommate Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), a sightless senior citizen whom 'Deadpool' found on 'Craigslist'. Al is independent, sassy, sarcastic and tough, and she can give as good as she gets. They’re an unusual pair of roomies, but they end up becoming friends. It's a quid pro quo relationship. Wade makes the money and Al keeps house, more or less. Because she’s blind and can’t see his disfigurement, Al provides a comfortable camaraderie for 'Deadpool', and he makes no judgments; and certainly offers no special accommodations; for Al’s challenges.
Tim Miller makes his feature film directorial debut on "Deadpool". Miller provides Deadpool’s cinema incarnation with a fractured narrative that hurtles back-and-forth in time. The film is anything but predictable, while also being accessible to those who’ve never before encountered the 'Merc With The Mouth'. The character’s accessibility is defined partly by his twisted sense of humor. 'Deadpool' has this bright, optimistic outlook on life, even though his life is pretty shitty. He’s become horribly disfigured from the experiments that gave him his powers. He can’t find love and he’s more than a little insane. Miller has a bit of Wade Wilson’s acerbic attitude in him. He really understands how to balance the over-the-top action and humor with pathos, because in some ways, Wade Wilson is a tragic character. 'Deadpool' is nothing less than the greatest story ever told, with guns and swords. It’s also very self-aware; 'Deadpool' knows he’s in a comic book and he even knows he’s in a movie. He breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience. Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee has a fun cameo in the film.
There’s never been a character like 'Deadpool', and Ryan Reynolds plays him as though he's born to play the role. Just like Robert Downey, Jr. was born to be 'Iron Man', you just can’t picture anybody else besides Reynolds as 'Deadpool'. In the comic book world, 'Deadpool' is a man of our time with the ability to spout just the right thing, in terms of a pop culture reference, at the worst possible moment. That’s what makes him interesting and also makes him sort of limitless. Reynolds personality and DNA are really infused in the character. It's a close match to begin with, which is why Reynolds is so attracted to "Deadpool" in the first place. He has a tremendous sense of humor, is very quick, and the character has really seeped into him. He becomes in a way our ‘Deadpool Police'. In "Deadpool", the other characters can't get a word in edgewise, because he’s constantly filling silences with lucidly insane cracks.
That kind of playfulness, intermixed with a badass physicality, marks the film’s acrobatic action sequences. 'Deadpool’s' always been more lithe and agile than other characters in the Marvel universe. Without even thinking about it, he can drop into a moving car and then take out a small army of tough guys, all the while cracking wise. Wade is a tactically-trained ex-mercenary, and his newly acquired mutant powers allow his body to regenerate. So, it’s kind of like all bets are off, when it comes to 'Deadpool' fighting. There’s also an off-the-wall, tactical approach to combat. To the observer, 'Deadpool’s' martial strategies don’t make a lot of sense, at first, but in the end, you realize his methodology works. 'Deadpool’s' moves are dynamic. He's a superhero, and the film wants to make him more than human, but also keeps the action grounded. In one memorable face off, the 'Merc With The Mouth' wields his signature katanas against Ajax, who’s armed with a pair of deadly axes. Miller creates a hybrid style for the katanas. It’s not a traditional Japanese sword style; it’s more of a mix of tactical thinking, Japanese and Chinese sword work, always making sure that 'Deadpool' is attacking vital points and control points.
Another key mutante a mutante fight sees Colossus squaring off against Angel Dust. It’s truly a clash of the titans. From a technical standpoint, Colossus presented some unique challenges and opportunities. He’s entirely reflective, so Miller uses a 3-D camera system to capture all the action that happens around him. Then Miller puts that back onto him as a reflective component of his body. It’s going to be fun because we've a lot of scenes where 'Deadpool' is running circles around him and doing all sorts of crazy things. When 'Deadpoo'l removes his mask for the first time to reveal his disfigured face, you can’t help but feel empathy. It’s a moment that really humanizes the character, because as vile and violent as 'Deadpool' can be sometimes, he presents here an unmasked vulnerability. His face looks like a roadmap to hell. It’s pretty horrifying to look at.
Along with 'Deadpool' fighting in the buff, the film’s torrid scenes between Wade and Vanessa, and 'Deadpool’s' non-stop and off-color verbal stylings, all contribute to the film’s R-rating. The R-rating allows to have a level of reality that wouldn’t be possible with a PG-13. it’s an important step in the expansion of the genre. There’s a type of film that really expands the boundaries of the stories comic book movies can tell. When comic book movies first appeared, they had to be tentpole movies, which had to appeal to the broadest possible audience. "Deadpool" is always meant to be an edgy film, and the time is right for it. The genre of superhero and comic book films is wider and it feels like it’s time to do a film like this, that sort of pushes the boundaries a little further. "Deadpool" explodes with action. This will be the 'Deadpool' that will become canon moving forward!
Movie review written by Gregory Mann