Deadpool wears an Adventure Time watch. That’s really all the information I need to give you to know that Ryan Reynolds has done the Merc with a Mouth fabulous justice in this 2016 film. This R-rated romp with one of the best advertising campaigns in recent history is hilarious and gore-filled from start to finish, acting as testament to Ryan Reynolds’ well-known commitment to the character. The tone-perfect humour includes masterful breaking of the fourth wall, taking cracks at Reynolds’ last abysmal outing as Deadpool and the failed Green Lantern movie, and at Fox’s X-Men movie series itself.
A mercenary diagnosed with terminal cancer, Wade Wilson undergoes the ‘Wolverine’ treatment offered by shady men from the Weapon X program in order to cure himself. Ending up tortured and hideously disfigured in the process, bent on revenge over the sadistic Ajax who performed the procedure, he soon finds himself fighting to save his girlfriend from the clutches of evil. The film takes a generic romance/revenge plot but builds upon this to great effect.
The action is constantly ultraviolent, with blood, decapitation and dismemberment frequently plastering the screen and reminding us that ‘Pool is not a superhero for the kiddies. Reynolds brings effortless charisma to Wade Wilson, maintaining his quips and one-liners even as he’s gutting a man or getting riddled full of bullet holes himself which makes for a potent concoction of dark humour and brutality. Through all of this action, Deadpool’s suit looks amazing and his animated eyes allow for the great expression required for his unique brand of wit to shine.
Meanwhile X-Men Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead act as good foils to Wilson with their more serious and rather disapproving attitude to his antics. I did feel that the villains (Ajax and Angel Dust) weren’t all that inspiring and didn’t live up to the quality of the ‘good guys’. Whilst the comedy was great it would have been the icing on the cake to see a different narrator/split personality voice as featured in the comics – but maybe that’s too much to ask for an origin story. Given that a sequel was all but confirmed in a post-credits scene, we may well see more ideas in the future.