Deadpool (2016)

I have said it before, and I'm just beating a dead horse on which everyone else has already gotten their licks.  It seems that almost every action/adventure/fantasy/science fiction movie these days is based on comic book characters.  Most of the films seem to follow the same formula of grand battles that barely move the plot along, villains who do next to nothing until the last few minutes of the film and all the CGI that the studio can afford.  Maybe it's the fact that it's origin story after origin story, but after awhile I get the same feeling I do when I watch horror films in October: almost all of them blur together, and they could largely be the same movie.

So, it is no surprise that as the Marvel universe gradually falls into self-parody (except, so far, the Captain America films), it shouldn't come as a surprise that the character that is largely parody should show up: Deadpool.  It is also no surprise that this breathes some life back into the Marvel films, even though this is more on the X-men side than the Avengers.

Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a mercenary that gets by on doing small jobs.  One night at a watering hole that caters to other mercs, he runs into a prostitute named Vanessa (Morena Baccarin).  They take a shine to each other, and begin a wild romance.  Unfortunately, the universe has something else in store for Wade Wilson, in the form of a fast-spreading cancer.

When an offer comes from a shady recruiter for a treatment that can cure his cancer, Wade is initially reluctant.  Not wanting Vanessa to watch him waste away, he decides to take the offer.  Taken to a grungy warehouse, he quickly finds out that he's been had, as a sadistic doctor who goes by Ajax (Ed Skrein) injects him with drugs and tortures him to awaken his dormant mutant genes.  Rather than curing him and making him stronger for altruistic methods, Ajax intends to sell him as a slave to the highest bidder.  When the experiments do eventually work, Wade escapes when the warehouse is destroyed and declares revenge against Ajax.

Horribly scarred, but able to constantly regenerate no matter what happens to him, Wade creates a costume and takes on the persona of Deadpool, which brings him to the attention of the X-men.  Colossus (Stefan Kapcic), with his protege Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) in tow, tries to turn Deadpool from his path of revenge and make him more of a hero, but Deadpool will have none of it.  Having tracked Ajax down, he loses him, resulting in Vanessa being kidnapped and the two mutants agreeing to help.

Okay, so there's not much of a plot here that is different than many of the other superhero origin stories.  I have made it as generic as possible, because the true enjoyment of the movie is the character of Deadpool himself.  He often breaks the fourth wall, has a clever quip for about anything and endeavors to be anything but a hero.  He is as violent a psychopath as the bad guys he pursues and, unlike someone like Bruce Wayne, he doesn't shy away from it or try to frame his actions with rules or morals. 

The movie itself takes the same angle, not bothering with bloodless violence and do-good speeches like its PG-13 brethren, but instead diving headlong into Deadpool's amoral world.  I think that is also the appeal that Deadpool has for comic book readers, as it took a long time for both Marvel and DC to realize that their fans were no longer 10-year-olds plopping a quarter down at the corner store. 

Hopefully what will come of this series will maintain the same path instead of just making Wade Wilson another interchangeable character that might happen to fire off a joke or two.

Deadpool (2016)
Time: 108 minutes
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein
Director: Tim Miller

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