Skip to main content

Review | Deadpool

Glaring into the camera after mercilessly executing a barrage of gun-wielding goons, Deadpool sniffs the fresh smoke from his gun, sighs and exclaims to the audience "Oh, I'm touching myself tonight." This fresh, self-referential humour is exactly what Deadpool intends to showcase, as opposed to the meaty and tiresome Marvel adventures of late. Ryan Reynolds isn't just 'playing' Deadpool, he IS Deadpool through and through. He swears, has sex, is known for breaking the fourth wall, cracking jokes in the blink of an eye and always maintains a filthy sense of humour that will be familiar to the die-hard fans of the character. It's a shame however, that the film often gets bogged down with an origin story that it intentionally trying to parody.
   The film begins with the famous "Merc with a mouth" already in full suit, slicing and dicing his way to a man he only refers to as 'Francis', before the meta humour kicks in and he's telling us about who he had to 'fondle' to get his own movie. (Hint, it rhymes with Polverine). From there, we are shown in disjointed flashbacks to how he became the Deadpool we all know and love, cue the aching pains of an origin story that can't even be saved by the many laugh-out-loud moments that Reynolds conjurs up. In short, Wade Wilson is a former special forces operative-turned-mercenary that is diagnosed with terminal cancer and submits himself to excruciating experiments from Ajax (Ed Skrein) that end up with Wade looking horribly disfigured but being able to heal himself at a rapid rate. From there, the plot is as wafer thin and predictable as any Marvel film in the last 10 years. But Reynold's relentlessness in the characterisation of Deadpool distracts you from any of that, you're more focused on the rapid-fire quips he's firing rather than what he's doing. You can tell he's having the time of his laugh under the costume, and shows great care about the character and therefore the fans, as really, the film is for them.

   The problem is, the meta-humour and the constant wise-cracks take a hit in consistency and pace. Moments of pure brilliance such as Deadpool wondering out of James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart, who will be Professor X, or in the same scene bemoaning the fact due to budget restraints, only two X-Men are present throughout the whole film, are undercut through dull scenes of Wilson attempting to find his girlfriend, or Ajax plotting his next move against Deadpool. Though it's genuinely funny to see the character stick two fingers up at the studio that gave him his own film, and it reinforces the character the fans want to see, it becomes as formulaic and as tiresome as the source material it is trying to poke fun at. One can only suppose the studio needed a more watered down Deadpool (let's not discuss Deadpool's 'other' on-screen appearance) to appeal to a more mass market audience.

   Because this is Deadpool's film, the rest of the cast become completely sidetracked and forgettable. Ajax is the typical two-dimensional 'British Villain' and T.J Miller has a few lines that warrant a chuckle, but is in no league with Reynolds. Funnily, Wilson's girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Beccarin) matches him quip for quip and showcases enough sporadic humour that make her interesting, it is just a shame she isn't given more screen time and is instead reduced to the eye-rolling 'damsel in distress' role.

   Brilliantly funny in moments and incredibly faithful to the source material, Deadpool will no doubt please die-hard fans of the character but unfortunately the disjointed pace, formulaic and wafer-thin plot and lack of consistent meta-humour means we still haven't got the Deadpool we truly know and love. However, Reynolds easily holds his own as the wise-cracking merc, and has a blast with it, which makes it a refreshing highlight in the Superhero genre.


  1. Totally agree, it's always a worry when you see a character that has had years and several series in which to be moulded and shaped into an icon loved by thousands, then being formed into the same character in less than two hours. Often it means dwelling more on the process of their formation into their character rather than seeing the icon in action. Then again maybe that's why sequels are so prevalent. I think they handled the awkward clunky process of transferring a graphic novel feel and the overall Deadpool 'meta, irreverent' vibe into the medium of film as well as could probably be expected and better than some film adaptations have done recently.

    Isabelle | Folded Paper Foxes


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How Not To Be A Boy - Robert Webb

"What are we saying to a boy when we tell him to 'man up' or 'act like a man'? More often we're effectively saying, 'Stop expressing those feelings.' And if the boy hears that often enough, it actually starts to sound uncannily like, 'Stop feeling those feelings.'"

Herein lies the main issue that surrounds Robert Webb's new book How Not To Be A Boy, the idea of how much damage that can be inflicted on to young boys when they are encouraged to behave in ways that supposedly befit their gender. But Webb interweaves this idea tenderly with an autobiographical tale of him growing up in 1970s Lincolnshire with a working class woodcutter for a father and a mother who was tragically taken from him when he was just seventeen. 

   Webb frankly admits how he never really felt like much of a 'boy', taking a dislike for sport, writing a diary, having sticky-out ribs and liking poetry. He is told how he is 'sensitive' and 'shy'…

How to Stop Time - Matt Haig

"I suddenly realise it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that we age differently. It doesn't matter that there is no way of resisting the laws of time. The time ahead of you is the like the land beyond the ice. You can guess what it could be like but you can never know. All you know is the moment you are in."

Imagine, for a second, that you were different to everyone else. To others, you may seem like a rather ordinary forty year old, but the reality is you're closer to four hundred and ninety. This is the problem of Tom Hazard, the protagonist of Matt Haig's incredible new novel How to Stop Time. Tom suffers from a rare condition that has caused him to be alive for centuries, ageing one physical year every fifteen years. Always on the move to avoid suspicion, Tom now works in a secondary school as a history teacher, but the one rule he is told never to break keeps making itself known; never fall in love. 

  The joyous quality with Matt Haig is that he trul…

The Power - Naomi Alderman

"Jews: look to Miriam, not Moses, for what you can learn from her. Muslims: look to Fatimah, not Muhammad. Buddhists, remember Tara, the mother of liberation. Christians: pray to Mary for your salvation." It is through these haunting words that Naomi Alderman creates a novel so bold and so daring in order to show us how the present structures of society need a change, and offers us a glimpse of what would happen if you flipped the gender roles in which women rule the world. What would then happen if men lived in fear of women?

The Power begins as teenage girls over the world discover they can release electrical jolts from their fingertips, ranging from a slight tickle to the ability to kill. Men are segregated for their own safety, countries verge on war on a day-to-day basis as more girls harness this 'power' and use it to awaken it in older women. As this all unfolds, the story weaves between four narrative voices: Roxy, daughter of a London mobster, Allie, a teenag…