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Film Review: Deadpool

“Deadpool” is the first of the Marvel films to receive a ‘R’ rating, and rightly so. The character, very much an anti-hero, is the antithesis of most of the other Marvel Universe characters to hit the screen. He’s crude, excessively violent, and has a dark sense of humor to boot. Brought to life on screen by Ryan Reynolds and director Tim Miller, this is not the superhero movie to bring the kids to (though that didn’t stop many of the people I saw at the cineplex over the weekend).

Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a mercenary who takes jobs protecting teenage women from stalkers. While hanging out at a bar, he meets Vanessa Carlylse (Morena Baccarin), an escort who is the epitome of what Wade has been looking for in a partner. The pair fall in love and enjoy a happy year together, but following his proposal, Wade collapses, and it is revealed he has terminal cancer. Desperate to find a cure, he’s approached by a mysterious individual who offers to help him, but the cure comes at a cost; it’s a superhero movie, so you can guess how things progress from there. Wade, cured but now horribly disfigured, is essentially immortal, his body able to regenerate from any injury. He dons a mask and becomes Deadpool, seeking revenge on the people who created him.

Clearly tired of the traditional origin story, the filmmakers start the story in the middle of the action, then bounce back and forth through the timeline to reveal how Deadpool came to be. The film does not hold back: it’s rated R for a reason. It’s filled with gruesome violence, sex and nudity, and intense scenes of torture.

Since it’s a Fox film, “Deadpool” features mutants and the X-Men prominently, not having to hold back the word “mutant” like the Disney Marvel films. Ryan Reynolds in his second outing as a superhero did a great job in the role – the film itself is very self-depricating, and like the comic, Deadpool often breaks the fourth wall. I enjoyed Baccarin as Vanessa; she has great presence. T.J. Miller, while entertaining, doesn’t show much range, but he shows up and performs his role of comic relief well.

While overall a well put-together movie, my complaint is the same as with other origin films: the villains always seems to fall flat. We spend so much time on the setup that the finale, while not terrible by any means, comes up short in the payoff.

“Deadpool” is a fun movie, and not your typical Marvel superhero film. Check it out, but do yourself a favor and leave the kids at home.

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