Deadpool is a superhero/comic book movie that dares to be different, except when it doesn’t, which is most of the time. Based on the Marvel Comic book, ostensibly inhabiting the same universe as The X-Men (who are present) and The Avengers (different studio), Deadpool is the story of wiseass mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) who seeks radical treatment for advanced stage cancer only to emerge with Wolverine style healing powers and a serious case of the uglies. Motivated by revenge against the generic slimy British guy who cured/cursed him and the need to rescue his girlfriend, Deadpool dons his red and black suit and kills a whole lot of people. He does this in the most graphically violent way possible, and unlike most comic book movies there in no sanitation of the violence, language or sex. This movie earns its R rating. It also manages to be funny, and is full of self-referential moments and Deadpool’s trademark shattering of the fourth wall, which is all fairly entertaining.
Warning: this redband trailer contains violence and language.
But Deadpool never manages to swim out of the shallow end with regards to character or story. Outside of the title character almost everyone else feels like a prop. The prop villain. The prop girlfriend. The prop superhero sidekicks. They all have their little moments, but none of them ever add up to much. Leslie Uggams cameos as Blind Al, Wilson’s sightless roommate, but for some reason she gets less screen time than his pointless bartender buddy Weasel. And the story follows the same standard superhero origins outline we’ve seen dozens of times now, even leading to the big final showdown set piece where the hero saves the day. Sure the budget must’ve been too small to destroy an entire city, but they still manage to cause significant property damage, not because that was remotely the best way to conclude the story, but because all of these productions are trapped in that ‘massive property damage’ paradigm. So for all of the boundaries it pushes with regards to violence and language Deadpool only ever manages to be a standard superhero/comic book movie. B